1 in 38 Young Children in U.S. Have Lead Poisoning

By Miki Barnes, LCSW, President of Oregon Aviation Watch
April 17, 2014

A 4/4/13 USA Today article by Alison Young, "Lead Poisoning Toll Revised to 1 in 38 Young Kids," reports that approximately 535,000 U.S. children between the ages of 1 and 5 are estimated to have elevated and potentially harmful levels of lead in their bodies. Spurred on by mounting concerns and conclusive medical evidence about the damaging effects of lead even at very low levels, in 2012 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) lowered the acceptable level of lead in a child's blood from 10 to 5 micrograms per deciliter while at the same time warning that there is no safe level of lead in a child's blood. As a result of this change, estimates now indicate that far more children are exposed to health threatening levels of lead. The damaging impacts of this neurotoxin and probable carcinogen are believed to be irreversible and can affect every organ in the body. In children lead is associated with lower IQs and attention deficits as well as behavior and learning problems. Lead exposure in adults is linked with cardiovascular disease, kidney disorders, dementia, and increased violence.

In addition, lead poisoning is a social justice issue. According to the CDC, children living in poverty and people of color are at higher risk of lead exposure than other populations.

The largest emission source of airborne lead in the U.S. is piston-engine general aviation aircraft. According to the 2011 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Emissions Inventory (NEI), the Hillsboro Airport is the top facility source of lead in Oregon. Vulnerable children and other residents who reside in Hillsboro and the surrounding area are exposed to at least 0.7 tons per year from this airport alone during the landing and take-off cycle. Additional lead is released during the cruise phase. Of the 22 sources of lead in Washington County listed in the 2011 EPA NEI - all but one are airports.

Despite the extensive documentation on the pernicious effects of lead poisoning and exposure, the federal government cut crucial funding necessary to establish testing, prevention and treatment programs.

Read more about these issues at the links below.

Airports and Toxic Emissions

By Miki Barnes, LCSW, President of Oregon Aviation Watch
March 4, 2014

Washington County Airports and Toxic Emissions

A review of the 2011 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Emissions Inventory (NEI) on Toxic Emissions [1] reveals that Hillsboro Airport (HIO) and other Washington County airports are significant sources of pollution.

The Port of Portland's Hillsboro Airport (HIO) is the biggest offender. This facility, which logs close to a quarter million take-offs and landings each year, is responsible for the following:

  • HIO is the largest facility source of lead pollution in the state of Oregon. It ranks 21st in the country, among nearly 20,000 airports in lead emissions.[2]
  • HIO is the largest facility source of acrolein, 1,3 butadiene, ethyl benzene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, organic carbon particulate matter 2.5, elemental carbon particulate matter 2.5, and carbon monoxide in Washington County.[3]
  • HIO is second largest source of nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter 2.5 emissions in Washington County, surpassed only by Stimson Lumber in Gaston, Oregon.[4]
  • HIO is the third largest source of volatile organic compounds in Washington County, surpassed only by Stimson Lumber in Gaston and DMH Inc. in Forest Grove.[5]

Other airports in Washington County are also sources of these toxins including, but not limited to, Stark's Twin Oaks, Skyport, North Plains Gliderport, Sunset Airpark, Olinger Residential Airpark, and a number of smaller facilities. All of these airports are located within less than 8 miles of the Hillsboro Airport, which further concentrates the pollution burden on Washington County residents. In addition, flights from airports in neighboring jurisdictions such as Scappoose in Columbia County and McMinnville in Yamhill County also train and engage in recreational flying over the area.

Hillsboro Air Toxics – More than 120 Times Above Benchmark Levels

The Coalition for a Livable Future (CLF) identified a number of areas throughout the greater Portland Metropolitan region as 'hotspots' due to "extremely high levels of air toxics, at more than 120 times above the benchmark level."[6] The 'hotspots' in Washington County include Hillsboro, Beaverton and Aloha-Cooper Mountain. In addition, "there are much larger areas, often surrounding these hotspots, with air toxic levels that are 81 to 120 times above the benchmarks. These areas include parts of Vancouver, Gresham, parts of northeast, northwest, and southwest Portland, part of Forest Grove, and a large area of Washington County between Tigard and Hillsboro." Per CLF, almost the entire greater Portland Metropolitan Region "has air toxics at levels that can cause adverse health effects."[7]

