NEWS: Air Apparent: Improving Utah’s air quality

Heather Beers
Utah Business
May 3rd, 2018

Towering peaks—frosted in winter white, robed in summer green—provide a stunning backdrop for those who work and live along the Wasatch Front. These same summits, however, contribute to a not-so-pretty aspect of working and living in Utah: poor air quality.

Winter’s murky inversions hover with particulates called PM2.5. Summer’s hazardous ozone simmers with pollutant chemical reactions. With frequent high-pressure weather conditions, emissions from several sources and the majority of the population tucked into mountain valleys, Utahns are exposed to dangerous air quality.

Dr. Scott Williams, pediatrician and executive director of HEAL Utah, a health and environment advocacy group, explains, “We have too many days of the year when we exceed unhealthy thresholds. Those particles on the bad days stay there and can create health problems for those with respiratory or heart conditions. The key measure is how many bad days we have, and we’re still out of attainment with federal requirements.”

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