air meterYesterday, outside the ELAW offices, the air was awful.  Particulates  were actually visible!  Not a good sign.  How bad was it?  ELAW Staff Scientist Mark Chernaik decided to find out….

“I took the particulate matter meter that Ipat just returned out onto our back porch and the meter registered a total particulate matter level of 150 ug/m3” he said.

For comparison — total particulate matter levels inside the ELAW office was just 5 ug/m3, and a ‘normal’ reading outside would be in the 5-15ug/m3 range.  In fact,  today’s reading was 12 ug/m3.

ELAW has an air quality monitor that we send to our partners around the world to use in gathering data for challenges to polluting factories and other purposes.  It is fairly unusual for the air quality in Eugene to be so bad that we need to measure it just outside our doors!

Wildfires in the forests just southeast of Eugene and unusual wind patterns were the cause of the high particulate concentrations.