People living in Portland may choose to undergo testing for the lead, the toxic heavy metal. This can happen at any time and not only when they buy a home. Lead in Portland is only likely from a few sources but some of them can post significant health risks to people, families, and children.
The EPA says there is no safe level for lead in children, source.

The main avenues of lead transport into people is:

  • In the drinking water from the pipes. Lead can come from soldering in water pipes. Homes built before 1988 are at risk for having lead in the tap water, exhibit A,exhibit B.
  • The air can carry it from nearby sources. The Oregon DEQ can help you see sources of air-pollution in Portland Oregon and the surrounding areas. See exhibit A, exhibit B, & exhibit C.
  • In soil which can happen if metals in the air precipitate onto the soil from a nearby source.
  • Lead paint, largely in pre-1978 homes. This is mainly a risk when scraping the paint and siding for re-painting.

Testing for Lead near Portland, OR

Call a local company to help you perform a lead test. They will come out and perform a consultation with you and take some samples.

If lead is found in the paint a tent can go around the home to seal off the air. Next, workers will suit up and strip the paint. Replacing the solder or water pipes can usually remove the lead contamination from the water pipes.

Soil samples for lead testing in Portland are less common and only usually taken in areas with high contamination. Use the DEQ provided map above to see if your area is exposed to above average heavy metals. Things like metal fabrication, machining shops, glassblowing factories, or industrial factories can produce these fumes.

The EPA article for lead sources to avoid.

More info available from