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News / Clark County News

Air quality advisory issued for Clark County

By Dylan Jefferies, Columbian staff writer
Published: July 27, 2022, 5:52am

Officials issued an air quality advisory Tuesday for Clark County and the Portland metro area due to elevated smog levels. The advisory is expected to remain in place through Saturday night, or until the heat wave scorching the Northwest lifts.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Southwest Clean Air Agency and the Lane Region Air Protection Agency issued the advisories Tuesday morning as high temperatures and low winds are expected to combine with pollution from vehicles, gas-powered engines, and chemicals in paints and aerosols. These air pollutants react with sunlight and heat to produce ozone and haze, according to a news release.

Smog irritates the eyes, nose and lungs, and contributes to breathing problems.

Ozone pollution was expected to reach levels Tuesday afternoon that will be unhealthy for sensitive groups, including children, people 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with heart disease or respiratory conditions, according to the advisory. Health officials recommend sensitive groups limit outdoor activity when pollution levels are high.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality recommends people limit driving, avoid unnecessary engine idling, refuel vehicles during cooler evening hours, postpone mowing the lawn or using leaf blowers, and postpone painting and aerosol spray projects until the advisory lifts.

Pollution levels tend to be highest during afternoons and early evenings. You can check current air quality conditions and advisories on the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s Air Quality Index.