Oregon's air quality improving; keep cutting down on pollution

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by KGW staff

NWCN.com

Posted on April 24, 2013 at 5:38 PM

PORTLAND – The air we breathe in the Portland area is a lot cleaner than it was a decade ago.

On Wednesday, the American Lung Association released its “State of the Air" report. Overall, Oregon’s air quality is improving but the American Lung Association says there's still a lot of work we need to do.

The report looked at both the soot and the smog levels in the air between 2009 and 2011. Multnomah County got a "B" grade when it came to smog -- well below unhealthy levels.

However, the county did worse when it came to days that had high levels of soot in the air.

“That’s mainly from temperatures inversions that we had in 2011 when we had really warm over cooler air and that trapped the particle pollution like the smoke from our wood stoves,” said Colleen Hermann-Franzen with the American Lung Association.

It's those high soot level days that can be risky for people with breathing disorders such as asthma.

Despite all our improvements, the local chapter of the American Lung Association is still urging people to cut down on pollution by not burning trash, walk or bike as much as possible, and take public transportation.

If you live in Clackamas County, your air is a bit smoggier. It got a “C” grade for smog. On the other hand, Washington County got an “A.”

To find out how your county ranks see a the full report here.

KGW reporter Keely Chalmers contributed to this report.

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