Study Reveals Portland Tear Gas Levels Far Above Safe Limits

A study released today by the human rights research group Forensic Architecture says that during a racial justice protest on June 2, 2020, the quantity of tear gas particles at one downtown Portland corner was high enough to cause severe and permanent health effects.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that anything over 2mg per meter cubed of what is usually called “CS gas,” the most common of the three types of tear gas used by the Portland Police Bureau to control crowds, is immediately dangerous to life and health.

Forensic Architecture says that the amount of tear gas at the corner of Southwest 5th Avenue and Yamhill Street that night was 443.9mg per meter cubed. This is more than 220 times the safe limit.

Study Reveals Portland Tear Gas Levels Far Above Safe Limits

An hour later, one block away, the amounts were assessed to be more than 2,200 times the safe limit for a short time.

Forensic Architecture, a group based at the Goldsmiths University of London, did a long-term study that led to these results. The group watched hundreds of videos from the June 2 protests, which activists called “Tear Gas Tuesday,” and then put together three hours of the night when the protests moved around downtown, and the police said the gathering was illegal.

Forensic Architecture found that as police tried to eliminate the about 1,000 protesters on the streets that night, they fired at least 138 chemical weapons over an 18-block area.

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Forensic Architecture’s methodology study says, “The Portland Police Bureau used tear gas against civilian protesters in amounts that very likely far exceeded federally recognized safe levels of airborne CS concentration for human exposure.” “Our method showed that those safe levels were exceeded at every place we tested.”

The Portland Police Department uses three kinds of “riot control agents,” more commonly known as tear gas and can be shot into groups with eight different types of guns. These include a gun that shoots small pieces of plastic that, when they break, release tear gas, and bombs that, when they explode, send three tear gas canisters 20 feet in different directions.

Study Reveals Portland Tear Gas Levels Far Above Safe Limits

Experts on weapons used public records showing what kinds of explosives the bureau keeps on hand and hours of video to figure out what chemical munitions were probably used in each case.

Bob Trafford, an assistant director at Forensic Architecture, said that experts make their figures low on purpose because even the best models will not match reality.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that anything over 2mg per meter cubed of what is usually called “CS gas,” the most common of the three types of tear gas used by the Portland Police Bureau to control crowds, is immediately dangerous to life and health. Forensic Architecture says that the amount of tear gas at the corner of Southwest 5th Avenue and Yamhill Street that night was 443.9mg per meter cubed. This is more than 220 times the safe limit.

The complete story of this news has already been published in the Oregon public broadcasting department.

Louis
Louis Ebert

Louis Ebert is a talented content writer with a passion for creating compelling stories and informative articles. With years of experience in writing, Louis has honed their skills in crafting engaging content that resonates with readers. As a content writer for Focushillsboro.com, Louis explores the many facets of life in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. From delving into the latest trends in local business to highlighting community events and leaders, their writing offers a unique perspective that captures the essence of the area.

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