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Oregon's Air Is Getting Worse, According To American Lung Association

<p>Driving into Ashland, Oregon, the hills are shrouded in wildfire smoke.</p>

Jes Burns, OPB/EarthFix


Driving into Ashland, Oregon, the hills are shrouded in wildfire smoke.

Oregon’s air is getting worse — according to a new report from the American Lung Association.

Every year the association looks at data from federal air monitors in 900 counties. Those monitors track things like ozone and particle pollution, from factories and wildfires.

Carrie Nyssen with the American Lung Association said the country has seen a lot of progress over the years, but climate change is now proving a problem.

“The bad news is this year’s report really highlights the impact that warming temperatures and climate change is having on the air quality. Specifically in the Pacific Northwest with the increase of wildfires and wildfire smoke exposure that we’re having,” said Nyssen.

Nyssen’s report found the Portland-Vancouver-Salem area is now the 23rd most polluted area in the U.S. for the kind of particles created by wildfire.

Medford, Grants Pass, Eugene-Springfield and Bend-Prineville all ranked worse.

Copyright 2019 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.