According to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ), "Air toxics are pollutants associated with more serious health effects such as increased risk of cancer or respiratory damage."[8] In 2013, due to concerns about elevated levels of air toxics in Hillsboro in conjunction with findings that, "Compared to other parts of the Portland Metro region, there are higher estimated impacts from air pollution on low income, minority and other sensitive populations,"[9] ODEQ placed an air quality monitor in Hillsboro. However, it was not sited in a location that can reasonably or scientifically be expected to accurately capture emissions from the Hillsboro Airport, as it did not take into consideration prevailing winds, higher emission levels downwind of the airport, and a host of other factors.

Hillsboro Airport – Number 1 Facility Source of Lead Emissions in Oregon

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Emissions Inventory (NEI) database tracks various toxic pollutants throughout the U.S. It is updated at 3 year intervals, most recently in 2011. HIO is a general aviation airport that primarily serves student pilots and recreational enthusiasts, many of whom fly piston-engine airplanes and helicopters that still rely on leaded aviation fuel (avgas). By contrast, commercial aircraft use unleaded jet fuel. For this reason many general aviation airports release far more lead into the environment than commercial passenger airports.

A search of the 2011 NEI table on lead emissions in Oregon yielded 512 sources, 417 of which were airports. The Hillsboro Airport (HIO) was listed as the largest source of lead emissions statewide, surpassing Cascade Steel in Yamhill County.[10] In 2010, after Cascade Steel was found to emit more than a half ton of lead annually, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) placed a lead monitor at the fence line of this source.[11] Yet even though at that time ODEQ identified lead as one of 20 hazardous air pollutants of concern in Oregon,[12] it has not stepped forward to either reduce or monitor lead emissions at HIO or any other Oregon airport.

Lead Emissions Released During the Landing and Take-off Cycle

The lead emissions for individual airports are arrived at by estimating the time that aircraft spend in various modes during the landing and take-off (LTO) cycle, which includes taxi/idle-out, takeoff, climb-out, approach and taxi/idle-in but does not include the cruise phase of flight. Consideration is also given to whether the aircraft has one or two engines, the concentration of lead in the fuel, and the retention of lead in the engine and oil.[13]

According to the 2011 EPA emissions inventory, HIO emitted 0.58 tons per year (tpy), which translates into 1160 lbs. However, Port of Portland (Port) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) documentation suggests that this is a low estimate. In their Environmental Assessment on the proposed third runway at HIO, the Port estimated emitting 0.7 tpy in 2007 based on "10.0 total minutes of aircraft taxi/idle time and 240,690 total aircraft."[14] By contrast, the EPA factors in 16 minutes for the taxi in and taxi out phases of the landing and take-off cycles, and further explains, "that one of the important factors in piston aircraft operation that is currently not included in the time in mode or emissions estimates is the time and fuel consumption during the pre-flight run-up checks." [15] So in addition to shaving 6 minutes off taxi/idle time, there is no indication whatsoever that the Port included lead emissions from the run-up phase.

It is also noteworthy that per the 3/15/13 Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA) on the HIO third runway proposal, the Port forecast that by 2016 HIO lead emissions would likely increase to 0.8 tpy and by 2021 to 0.9 tpy.[16] However, if a third runway is constructed, the capacity at HIO will nearly double, thus the expansion could fuel a doubling of lead emissions to well over a ton or more annually.

Lead Emissions Released During the Cruise Phase

Notably, the landing and take-off cycle does not include lead emissions during the cruise phase. In the words of the EPA, "For inventory purposes, lead emitted outside the LTO [landing and take-off] cycle occurs during aircraft cruise mode and portions of the climb-out and approach modes above the mixing height (typically 3,000 ft.). This part of an aircraft operation emits lead at various altitudes as well as close to and away from airports."[17] In the case of HIO, nearly 2/3 of the 212,543 operations in 2011 were local, touch and go training maneuvers [18] and as such remained under 2,000 feet, well below the mixing height, yet there is nothing in the Port's HIO proposed third runway environmental assessment indicating that emissions during the climb out, cruise phase, and approach modes were added into the equation.

