PORTLAND, Ore. – The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has released maps predicting the spread of cancer-linked air toxins over the next few years.
DEQ based their findings on measurements taken in the metro area between 2009 and 2011.
You can use these maps to check how the air quality in your neighborhood will look over the next few years.
The number of dots you see represent testing areas – a higher number of dots does not mean more toxins in the area.
Moving your mouse over dots on the map reveals the amount of each measured toxin you will expect to find in that area. The data is based on estimated levels of pollution, not actual measured levels in every case.
Sarah Armitage, an air quality planner with DEQ said people should pay attention to these findings, but no one is in immediate danger.
“Air toxins, since we're talking about cancer risks, it's more of a probability issue. It's how long you're exposed to it,” Armitage said.
Armitage said the emissions come from a variety of sources.
“In Portland, over the last 30 years, our levels of air pollution have gone down significantly,” she said. “That’s looking mainly at things like ozone or smog and carbon monoxide. But along with those are toxic air pollutants.”
Armitage added that Portland’s air toxin levels are similar to cities of similar size.
Maps used with permission from the Oregon DEQ