Air Quality Guidelines

October 9, 2017

In Oregon, changes are likely on the way for when high school student-athletes can practice based on air safety. The wildfires over the summer triggered updates on guidelines from the Oregon School Activities Association.

According to an article from The Bulletin, practices were previously canceled or moved inside when the air quality reached the red level. The update calls for that recommendation to occur at orange level, which is considered “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” Within the orange level, visibility is between three to five miles, with an air-quality index of 100 to 150.

“We ratcheted back down the recommendation and guidelines after talking with Oregon Healthy Authority and the Department of Environmental Quality,” Peter Weber, the association’s executive director told The Bulletin.

Looking ahead, the association may introduce guidelines that are similar to the policy for the heat index. With this in place, schools would have a maximum number of hours that students could practice within specific ranges. The challenge with implementing this policy is that schools don’t have equal access to air monitors that provide the air-quality index.


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