According to EPA estimates, in 2008, an additional 5.3 tons of lead were released over Oregon during the cruise phase which occurs when aircraft fly above 2,000 feet.[19] Due to the location of multiple airports within less than 10 miles of HIO, in conjunction with the intensive flight training activity throughout the area, there is a high likelihood that much of this additional tonnage was, and is continuing to be, released over Washington County homes, neighborhoods, schools, day care centers, assisted living facilities, recreational areas, water sources, and prime farm land.

Health Impacts of Lead

Lead is a dangerous neurotoxin and a suspected carcinogen. It is particularly damaging to children and is linked with lowering IQs, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) learning deficits, and behavior problems. In adults it is associated with miscarriages, cardiovascular disease, kidney ailments, dementia and increased violence. The pernicious effects of this toxin are found even at very low doses and at exposure levels that were once considered to be safe. The Centers for Disease Control has stated that there is no safe level of lead in a child's blood.[20] "Decades of research has shown that lead poisoning causes significant and probably irreversible damage to the brain. Not only does lead degrade cognitive abilities and lower intelligence, it also degrades a person’s ability to make decisions by damaging areas of the brain responsible for 'emotional regulation, impulse control, attention, verbal reasoning, and mental flexibility."[21]

Top 25 sources of Lead in Oregon in 2011 – 17 Are Airports

According to the 2011 EPA NEI, the top 25 facility sources of lead in Oregon in are as follows (airports in bold italics):[22]

  1. Hillsboro Airport (Washington County) – 1160 lbs.
  2. Cascade Steel (Yamhill County) - 1080 lbs.
  3. Riddle Plywood (Douglas County) - 620 lbs.
  4. Bend Municipal Airport (Deschutes County) – 560 lbs.
  5. Columbia Ridge Landfill and Recycling Center (Gilliam County) - 540 lbs.
  6. Aurora Airport (Marion County) – 520 lbs.
  7. Scappoose Industrial Airpark (Columbia County) – 400 lbs.
  8. Troutdale Airport (Multnomah County) – 360 lbs.
  9. McMinnville Municipal Airport (Yamhill County) – 340 lbs.
  10. Corvallis Municipal Airport (Benton County) – 280 lbs.
  11. Mahlon Sweet Field (Lane County) – 260 lbs.
  12. Owen-Brockway Glass Container Inc. (Multnomah County) - 240 lbs.
  13. PGE Boardman (Morrow County) - 220 lbs.
  14. Hobby Field Airport (Lane County) – 220 lbs.
  15. Portland International Airport (Multnomah County) – 220 lbs.
  16. Robert's Field Airport (Deschutes County) – 200 lbs.
  17. EVRAZ Inc. NA (Multnomah County) - 197.4 lbs.
  18. SP Fiber Technologies (Yamhill County) - 194.2 lbs.
  19. ESCO Corporation (Multnomah County) - 192.6 lbs plus 4lbs. emitted by their NW Brewer location)
  20. Independence State Airport (Polk County) – 175 lbs.
  21. Roseburg Regional Airport (Douglas County) – 166.4 lbs.
  22. Rogue Valley International (Jackson County) – 160.2 lbs.
  23. McNary Field Airport (Marion County) – 155.8 lbs.
  24. Grants Pass (Josephine County) – 141 lbs.
  25. Ashland Municipal Airport (Jackson County) – 140 lbs.

Stark's Twin Oaks, also located in Hillsboro, ranked 29th. In 2011 it emitted 125 lbs. of lead.

Top Sources of Lead Emissions in Multnomah County

Among the top 25 lead facility sources statewide, five are in Multnomah County. Two of the five are Port of Portland owned and operated airports, with Troutdale Airport in the top spot. The emissions from all five sources add up to 1,214 lbs. As a point of comparison, Hillsboro Airport emits almost as much lead annually as these five sources combined. In fact, when HIO emissions are combined with those from Stark's Twin Oaks, located 6 miles south of HIO, emissions from these two airports alone exceed the combined total of the top five lead sources in Multnomah County.

