What you can do for clean air

Did you know that one of Oregon’s biggest air pollution problems is particles too small to see? What you can’t see might actually harm you.

First: take a moment to celebrate the next clear, bright day. Oregon has a lot to be proud of when it comes to cleaning up our air. We have far less smog, soot and smoke than we did 50 years ago.

But unless we keep making progress, we will continue to lose lives and livelihoods to pollution we might not even see—and definitely don’t need. Burning diesel, wood and other fuel creates particles so small that they can bypass our body’s protections and go deep into the lungs and blood stream. Hear more from a health specialist.

The good news: there are better, cleaner solutions to Oregon’s biggest air quality problems:

Diesel: It’s time to retire old dirty heavy-duty diesel engines. Vastly cleaner engines and fuels are out there. Oregon Environmental Council is working to put cleaner engines in place.

  • Wood smoke: Today’s wood burning stoves and home heating alternatives are more efficient and cleaner-burning than old stoves. We are helping find ways to get cleaner heat into Oregon homes.
  • Air toxics: For too long, we’ve ignored toxic air pollution from industry; Oregon is now working on a program to understand how these pollutants harm health and to hold polluters accountable. We are working with partners to make sure the rules truly protect human health.
Oregon Environmental Council works on policies to put health first—but we can’t do it without Oregonians like you. Your voice is important: if you are not already receiving our action alerts, consider signing up today!
Whatever you can do to reduce pollution from transportation and wood burning will make a difference to our state. But there are other things to you can do to protect your own health—and the health of your neighbors—from sources of air pollution that don’t come out of a chimney or tailpipe. Household products can release air pollution that takes a serious toll on our health.
A recent study in Los Angeles showed that consumer and industrial products are contributing to  a different kind of urban air pollution as much—or even more—than gas and diesel. These volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is commonly found in paint, glue, solvents, perfumes and other household products used for cleaning and maintenance. And because indoor air pollution is typically worse than outdoors, these products may be causing pollution where people tend to spend most of their time. Even when paints and solvents are in sealed containers, they may be releasing VOCs into the air. And even long after the smell of fresh paint is gone, exposure to VOCs may continue. So: what can you do?
Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Transportation Solutions Policy Featured Water Conservation Toxics-Free Environments Rural Partnerships Climate Protection Eco-Healthy Homes OCAP News Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Living Green OEC History People Air Quality Emerging Leaders Board Water News Agriculture
Sort by
a graphic of a transportation future

What could we do with a billion dollars?

Now that Congress has passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, more than a billion dollars will be coming to Oregon for transportation. That’s great news and it presents us with a big opportunity to think about how we can spend that money wisely. Some of the money is committed to specific projects already underway. But, we’ll have choices with the rest and we should demand that it be invested in things
November 15, 2021, 11:28 pm
saraw

1

Top Ten Achievements of 2020-2021

Oregon Environmental Council works year-round to protect Oregon’s water, air, land, and communities. This year was a special one. We made Oregon a better place through our participation in state-wide coalitions, tireless bird-dogging of rulemaking processes, deft strategy in the legislative session, and hosting welcoming educational programs. This work is is a reflection of our donors. Take a moment to revel with us in these outstanding
November 8, 2021, 10:01 pm
xanthiawoeconline-org

1

E-Bike Events this Fall with OEC

At OEC, we believe that a high-quality transportation system is one that offers people healthy and safe choices to meet their transportation needs. Electric bicycles and other kinds of small electric mobility devices, like scooters and skateboards, are potentially transformative because they can meet many of the same needs as a car, but with fewer costs, and a lot less
November 8, 2021, 7:31 pm
saraw

1

Removing Barriers to Safe Home Cleaning Products

Many popular and inexpensive home cleaning products contain toxic chemicals. There are alternatives, but they can be expensive or require extra steps. What happens when those barriers are removed? OEC partnered with Hacienda CDC to find out.
October 28, 2021, 6:39 pm
jamie-pang

1

We’ve moved!

After 18 years of being in our downtown office space, we have moved east of the river into the East Bank Lofts! The move is bittersweet as we transition from a loved and familiar space to a new and exciting chapter in OEC history. We made so many beautiful memories in our old office space from strategizing new partnerships and alliances to celebrating our policy victories in
October 11, 2021, 8:03 pm
xanthiawoeconline-org

1

Summer isn’t the only time to worry about woodsmoke

As we roll into fall, many people start cleaning out their wood-burning stoves and fireplaces to start heating their homes, or just to get that cozy ambiance. What many people don’t realize is that, when a lot of people are burning wood in their homes, the cumulative effect on air quality can be similar to a wildfire. OEC has been advocating to reduce harmful air pollution from urban wood fires and to provide healthier options for those that rely on w
October 8, 2021, 10:34 am
jamie-pang

1

ODOT Mega-projects in the Portland area

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has a mega-project wishlist. The top projects on this list are the Abernethy Bridge on I-205, and the Boone Bridge, the Rose Quarter, and the Columbia River Crossing on I-5.  These projects have been waiting for funding for years or even decades. A total price tag for Oregon of at least four billion dollars seems likely, and for that, we’ll receive a few short segments of highways with more la
October 5, 2021, 12:13 pm
saraw

1

Without TFKA expansions, OHA forced to choose 5 chemicals to regulate

There’s thousands of potentially harmful chemicals in products that are marketed to kids. As of now, OHA can regulate just a few of them. We need to change that.  In 2015, OEC’s advocacy lead to the passage of a groundbreaking law, the Toxics Free Kids Act (TFKA), which required manufacturers of children’s products sold i
September 30, 2021, 8:31 pm
jamie-pang

1

Road-trips, Representatives and Adventures in Eastern Oregon

Summer is road-trip time, and recently, OEC staff Karen Lewotsky (Water Policy and Rural Partnerships Director) and Morgan Gratz-Weiser (Legislative Director) headed southeast across Oregon to Crane, with stops along the way in Tumalo and Prineville. Why Crane? The gathering in Crane was organized by leading legislators and partner organizations Verde, Willamette
September 10, 2021, 8:24 pm
klew

1


1 Reply to "What you can do for clean air"

  • Richard Melloy
    February 15, 2020 (11:37 pm)

    None of this information addresses how or what rules, laws or ordinances an individual can use to protect themselves from other individuals that choose not to follow any “suggestions” as it relates to burning wood in high density residential areas. Nor do I find after four years of investigating and reading about this issue that there are any plans to address the wood smoke issue ion a serious way. It is on thing to publish information about what people should do but it is entirely different actually create rules,. Laws, regulations or ordinances that give the people suffering from exposer to wood smoke an equal voice to the people burning the wood…