Oregon's industrial facilities dumped more than 1 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the state's waterways in 2012. In a new report, Environment Oregon ranks the state 33rd worst in the nation for water pollution.

City of Newport

For years, residents of Newport have raised concerns about effluent from a Georgia Pacific Mill in Toledo.  Since 1957, the company has pumped it’s wastewater through a pipe that discharges into the ocean, about .75 miles off Nye Beach.  A new study from Oregon State University is adding to a growing body of evidence showing the effluent is not causing significant impact on the surrounding environment.  

Steve O'Connell

Everyday people are exposed to chemicals and pollutants. Researchers at Oregon State University in Corvallis have developed a silicone wristband that can detect these compounds. The new accessory can help scientists understand the link between exposure to toxins and disease. The wristband looks similar to the ubiquitous colorful rubber wristbands that often promote causes or charities, such as breast cancer. Kim Anderson is a professor in the OSU Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology.

Jes Burns

The South Willamette Valley consistently ranks high nationally for levels of air pollution.  According to the American Lung Association, Eugene-Springfield was the 14th worse in the country for “short-term particle pollution” in 2013.  

Air pollution is a complex mixture of chemicals and particulate matter –so complex, scientists still don’t know exactly what’s in the air we breathe.  But now they’re one step closer.