  1. Troutdale Airport at 360 lbs is the top lead source in Multnomah County. It ranks 8th in the state for lead emissions.
  2. Owen-Brockway Glass Container Inc. is second highest lead source in the county. It ranks 12th in the state.
  3. Portland International Airport (PDX) is the number 3 lead source in the county. It ranks 15th in the state.
  4. EVRAZ Inc. ranks 17th statewide.
  5. ESCO ranks 19th statewide, possibly 18th when the emissions from both of their northwest locations are combined.

It is noteworthy that the bulk of operations at the Hillsboro, Troutdale, and Stark's Twin Oaks Airports are on behalf of the for-profit flight training industry. Many of the students who train at these facilities are recruited from outside the country. Meanwhile local residents, via commercial passenger fees and Connect Oregon grants, are forced to subsidize infrastructure costs as well as bear the burden of the noise and toxic pollutants.

ESCO and Lead Emissions

As noted on the above list, the ESCO Corporation, a steel foundry and metal casting plant that operates out of two locations in Northwest Portland, is the fifth largest source of lead in Multnomah County and the 18th or 19th largest emitter in the state. Concerns about this and other toxins galvanized Northwest Portland neighborhood advocates to band together to protect their community from pollutants emitted by various industrial sources. Their painstaking research revealed that the ESCO Corporation, located within close proximity to the Northwest neighborhood, was a major contributor to the degraded air quality in their residential community. For more than two decades "Under the direction of Dr. Robert Amundson...northwest neighbors monitored the air at their homes and at sites throughout the neighborhood. Funding came from various grants, including an EPA grant...Some studies were conducted in conjunction with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ), while others were independent neighborhood efforts. Particulates (dust), metals and toxic gases were monitored."[23]

Northwest District Association Air Quality (NWDA) 3/12/12 committee minutes document some of their findings:

Testing carried out in 2011 confirmed "a lead & metals 'hotspot' close to ESCO, as we have found in previous years."

"Dust samples collected in the neighborhood contained concentrations of lead that far exceeded the EPA's indoor standard of 40 micrograms per square foot.

Many heavy metals such as lead, manganese, nickel, and chromium 6 (hexavelent chrome) were found in particulates. Studies have consistently shown the level of lead and other heavy metals to be higher in locations closer to the NW industrial area, indicating a 'hot spot' for industrial sources of polluting." [24]

Minutes from a 5/14/12 NWDA committee meeting discussed findings from a cancer cluster study performed by the Oregon Health Authority, all of which were determined to be statistically significant.

"The rate of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in NW PDX men was 1.7 times higher than the rate among other men in PDX and 1.9 times higher than the rate among other men statewide...The rate of melanoma among Northwest PDX women was 1.4 times higher than the rate among other women in PDX, and 1.6 times higher than the rate among other women statewide...While the rate of breast cancer among NW PDX women was similar to the rate among other PDX women, it was 1.2 times higher than the rate among other women in Oregon."[25]

It is clear from reviewing the record that lead and other metals were not the only air toxins of concern in Northwest Portland. Their research also revealed elevated levels of butadiene, benzene, and acrolein. "All three compounds exceeded EPA and California health benchmarks. Benzene concentrations, for instance, varied from 16 to 73 times the EPA cancer benchmark and from 67 to 73 times the EPA cancer benchmark and from 67 to 293 times the California benchmark." All of these toxins are above benchmark levels in the greater Portland Metropolitan area, which includes Hillsboro and surrounding areas.

Oregon Airports - Major Polluters

A review of the EPA NEI website [26] on these toxins reveals that, in addition to stationary industrial sources, airports are also major emitters of a number of pollutants besides lead. In fact, Portland International Airport (PDX), at 8280.07 lbs. per year, is the largest source of acrolein emissions in Multnomah County with Troutdale Airport (182.09 lbs) ranked second. Chronic inhalation of acrolein is linked with respiratory congestion and eye, noise, and throat irritation. Of the 21 sources of acrolein emissions in Washington County, all were airports. Hillsboro Airport topped the list with 566.50 lbs in 2011, more than 3 times as much as the Troutdale Airport.

Regarding ethyl benzene, a known carcinogen linked with blood cancers, in 2011 PDX (896.14 lbs.) was the third largest source of this toxin and the largest emitter in Multnomah County. Hillsboro Airport (250.57 lbs) is the largest source of benzene in Washington County. In 2011 HIO ranked 15th statewide.

