PFAS has issued an air-quality advisory for Salem, Eugene and Portland, as well as Umatilla County.

August 8, 2024, 8:04 PM

Clay Smith, 5 and Millie sat on a paddleboard by Wallace Marine Park in the Willamette River on Saturday.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory for the Willamette Valley and the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area, as well as northern Umatilla County, due to elevated levels of pollution from ozone.

DEQ officials stated that they expect ozone levels to be unhealthy for sensitive individuals until Tuesday night in the valley, the Portland area and northern Umatilla County.

Oregon rates air quality as good, medium, unhealthy for sensitive group, unhealthy, very unhealthy or hazardous.

Children, the elderly, people with respiratory or heart conditions, and pregnant women are all sensitive groups. Officials from the health department recommend that these groups limit their outdoor activities during high pollution levels.

Low winds and high temperatures can cause air pollution by combining them with pollutants from gas engines, paints, aerosols, and cars.

DEQ officials stated that ozone pollution tends to increase throughout the day as a result of sunlight exposure. Pollution levels are therefore highest in the afternoons and evenings. The air quality monitors can show a good reading in the morning and then rapidly jump to unhealthy levels in the afternoon.

On Monday, air monitors in Eugene and south-east Marion County showed levels of pollution that were unhealthy for sensitive individuals.

DEQ urges residents to limit pollution-causing activities during heatwaves.

Included in the recommendations are:

  • Use public transportation, carpooling, or alternative forms of transportation to reduce your driving.

  • Avoid unnecessary engine idling.

  • Refuel vehicles during cooler evening hours.

  • Leave blowers and lawn mowers can be put off.

  • Paint and aerosol spraying projects can be postponed.

DEQ issued the smog alert in conjunction with the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency, Southwest Clean Air Agency, and DEQ.

Tracy Loew is the Statesman Journal’s environment reporter. Send comments, questions and tips: [email protected] or 503-399-6779. Follow her on twitter @Tracy_Loew

This article was originally published on Salem Statesman Journal Air quality advisory for Salem, Eugene and Portland