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According to Oregonís DEQ (2007), the mobile source pollutants, including acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, 1,3 butadiene, diesel PM, benzene, and arsenic show high concentrations along and adjacent to Portlandís major traffic corridors.  Formaldehyde is one of the top three sources of adverse health effects and cancer risk in the Portland area and concentrations align with major highway corridors, which is consistent with on-road engines being an important source of formaldehyde. The widespread nature of other important sources of formaldehyde, construction equipment, diesel fuel combustion, railroads, and airports, may result in a broader geographic extent.  Wood burning also contributes to formaldehyde emissions.  While risk is significant across the entire city, higher concentrations likely exist in the downtown area where there is a concentration of emissions from vehicles, construction, marine and rail sources (Department of Environmental Quality, 2000. www.deq.state.or.us/aq/toxics/docs/pataconclude.pdf). 

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Cover:  Illustration by Dianne Tolman, a small business owner of Big Pine Native Plants.

© 2008 Deborah Tolman, Ph.D., Michelle Lasley, and Joe Parker