MEDFORD, Ore.- Air quality in Oregon is reaching some of its worst levels all year, with nearly every county under an air quality warning.
A team of researchers developed an app that equates air quality to smoking- today in Medford breathing outside was like smoking nine cigarettes. The app is called "Sh**t! I Smoke".
The app pulls air quality readings based on your location. It then calculates how many cigarettes you would need to smoke to create the same impact on your body.
Dr. James Shames says, "Some of the smaller particles can get into your bloodstream and then they are irritants to your organ system."
Dr. Shames says once fire season ends, short term issues like coughing and increased risks for asthma attacks will go away. But long-term impacts could be possible for your cardiovascular system.
Dr. Shames says, "We have a pretty good sense that a constant irritation to an organ can set you up for disease."
Dr. Shames says a cigarette or two is bad for your body, similar to the risk you take stepping outside in this air quality for a few hours.
But it's up to every person to weigh that health risk for themselves.