Air Pollution

Clean and safe air is important for everyone. Air pollution is measured by the amount of chemicals or particles in the air that can harm humans, animals, and plants. These pollutants take many forms - pollen, wildfire smoke, car exhaust, and smog.

Washington County sits in a valley-shaped bowl or basin. When air pollution enters the valley it sinks and can linger for days.

Most air pollution comes from everyday activities. More than 90% of air pollution is generated from activities like driving, mowing the lawn, or starting a barbeque. Less than 10% is created from industry. Cars and trucks are the number one source of air pollution in Oregon.

While many associate bad air quality with summer wildfire season, in Washington County, air pollution can even be bad in the winter. During the fall and winter, we often see a rise in air pollution from wood burning stoves. Washington County offers a Woodstove Exchange Program to help community members replace old wood burning stoves.

When air quality is bad, it’s important to stay informed to protect your health.