PORTLAND, Ore. -- A neighborhood in Southeast Portland conducts non-scientific study on diesel pollution in the community.
After hearing neighbors’ concerns about diesel pollution in the Lents neighborhood, Izzy Armenta along with some Lents neighborhood high school students, joined forces with the Oregon Environmental Council to sample the air quality.
Over the span of two months this past summer, they tested the air at 12 different locations ranging from transit centers, to parks, apartment complexes, and Lent Elementary School.
Using scientific equipment, the volunteers measured the amount of diesel pollution, specifically black carbon, in the air.
According to Multnomah County Health, black carbon is easily inhaled and lodges deep in our lungs where it increases our risk for heart attacks, strokes and cancer.
The community study found surprisingly high levels of black carbon.
"In every place we studied, we found levels that were 10 or 20 or 70 times higher than Oregon's benchmark for health when it comes to diesel pollution," explained Oregon Environmental Council health outreach director Jen Coleman.
Outside of Lent Elementary, the group said it found levels on average that were five times higher than the state safety benchmark.
The group is quick to acknowledge that this is by no means a scientific study.
"I would call this a snapshot," said Coleman
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(© 2017 KGW)