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New mobile app maps air quality across the state

The free “OregonAir” app uses smiling and frowning emojis to show what air quality conditions look like in different parts of the state.

Posted: Aug 19, 2018 5:32 PM
Updated: Aug 20, 2018 8:19 AM

EUGENE, Ore. – A new mobile app from The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality allows you to have information about your area’s air quality conditions at your fingertips.

The free “OregonAir” app uses smiling and frowning emojis to show what air quality conditions look like in different parts of the state.

"This is just something people use often today and it really allows them to more easily access it if they're traveling or away from their laptop or computer,” said Katherine Benenati, a spokesperson with The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

The colors on the scale range from green to maroon.

Benenati said yellow emojis can be concerning to people who have asthma.

She said the colors following yellow are the main concern.

"When we start to usually see issues is with orange which is unhealthy for sensitive groups so you're talking about the elderly, children, pregnant woman and people with respiratory illness,” she said. “When you get into red, you're talking about unhealthy for everyone. Purple is very unhealthy and maroon is hazardous."

The system even allows you to check on individual components of the air quality index such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particle pollution which is what is found in wildfire smoke.

The app can be downloaded for free on the app store for both android and iPhone.

Benenati said along with the app, there are additional resources on DEQ's website if you’re looking for more information.

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