Air Stagnation Can Cause Health Problems In Oregonians

Jan 7, 2015

Fog below Mt. Pisgah.
Credit Amanda Butt

Foggy days are common during Oregon winters. When damp air lingers for too long, it can lead to health problems.

Air stagnation occurs when two layers of cold air trap a layer of warm air between them. This warm air can then become saturated with pollutants such as car exhaust and chimney smoke.

Jason Davis from Lane County Health says this poor air quality can result in many symptoms.  

Davis: "… dizziness, headache, difficulty breathing, coughing, potentially more phlegm, and even nausea in some people. But, the people that we actually worry about the most are the very young and the very old."

People suffering from chronic respiratory problems should take caution. Davis also says those who exercise outside should choose a lighter routine. He suggests staying inside as much as possible and drinking plenty of water to keep airways moist.

Drivers should take caution in foggy conditions. Bright headlights can reflect off the fog and decrease visibility.

To see air quality levels in any part of the state, visit airnow.gov.

The Lane Regional Air Protection Agency cautions against burning wood stoves in Eugene, Springfield and Oakridge until 4:00 p.m. Thursday.