PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -The Portland area has had the worst air quality in the world.

Health officials said it’s hazardous to everyone’s health, especially certain age groups and people with lung or heart issues.

Multnomah County said someone who spent Saturday outside in Portland would have inhaled the equivalent of 15 cigarettes.

Officials said if you can smell smoke, you’re inhaling fine particles deep into your lungs, and everyone should stay inside.

"It gets in your eyes a lot, burns, smells kind of like camping," Sandra Shinseki, Oregon City gas attendant, said.

"Everyone can have health effects in this smoke and it's especially dangerous for our most vulnerable populations," said Clackamas County Public Health Officer Dr. Sarah Present.

Portland region tops the charts for worst air quality in the world, doctors say stay inside

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Dr. Present said the most at-risk people are those with underlying lung or heart disease, those 65 and older, pregnant women and children.

The fine smoke particles can worsen asthma or COPD, increase heart attacks or irregular heart rhythms or even lead to death.

Dennis Dowrey is the Oregon Field Safety Manager for Hermanson Company. They're halting work outside on job sites outside in Portland and Eugene.

"Some of the projects, they can be out there eight to ten hours a day plus in that atmosphere breathing that in and if you have any respiratory issues prior to that, it can make it worse and if you don't have any you can develop some," Dowrey said.

Shinseki is still out in the thick of it.

"Even after just ya know one day you can see the film on the windows here and stuff so that’s going in your lungs."

She said she’s hanging in there and that she’s just looking forward to some rain.

More: Coverage of Oregon wildfires

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