Contact: Julie Sullivan-Springhetti, Multnomah County Communications, 503-502-2741
Cleaner Air Oregon for Healthy Kids: A Rally for the Hummingbirds on July 26
“Children are like hummingbirds, they breathe quickly and, for their size, end up with more pollution in their lungs than adults,’’ Dr. Paul Lewis, Tri-County Health Officer and pediatrician.
Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson will gather Wednesday, July 26, with children, Lincoln High School students, business leaders, Neighbors for Clean Air, Health Department staff and others at a “Cleaner Air Oregon for Healthy Kids: A Rally for the Hummingbirds.”
When: Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Remarks begin at 12:30 p.m.Where: Plaza outside the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, 808 N.E. Multnomah Street in Portland.
Who: Children, parents, Chair Kafoury, Commissioner Vega Pederson, Alan Sprott, vice president of Vigor, Neighbors for Clean Air.
Why: A recent moss study by the U.S. Forest Service found high levels of air toxics in Multnomah County even if people can’t always see or smell them. Under Gov. Kate Brown, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Oregon Health Authority are updating the state’s air toxic rules as California and Washington have done. This effort called “Cleaner Air Oregon’’ has been seeking input from people across the state. People at the Rally for the Hummingbirds will deliver their messages directly to DEQ.
Multnomah County and community leaders are calling for greater protection of all Oregonians -- but especially children. Oregonians, especially living in the Portland metro area, have higher rates of asthma than people nationally. Multnomah County works closely with people who suffer the most from air pollution including people with disabilities, those with health conditions and working families who cannot afford to move away.
“Children have decades of life ahead,’’ Dr. Lewis said. “All years when the burden of air toxics can lead to disease.”