Weather Conditions And Fine Particulate Matter Make Unhealthy Air

Jan 18, 2013

Several areas in the Pacific Northwest are experiencing unhealthy air. Winter weather conditions have trapped air pollution near the ground.

Unhealthy air quality conditions have led to temporary bans on wood-burning stoves and outdoor fires.
Credit Violetbonmua / Wikimedia Commons

Much of the pollution contains fine particles from burning wood. Those fine particles can cause lung and heart damage. The conditions have led to temporary bans on woodburning stoves and outdoor fires.

Michael Toole with Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality says people can protect themselves from the pollution by staying indoors.

"We do recommend that anyone included in the sensitive group, whether they be children, elderly or those with already compromised respiratory systems or cardiac issues, to limit their exposure outside, especially during the morning or evening hours when pollution levels can be higher," Toole says.

Air pollution levels have reached unhealthy levels in Idaho’s Pocatello and Treasure Valley regions, Washington state’s Stevens, Pierce and Snohomish counties, and in Oregon’s Oakridge, Klamath Falls and Lakeview areas.

Copyright 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting