The number of children in and around Portland who are getting used to breathing polluted air has increased significantly this week. On Tuesday, the American Lung Association published data indicating that the number of children present at its facilities has jumped more than 32 percent from one week ago.
The group said that, with the air in the region being counted as “as bad as polluted China’s air today,” some of its staff has been hospitalized due to the exposure. The spike, the group says, is because of the blowback from the controversial PGE wind turbines that are continuously spinning across the city.
In a statement, the Portland Association of Teachers, of which The Times is a member, echoed the concerns. “PIT schools provide only about 1 percent of the funding for Portland Public Schools, yet they are responsible for far more than their fair share of chronic respiratory illnesses affecting children,” it said in a statement. “The PGE turbines have forced all of us to breathe unhealthy air — and most days, for several hours, around noon.”
The group also criticized PGE for not making the children have respiratory therapy to help them mask the impact of the emissions.
As it does each year, The Times spoke with visitors and patrons at its newsstands and galleries across Portland for their thoughts on their exposure to air that appears to be poor for the young population of the city. Most agreed that the wind turbines — neither of which are actually on public land — are very loud and cause their children to start coughing and breathing their typical coarse stank (both NYC and San Francisco wind turbines similarly need periodic maintenance to fix cracked blades and excess hums). However, none of them blame PGE for the city’s plight (an allegation that seemingly flares when the blade rattle is brought up).
Read the full story at The Times.