The inspiring work of the NWDA underscores the need to significantly reduce toxic emissions and to generously fund the ODEQ and the Oregon Health Authority to insure that money is invested in protecting the environment and the health of current and future generations of Oregonians.

Hillsboro Airport Emits More Than 5 Times as Much Lead as ESCO

A DEQ 11/30/11 report indicated that ESCO was responsible for emitting 207.0 lbs of lead.[27] As a point of comparison, the Hillsboro Airport emits more than five times this amount in the landing and take-off phase of flight annually. Surrounding airports and aircraft in the cruise phase of flight release additional tonnage, further adding to the toxic burden borne by impacted residents.

The findings of lead dust and particulates at ESCO understandably raised considerable alarm in the nearby community, even though the company releases substantially smaller quantities of this toxin than HIO. This suggests that many Washington County residents are routinely exposed to even higher levels of lead, and should be very concerned about its ill effects.

Children and Lead Emissions

In July of 2011 the Children's Environmental Health Initiative at the Duke University released a report entitled A Geospatial Analysis of the Effects of Aviation Gasoline on Childhood Blood Lead Level. The study involved analyzing blood lead level data obtained between 1995 and 2003 which was available for 125,197 children ranging in age from 9 months to 7 years. Of these children, 13,478 lived within 2000 meters of airports in the 6 North Carolina counties. The study concluded that "living within 1000 m [2/3 mile] of an airport where aviation gasoline is used may have a significant effect on blood lead levels in children. Our results further suggest that the impacts of aviation gasoline are highest among those children living closest to the airport."[28]

Census data indicate that nearly 25,000, more than 26%, of Hillsboro's population in 2010 was under 18 years old. Of that number approximately 8,000 were children under the age of 5.[29] According to a September 2013 OnEarth magazine article, "At least 3,200 students who attend schools near the Hillsboro Airport are at risk. A Montessori preschool is located across the street from the airport's entrance, and a day care center is situated just 800 yards from the end of the main runway."[30]

It is important to be mindful that in Hillsboro, the majority of HIO operations are training flights, often referred to as local touch-and-go operations conducted in piston engine airplanes and helicopters that utilize leaded fuel. These types of repetitive training maneuvers occur at or below 2,000 feet within a 4 to 5 mile radius of the airport. As a result the exposure to lead emissions likely extends well beyond the two-thirds mile distance from the airport discussed in the Duke University study.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) distinguishes between local and itinerant aircraft operations at general aviation airports - a distinction that "plays a role in the area over which lead is emitted."

"Local operations are those activities performed by aircraft operating in the local traffic pattern or within sight of the airport, aircraft executing simulated instrument approaches or low passes at the airport, and/or aircraft operating to or from the airport in a designated practice area located within a 20-mile radius of the airport. Local operations are common for GA aircraft. This includes applications such as recreational, proficiency and instructional flying as well as many common general aerial support tasks. Emissions during local flying are more likely to influence air and soil concentrations of lead in the vicinity of the airport because they occur near the airport, often at altitudes below the mixing height." [emphasis mine]

"Itinerant operations are all operations other than those described above as local operations. An itinerant aircraft operation usually is one in which the aircraft departs from one airport and lands at a different airport. Depending on air time and distance, an itinerant flight is much more likely to involve departing the local flying area of the originating airport and climbing to altitudes above the mixing height. It is reasonable then, to generally expect that lead emitted outside the LTO cycle during itinerant operations, in contrast with local operations, will be more widely dispersed and at greater distances from the airport."[31]

Given the enormous amount of flight training in conjunction with recreational flying, air taxi activity, and private and corporate jet flights, residents throughout Washington County and the surrounding area are routinely subjected not only to potentially dangerous levels of lead but to a number of other toxins as well.

Corporate and Private Jet Traffic Also Contributes to Elevated Pollution Levels

The Santa Monica Airport is a general aviation airport similar to HIO in that it predominantly serves private jets, flight training and recreational flyers but its operational count is substantially lower than HIO's. Annually it logs 100,000 take-offs and landings compared to more than 200,000 at HIO.

