PORTLAND, Ore. – University of Washington researchers tested surface and air samples of Portland’s buses and trains for drugs.
Of the 26 surface samples taken, 13 tested positive for fentanyl, all found meth, and 6 showed cocaine.
Of the 16 air samples taken, 6 found fentanyl, all, again, had meth, and 7 showed cocaine.
However, Oregon Poison Control Center Medical Director Dr. Rob Hendrickson says the amounts were so low, riders remain safe, “We have a wealth of experience…based on this study, the exposures to the quantity of drugs…do not pose a risk to drug toxicity.”
In response to the testing, Trimet is calling for a crackdown on public drug use.
Here’s more from Trimet:
TriMet values the health and well-being of riders and employees, and that’s why we have been working to keep the rampant use of illicit drugs in our community off our buses and trains. In the past two years, our general manager and other leadership have testified before Oregon lawmakers, city councilors and county commissioners asking state and regional leaders to address drugs and crime before they extend onto our transit system.
- Significantly increased security personnel for more on-board presence,
- Updated the TriMet Code to address illicit drugs however we can,
- Updated standard procedures for when someone is seen smoking drugs on board,
- And now we’ve taken part in a first-of-its kind study of fentanyl and methamphetamine in the air and on surfaces of transit vehicles.
TriMet Air Samples – 16 Total
|DRUG TYPE||OPERATOR SIDE OF CAB DOOR||PASSENGER SIDE OF CAB DOOR|
|Fentanyl||3 positive samples||3 positive samples|
|0.005-0.077 μg/m3||0.005-0.14 μg/m3|
|Meth||8 positive samples||8 positive samples|
|0.011-0.024 μg/m3||0.011-0.039 μg/m3|
|Cocaine||1 positive sample|
TriMet Surface Samples – 26 Total
|DRUG TYPE||PASSENGER SIDE OF CAB DOOR||MID TRAIN CAR||REAR OF TRAIN||FRONT SEATBACK|
|Fentanyl||3 positive samples||2 positive sample||7 positive samples||1 positive sample|
|0.015, 0.13 ng/cm2||0.014 ng/cm2||0.022-0.17 ng/cm2||0.117 ng/cm2|
|Meth||8 positive samples||8 positive samples||9 positive samples||1 positive sample|
|0.035-0.93 ng/cm2||0.081-1.32 ng/cm2||0.020-2.23 ng/cm2||0.79 ng/cm2|
|Cocaine*||2 positive samples||2 positive samples||2 positive samples||N/A|
|0.018-0.024 ng/cm2||0.011-0.02 ng/cm2||0.011-0.88 ng/cm2||N/A|
** Researchers collected a surface sample from a seatback in the front section (elevated section near the door to the operator cab) of a single LRV. That single sample tested positive for traces of both fentanyl and meth.