PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – An air quality advisory is in effect Tuesday for the Portland and Vancouver metro areas and the Willamette Valley. 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued the advisory due to elevated levels of ozone pollution, often called smog. 

The DEQ said ozone pollution could reach levels Tuesday afternoon that could be unhealthy for some people, including children, people over 65, pregnant women and people with heart disease or respiratory conditions. 

Health officials recommend people in these groups or other sensitive groups limit their outdoor activity when pollution levels are high. 

The DEQ expects the air quality advisory to last until Saturday night. 

Between now and then, people in the affected areas should limit activities that cause pollution during the heatwave. This includes driving less by using public transit or carpooling, avoiding unnecessary engine idling, postponing mowing the lawn or using leaf blowers and postponing plans to paint and use aerosol sprays. 

Officials say refueling vehicles during cooler evening hours rather than the hottest part of the day can also make a difference. 

Smog can irritate the eyes, nose and lungs and contributes to breathing problems. Anyone who experiences these symptoms worsening should contact a healthcare provider. 

The DEQ said ozone forms when hot temperatures and low winds combine with pollution from cars, gas-powered engines and chemicals in paints and aerosols. These pollutants then react with sunlight and heat to produce ozone and haze. 

As the day gets warmer and brighter, ozone pollution increases. Pollution levels tend to be highest during afternoons and early evenings. 

The DEQ’s Air Quality Index has up-to-date information on the current air quality conditions.