DEQ expects ozone pollution to reach levels this afternoon that could be unhealthy for sensitive groups, including children, people over 65, pregnant women and people with heart disease or respiratory conditions. Health officials recommend sensitive groups limit outdoor activity when pollution levels are high.
Lane Regional Air Protection Agency, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and Southwest Clean Air Agency issued an air quality advisory Tuesday, July 26, 2022 for the Willamette Valley and the Portland/Vancouver metro areas due to elevated levels of ozone pollution, or smog.
DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until Saturday night.
DEQ urges residents to protect their health and limit activities that cause pollution during the heat wave. Recommendations include:
- Limit driving by using public transit, carpooling or other alternative transportation
- Avoid unnecessary engine idling
- Refuel vehicles during cooler evening hours
- Postpone mowing the lawn or using leaf blowers
- Postpone painting and aerosol spray projects.
Smog irritates the eyes, nose and lungs, and contributes to breathing problems. Consult your health care provider if these symptoms worsen.
Ozone forms when hot temperatures and low winds combine with pollution from cars, gas-powered engines and chemicals in paints and aerosols. These air pollutants react with sunlight and heat to produce ozone and haze.
Ozone pollution increases throughout the day with exposure to sunlight, so pollution levels tend to be highest during afternoons and early evenings. Air quality monitors may show good air quality in the morning, then quickly jump to unhealthy levels later in the day.
Check current air quality conditions and advisories on DEQ’s Air Quality Index or by downloading the free OregonAIR app on a smartphone.