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Healthy Tips for Utah's Bad Air

This image shows the sun through the pollution on a Salt Lake City morning.
This image shows the sun through the pollution on a Salt Lake City morning.
April M. Adams

Those of us living in Salt Lake City during this time of year are plagued with breathing dirty air. Because of winter temperatures and pollution in the city, we are all at risk for health issues. Even individuals who are in excellent health are in danger on certain days. Utah needs to take a stand and find a way to clean the air, before more individuals are hospitalized or worse, lose their life, for simply breathing.

Grab Your Gas Masks!
April M. Adams

Over this last weekend, there was a rally at the Utah State Capitol to urge politicians mandate clean air policies. Over 4,000 people attended the rally. Most concerned citizens wore surgical masks or gas masks, not just to make a statement, but for their own health concerns.

So, what is one to do to protect their health during these “bad air days?”

  1. If you can, leave the city! Take a day trip up the canyons, or an afternoon in Park City. If you can get up far enough, you will be out of the inversion.
  2. If you must remain in the city under the blanket of yuck, stay indoors as much as possible. Homes and buildings that are equipped with furnaces and air conditioners have a filtration system that will help keep the indoor air much cleaner than the outside air is.
  3. Avoid outside exercise. Because you automatically breathe deeper when exercising, being outdoors in the inversion has the ability to do more harm than good to your body, in the end.
  4. If you have questions about how bad the air is in Salt Lake City, you can visit the AirNow website, which will show you an air quality forecast. You can also download apps for your mobile device which will also show you the air quality.

Until the government is able to do something about Utah’s poor air, please take every precaution to keep yourself and your family safe.