Portland, OR—The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Washington Southwest Clean Air Agency issued an air quality advisory today for the Portland and Vancouver metro area due to elevated levels of ozone pollution, or smog.
DEQ expects ozone pollution to reach levels this afternoon that could be unhealthy for sensitive groups, including children, elderly people, pregnant women and people with medical conditions. Health officials recommend that sensitive groups limit outdoor activity when pollution levels are high.
The air quality advisory extends through the end of today.
Weather conditions are expected to change overnight and should bring periods of rain and clouds to the area. Lower temperatures for the remainder of the week should improve air quality.
Check current air quality conditions and advisories on DEQ’s website or by downloading the OregonAIR app on a smartphone.
Ozone, commonly called smog, forms when hot temperatures and low winds combine with pollution from cars, gas-powered engines and chemicals in paints and aerosols.
DEQ urges residents to protect their health and limit activities that cause pollution. Recommendations include:
• Limit driving by using public transit, carpooling or other alternative transportation
• Avoid unnecessary engine idling
• Refuel vehicles during cooler evening hours
• Don't use gas-powered lawnmowers or yard equipment
• Don't paint or use aerosol sprays
Smog irritates the eyes, nose and lungs, and contributes to breathing problems. Consult your health care provider if these symptoms worsen.
DEQ and health officials recommend that children, pregnant women, adults over age 65, and people with heart disease, asthma or other respiratory conditions limit outdoor activity.
DEQ’s color-coded Air Quality Index provides current air quality conditions and ranks air quality as follows: Green is good. Yellow is moderate. Orange is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory conditions. Red is unhealthy for everyone. Purple is very unhealthy for all groups. Maroon is hazardous.
• Check current conditions and advisories on DEQ’s Air Quality Index at https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/map
or by downloading the OregonAir on your app on your smartphone.
• Learn more about the Air Quality Index: https://oraqi.deq.state.or.us/home/text/368
• Oregon DEQ: Lauren Wirtis, public affairs specialist – Portland, 503-229-6488, Wirtis.Lauren@deq.state.or.us
• Washington Southwest Clean Air Agency: Brian Fallon, air quality specialist, 360-574-3058 x138, firstname.lastname@example.org