A 2010 Santa Monica Airport Health Impact Assessment (HIA) supervised by the UCLA Department of Pediatrics Faculty identified elevated levels of a number of toxins in the vicinity of the Santa Monica Airport. An excerpt of their findings appears below.

  1. Airport operations, particularly jet take-offs and landing, are contributing to elevated levels of black carbon in the area surrounding Santa Monica Airport. Elevated exposure to black carbon is associated with:
    • increased rates of respiratory and cardiovascular disease including asthma, bronchitis, and increased risk for sudden death
    • irreversible decrease lung function in children
    • increased carcinogenic risk
  2. Elevated levels of ultrafine particles (UFP) are associated with aircraft operations and jet takeoffs and are found in the area surrounding Santa Monica Airport. Elevated exposure to UFPs are associated with:
    • increased inflammation and blockage of blood vessels in mice models
    • greater lung inflammation with exposure to UFPs than exposure to larger particulates in rodent models
  3. Elevated levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are found in the area surrounding Santa Monica Airport. Exposure to PAH has been associated with:
    • increased carcinogenic risk
    • disruption of the hormonal balance in adults
    • reproductive abnormalities with exposure during pregnancy
    • lower IQ scores in children
  4. Levels of noise due to plane and jet take-offs from Santa Monica Airport are above Federal Aviation Airport threshholds. Excessive noise is associated with:
    • hearing loss
    • higher levels of psychological distress
    • impaired reading comprehension and memory among children[32]

Aviation Facility Sources of Toxic Emissions in the Greater Portland Area

A review of the 2011 EPA National Emissions Inventory [33] listed a number of other hazardous pollutants of concern. Some are known carcinogens, others have an adverse impact on the respiratory system. Many are known to have a potential negative effect on human health. Included on the list are the following:

Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Out of 551 sources statewide, HIO ranked 13th. PDX, also owned and operated by the Port of Portland ranked 5th. Of the 22 sources in Washington County, with an emission rate of 605.45 tons, HIO was largest source of CO. It released 8 times more than Stimson Lumber, which ranked 2nd with 72.70 tons. Stark's Twin Oaks (63.81) was ranked 3rd and Skyport (5.67) was 4th. Sunset Airpark, North Plains Gliderport, Olinger, and Apple Valley were ranked 5th through 8th, respectively. The remaining Washington County sources were all airports
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
Statewide PDX is the 9th largest source of VOC emissions. Of the 23 sources of in Washington County, HIO is ranked 3rd, surpassed only by Stimson and DMH Inc. Stark's Twin Oaks is 4th and Skyport is 5th. All remaining sources in the county were airports.
Nitrous Oxide (NOX)
Out of 549 sources statewide, PDX is the third largest source of NOX emissions surpassed only by PGE Boardman and the Dillard Wood Board Manufacturing Plant. Of 22 sources of NOX in Washington County, all are airports except Stimson, which is the number one source of this pollutant. HIO is 2nd followed by Stark's Twin Oaks, Skyport and Sunset Airpark.
Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
Out of 540 sources statewide, PDX was the 7th largest source of this pollutant. Out of 22 sources of SO2 in Washington County, all are airports except Stimson Lumber which is the number one source of this pollutant. HIO is 2nd on the list followed by Stark's Twin Oaks.
Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM 2.5)
Of the 23 sources of this pollutant in Washington County, Stimson ranks 1st followed by HIO and Stark's Twin Oaks. DMH Inc. is 4th. All other sources are airports.
Particulate Matter 10 (PM 10)
Of the 23 sources of this pollutant in Washington County, Stimson ranks 1st followed by HIO and DMH Inc. Stark's Twin Oaks. is 4th and Skyport 5th. All remaining sources are airports.
Elemental Carbon PM 2.5 (PM 2.5)
Out of 566 sources statewide, PDX is the 2nd largest source of this pollutant and HIO is ranked 14th Of 23 sources in Washington County, HIO is 1st, Stark's Twin Oaks is 2nd, Stimson Lumbar is 3rd, Skyport 4th and DMH is 5th. All remaining sources are airports.
Organic Carbon PM 2.5
Of 23 sources in Washington County, HIO is the top emitter of this toxin, Stimson is 2nd, DMH 3rd, Stark's Twin Oaks 4th, and Skyport 5th. All remaining sources of this toxin are airports.
Acetaldehyde
Out of 492 sources statewide PDX is ranked 7th and HIO 20th. In Washington County, there were 21 sources all of which were airports with HIO, Stark's Twin Oaks, and Skyport topping the list.
Formaldehyde
Out of 515 sources statewide, PDX is the number 1 source of this pollutant in the state. HIO ranks 26th. Of 21 sources in Washington County, HIO is number one followed by Stark's Twin Oaks and Skyport.
Ethyl Benzene
Out of 506 sources, PDX is the 3rd largest emitter of this toxin in the state. HIO ranked 15th. Of the 21 sources of this pollutant in Washington County, HIO is 1st followed by Stark's Twin Oaks, Skyport, and Sunset Airpark.
Acrolein
Out of 488 sources statewide PDX ranked 4th and HIO 27th statewide. Of the 21 sources of this toxin in Washington County, all were airports. HIO topped the list followed by Stark's Twin Oaks, Skyport, and Sunset Airpark.
1,3 Butadiene
Of 452 sources of this pollutant statewide, 418 are airports. PDX is the number one emitter of this toxin and HIO is 2nd.

