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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Air Quality

Air Toxics

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Oregon Air Toxics Benchmarks

Oregon's air toxics benchmarks help DEQ identify, evaluate and address air toxics problems. Oregon air toxics benchmarks are based on concentration levels that would result in a cancer risk of one-in-a-million additional cancers based on a lifetime of exposure. For non-carcinogens, the benchmarks are levels you could breathe for a lifetime without any non-cancer health effects.

The ambient benchmark concentrations for 52 air toxics of concern in Oregon are based on consensus recommendations from the Air Toxics Scientific Advisory Committee, a panel of experts that provides advice on the state air toxics program that is scientifically and technically sound, independent and balanced.

The benchmarks are based on concentration levels that protect the health of our most sensitive individuals. These benchmarks provide consistent health-based goals, as DEQ develops strategies to reduce air toxics.

Investigating Potential Short-term Benchmarks for Air Toxics

In response to questions from concerned citizens, DEQ and its Air Toxics Science Advisory Committee investigated the scientific validity and public health benefit of establishing new short term levels or guidelines to serve as clean air goals for air toxics. DEQ prepared a report and fact sheet on the investigation of short term guidelines, but on December 13, 2012, revoked these documents upon finding an error in a toxicology calculation. DEQ will re-issue the report and fact sheet after completing work to correct the calculation.


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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 811 SW Sixth Ave., Portland, OR 97204-1390
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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