What's In Our Air?

Image from Unsplash

Image from Unsplash

Post By: Molly Hover, Upstream Research Marketing Manager

If you can’t see something, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Our environment has a huge impact on our health and the quality of the air we breath is an important factor. In early 2016, the air toxicity levels in Portland, OR made Oregon senators declare it a public health emergency. This was in response to Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality not revealing data they found of “toxic pollution hotspots” (www.oregonlive.com). Breathing toxic air can cause an increase in many health problems, including the risk of cancer jumping from 1 in a million cases to 1 in 4,800.


To test the air levels in Portland, the Forest Service used the moss growing on trees as biomarkers. In other words, the moss that was collected served as an organic pollution monitor that the Forest Service then used to create a map of high-risk areas from the data.


Instances like this in America can be disheartening for citizens living in areas that have known pollution–or even in areas where the pollution has just not been revealed via data. The good news? Solutions are now coming to the forefront and advocacy groups like Neighbors for Clean Air in Portland, OR are making real change.

To learn more about Neighbors for Clean Air and sign the petition, click here.


All sources linked.


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