Conclusion

In calculating cost benefit analyses the aviation sector neglects to consider the public cost of subsidizing aviation infrastructure (via state funds and commercial passenger flight fees), and also neglects to factor in the financial impacts upon society of aviation pollution. Use of public monies to fund general aviation infrastructure diverts limited public resources away from schools, social services, heath care, and environmental safeguards. Most scenarios completely ignore the impact of aviation activity and expansion on the environment and human health.

The Oregon Environmental Council (OEC) estimates that Oregon spends approximately $1.5 billion on preventable diseases caused by pollution each year, yet this figure is seldom factored into discussions on aviation and industrial growth. As noted by OEC, "Many environmentally attributable diseases place financial and social burdens on the citizens of Oregon. These include asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease, birth defects, lead poisoning, and neurobehavioral problems."[34] In fact, the medical costs of treatment are traditionally passed on to individuals, families, unsuspecting communities and the health care system while the industries directly responsible for poisoning the environment minimize or disavow all responsibility.

Eliminating exposure to toxic emissions is an essential step in protecting the health and well-being of a community. Industries that poison the environment need to held fully accountable and should be required to subsidize scientifically rigorous third-party health impact studies and monitoring programs to measure the toxins emitted by their business practices. Aviation business ventures and airport expansion proposals need to be rigorously evaluated to determine their full impact on the health of the community. In the short term, aviation activities should be scaled back immediately to reduce their negative impacts on the environment and human health.

It is unacceptable as well as morally indefensible and socially irresponsible to continue the business-as-usual indifference to the greater good.

Sources

[1] The 2011 National Emissions Inventory. Maps and Fusion Tables. Environmental Protection Agency. Available on-line at http://www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/net/2011inventory.html.

[2] Hoyer, Marion and Pedde, Meredith. Selection of Airports for the Airport Monitoring Study. EPA Memorandum. (11/18/10) Pg. 2-4.

[3] The 2011 National Emissions Inventory. Maps and Fusion Tables. Environmental Protection Agency. Available on-line at http://www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/net/2011inventory.html.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Air Quality. Coalition for a Livable Future website. Available on-line at http://clfuture.org/atlas-maps/air-quality-all-sources.

[7] Ibid.

[8] DEQ Places Air Toxics Monitor in Hillsboro. Fact Sheet. Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ). (Last updated 2/5/13). Available on-line at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aq/toxics/docs/FSatMonitorHillsboro.pdf.

[9] Ibid.

[10] The 2011 National Emissions Inventory. Maps and Fusion Tables. Environmental Protection Agency. Available on-line at http://www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/net/2011inventory.html.

[11] Barnack, Anthony. 2010 Oregon Annual Air Monitoring Network Plan. (July 2010). Pg. 15. Available on-line at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aq/forms/2010NetworkAssessmentReport.pdf.

[12] Ibid., Pg. 17.

[13] Lead Emissions from the Use of Leaded Aviation Gasoline in the United States - Technical Support Document. (EPA20-R-08-020). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Assessment and Standards Division Office of Transportation and Air Quality. (October 2008). Pg. 3-4. Available on-line at http://www.epa.gov/ttn/chief/net/tsd_avgas_lead_inventory_2002.pdf.

