The Willamette River has heavy marine traffic and areas surrounding the site are highly industrialized. Also,
the Lower Willamette
is a popular recreation area. Site contaminants
of concern are the pesticide
DDT, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), heavy metals, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (found in
petroleum products). These contaminants pose risks
to people, fish, and area wildlife.
An initial draft
public health assessment report was available in February 2002.
A health consultation is a written or oral response from ATSDR to a specific request for information about
health risks related to a specific site, chemical release, or hazardous material. It is a more limited response than a
public health assessment. To date, 13 documented health consultations have been conducted at 10 sites in
In 1997 the Brownfields National Partnership, a collaboration of 17 federal agencies, was formed to assist
local remediation and redevelopment in a coordinated manner. ATSDR is among the participating agencies.
Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or underused industrial and commercial properties where expansion or
or perceived contamination. The federal agencies participating
Brownfields National Partnership will offer special technical, financial, and other assistance to selected communi-
ties--Brownfields Showcase Communities--to demonstrate the benefits of focused, coordinated attention
on brownfields. The Brownfields National Partnership selected Portland, Oregon, as a Brownfields Showcase
In 1998 ATSDR entered into cooperative agreements with local health departments in six Brownfields Show-
case Communities. In addition, ATSDR awarded the Multnomah County Health Department a grant to
enhance its participation in brownfields decisions and actions. The grant funded the development of a low-
barrier, community-focused educational tool to provide information on brownfields and opportunities for
community involvement in the process. This information was printed, posted on the Internet, and served as the
basis for several brownfields community training sessions. The purpose of these programs is to help the local
health departments develop and implement strategies that ensure remediation and redevelopment efforts will
not present environmental public health hazards to the communities.
Health Education and Community Activities
of the cooperative agreement program includes the support
of educational activities for physi-
cians, other health professionals, and communities about human exposure to hazardous substances in the
environment. The Oregon Department of Human Services became a partner in the program in 2001.
Under the cooperative agreement, more than
30 educational tools have been developed for use with community
assistance groups, neighborhood associations, grand rounds, and professional groups during 2002.
Community involvement and health education have an important role in the ATSDR programs. After fish
consumption was identified as the primary exposure pathway that could adversely affect human health at the
Portland Harbor Superfund site, the Oregon Department of Human Services assessed health education needs
in the community. Current health education efforts are based on the following goals:
1. Identify vulnerable populations and educate them about fish consumption.
2. Provide meaningful information to affected populations.
3. Reduce excessive fish consumption.
4. Change knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs associated with cooking methods to reduce consumption
5. Partner with the community and improve trust.