Study Shows Tear Gas Concentrations on Portland’s Streets Far Exceeded Federal Limits

Portland has been sued for its use of the toxic chemicals against protesters in 2020.

IMG_25281 Tear gas on May 31, 2020. (Wesley Lapointe)

Portland police blanketed downtown in tear gas at concentrations more than 50 times what federal regulators consider “immediately dangerous,” The Guardian reported yesterday.

The first-of-its-kind analysis was performed by Forensic Architecture, a company that investigates human rights abuses. At one location, it concluded that concentrations were 2,000 times the federal limit on the day researchers modeled.

That was June 2, 2020, known as “Teargas Tuesday” for widespread police use of the toxic gas. Portlanders had taken to the streets that day to protest George Floyd’s murder.

WW reported that summer that police deployed gas in such high concentrations it was seeping into nearby neighborhoods, sickening Portlanders in their homes.

Later that summer, a federal judge found the city of Portland in contempt for failing to limit its use of tear gas. Last year, the city came to a $250,000 settlement after protesters sued it for its “indiscriminate use” of the toxic chemicals.

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