[14] Hillsboro Airport Parallel Runway12L/30R Draft Environmental Assessment. Volume 2 Appendices. Prepared for the Port of Portland by CH2MHILL.(October 2009) Pg. C2 Exhibit 2.

[15] Calculating Piston-Engine Aircraft Airport Inventories for Lead for the 2008 National Emissions Inventory. EPA-420-B-10-044. (December 2010). Pg. 17. Available on-line at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/nonroad/aviation/420b10044.pdf.

[16] Hillsboro Airport Parallel Runway 12L/30R Draft Supplemental Environmental Assessment (SEA). Prepared by the Port of Portland. (3/15/13). Pg. 29-30.

[17] Calculating Piston-Engine Aircraft Airport Inventories for Lead for the 2008 National Emissions Inventory. EPA-420-B-10-044. (December 2010). Pg. 17. Available on-line at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/nonroad/aviation/420b10044.pdf.

[18] Hillsboro Airport Terminal Area Forecast (TAF). Detail Report. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). (January 2013).

[19] Calculating Piston-Engine Aircraft Airport Inventories for Lead for the 2008 National Emissions Inventory. EPA-420-B-10-044. (December 2010). Pg. 19-20. Available on-line at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/nonroad/aviation/420b10044.pdf.

[20] Preventing Lead Poisoning in Young Children: A Statement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 2005, U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service. Pg. 1. Available on-line at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/publications/prevleadpoisoning.pdf.

[21] Knapp, Alex. How Lead Caused America's Violent Crime Epidemic. Forbes. (1/3/13). Available on-line at http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2013/01/03/how-lead-caused-americas-violent-crime-epidemic.

[22] The 2011 National Emissions Inventory. Maps and Fusion Tables. Environmental Protection Agency. Available on-line at http://www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/net/2011inventory.html.

[23] Air Quality Committee Minutes. Northwest Neighborhood District Association (NWDA). (3/12/12).

[24] Ibid.

[25] Air Quality Committee Minutes. Northwest Neighborhood District Association (NWDA). (5/14/12). Available on-line at http://www.northwestdistrictassociation.org/?p=3924.

[26] The 2011 National Emissions Inventory. Maps and Fusion Tables. Environmental Protection Agency. Available on-line at http://www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/net/2011inventory.html.

[27] Emission Detail Sheets. Air Quality. Northwest Portland. ESCO. Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. (11/30/11). Available on-line at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aq/permit/tv/nwr/262068escoPSEL.pdf.

[28] Miranda ML, Anthopolos R, Hastings D 2011. A Geospatial Analysis of the Effects of Aviation Gasoline on Childhood Blood Lead Levels. Environmental Health Perspectives (ehp) 119:1513-1516. Conclusions Section. (7/13/11). Available on-line at http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1003231.

[29] State and County Quick Facts. Hillsboro, Oregon. Available on-line at http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/41/4134100.html.

[30] Behar, Michael. Something in the Air: The Health Risks of Leaded Gasoline are a Thing of the Past, Right? Wrong. OnEarth Magazine. (9/3/13). Available on-line at http://www.onearth.org/articles/2013/08/aiplanes-flying-on-leaded-gasoline-are-still-poisoning-us.

[31] Calculating Piston-Engine Aircraft Airport Inventories for Lead for the 2008 National Emissions Inventory. EPA-420-B-10-044. (December 2010). Pg. 18. Available on-line at http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/nonroad/aviation/420b10044.pdf.

[32] UCLA Department of Pediatrics. Santa Monica Airport Health Impact Assessment (HIA). (February 2010). Pg. 3. Available on-line at http://www.healthimpactproject.org/resources/document/Santa-Monica-Airport-Final-HIA.pdf.

[33] The 2011 National Emissions Inventory. Maps and Fusion Tables. Environmental Protection Agency. Available on-line at http://www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/net/2011inventory.html.

[34] The Price of Pollution: Cost Estimates of Environmentally-Related Disease in Oregon. Oregon Environmental Council. (February 2008). Pg. iii. Available on-line at http://www.oeconline.org/our-work/healthier-lives/priceofpollution.

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