Rogue Valley’s air quality among the worst in the nation

MEDFORD, Ore. – A new ranking puts Rogue Valley’s air quality amongst the worst in the nation. The primary reason is wildfire smoke.

The American Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report said the Rogue Valley has some of the worse air quality in the nation. And it’s only getting worse.

Jackson Co. comes in 7th in the nation for worst particle pollution. Grants Pass and Medford come in 5th for most particle-polluted cities. That’s just one spot above Los Angeles.

“Definitely wildfires are a huge issue for the Pacific Northwest in this report. And is resulting in many counties getting failing grades,” said Carrie Nyssen, Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association.

Much of these particles come from wildfire smoke that can get trapped in the valley. These particles can be small enough to breathe in, which can go into the bloodstream through the lungs. It can trigger asthmatic people and with enough exposure, it can cause lung cancer.

The American Lung Association said to always check the air quality in your area before doing any outside activities. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable when the air quality is bad.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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