Pollution has become a common feature in the environment, but that doesn't mean it has to be. There are many organizations working to improve air quality, so that people will hopefully not have high levels of heavy metals in the body. For example, Oregon Live recently reported that Portland air pollution activists have submitted a petition to Governor John Kitzhaber to curb industrial emissions.
The activists, led by the group Neighbors For Clean Air, started their campaign after they found that Oregon's industrial pollution limits are very high, and there is little protection for people who live near industrial plants.
Of course, industrial emissions are not the only source of pollution.
"The Portland area has the highest toxic pollution in the state. Industry accounted for just a sliver of the overall risk. Emissions from cars and trucks, residential wood smoke, construction and business and home heating topped the charts," according to the news source.
The Environmental Protection Agency states that most air toxins originate from human-made sources. According to the organization, stationary sources such as factories, refineries and power plants are a major source of pollution. This is why Neighbors For Clean Air is calling for the governor to curb industrial emissions.
The petition requests that the state require large industries that emit toxic pollution to pay for an independent company to come in and audit their pollution control systems when they apply for or renew air pollution permits.
"Modernizing controls is technically possible and economically feasible," said Mary Peveto, co-founder of Neighbors for Clean Air, quoted by the news source. "The companies aren't doing it because they don't have to."
The group hopes that implementing new new pollution controls will reduce the amount of toxins that are emitted into Oregon's air.