Air Quality Information for Parents

Air Quality Update September 22, 3:45 pm

Student health and safety is a top priority. We are monitoring air quality in our area and our building principals and athletic coaches will be advised if local conditions require changes in recess, physical education or sports practice/games for students.  Children with conditions such as asthma, respiratory infection, or lung/heart disease are at greater risk. If your child has sensitivity to air pollution and you haven’t yet done so, please contact your school office. The Oregon Health Authority has created a fact sheet with guidelines for schools available HERE.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is the EPA’s scale for rating air quality. It is a color coded tool that categorizes air quality. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) maintains air quality ratings that are updated hourly and can be accessed online at http://www.deq.state.or.us/aqi. In addition, the AirNow website offers daily AQI forecasts as well as real-time AQI conditions.

The Oregon School Activities Association recommends all contests or practices be moved inside when air quality is in the “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups” or worse range. OSAA is telling schools to check air quality before activities and suggests that schools can also use the 5-3-1 Visibility Index to make decisions. If objects 5 miles away cannot be seen, air quality is “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups.”

Oregon Health Authority guidelines permit light outdoor activity when air quality is “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups,” but OSAA does not consider sports as light activity. OSAA has prepared a chart of various methods of checking air quality and the required actions.