Utahns seek cleaner air as inversion persists

Jan 17, 2022, 7:33 PM | Updated: 7:50 pm

SALT LAKE COUNTYAs the temperature inversion intensifies and traps more pollution in our neighborhoods, Utahns look for ways to escape to breathe clean air. Many are also looking for ways they can reduce their pollution.

Right now, none of the pollution generated along the Wasatch Front is leaving the Wasatch Front, and it could be here for a few more days.

People we spoke with at a high elevation trailhead, where the air is not as bad, were looking for short-term relief from high levels of particulate pollution. But they say long-term solutions are just as important.

“It’s weird being able to see the air you breathe,” Abagael Balavitch said.

Balavitch moved to Utah a few years ago from Michigan, and tries to stay out of the bad air as much as she can.

“At least up here in this area, which is nice, it’s nice to kind of get out of it,” she said, looking at the pollution in the valley below.

But, she’s a dog hiker, and gets outside every day, regardless of the pollution.

“Definitely. It’s not that fun breathing it,” she said. “I’ve definitely noticed it does kind of affect my lungs a little bit. So, I definitely prefer to stay inside when it’s really bad.”

Warm air aloft has again trapped cold air and pollution in Utah’s low elevation neighborhoods.

It will take a storm to clear the smog.

“It’s making me not want to live here,” Dina Drits-Esser, who moved here 15 years ago, said.

Long-lasting inversions like this one make her rethink that decision.

“When it’s this bad, I often think that I want to go back to the Midwest,” she said. “But, I have a job, my husband and I have a family here, and we have a really nice community.”

So, it’s not likely her family would really leave, but Drits-Esser said it’s not good for their kids who are in school lower in the valley.

When the air is this bad in the valley, she said, they take extra precautions at home.

“We have our windows closed all the time, and run our indoor air filters all the time,” she explained. “It just makes me feel like this is not a sustainable way to live.”

Others are encouraged that Utah communities and the state are increasingly more willing to take action.

“I’m happy to see that, politically, we are recognizing it as an issue as something we have to deal with,” Alex Khajavi said. “But, there’s absolutely much more we could be doing, and there’s much more we should be doing.”

The people we spoke with said they take action to reduce their emissions by consolidating trips, driving less, taking the ski bus, and choosing electric vehicles.
KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(KSL TV)...
Madison Swenson, KSL TV

Sandy City holding ‘Name a Snowplow’ contest

Sandy City officials are asking for the public's help in naming their snowplows.
15 hours ago
Firefighters are still monitoring the Flatline Fire that broke out Sunday afternoon as concerns ab...
Karah Backin, KSL TV

The ‘Flatline Fire’ hints at a concerning wildfire season for Utah

Firefighters are still monitoring the Flatline Fire that broke out Sunday afternoon as concerns about the upcoming wildfire season grow.
15 hours ago
(Salt Lake County Search and Rescue)...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV

Hiker stranded by rising river rescued safely in Little Cottonwood Canyon

A stranded hiker was rescued safely Sunday evening in the third search and rescue mission this weekend. 
15 hours ago
Casey Scott, KSL TV

Spring Up with Casey: A beautiful morning from Chopper 5

It's time to Spring Up with Casey Scott, who started off our Monday with beauty shots from Chopper 5 as the sun gets ready to rise.
15 hours ago
FILE: This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Pre...
Josh Ellis, KSL TV

Salt Lake Co. Health Dept. announces two ‘probable’ monkeypox cases

According to the Salt Lake County Health Department, two Salt Lake County adults from the same household are considered probable monkeypox cases based on preliminary testing.
15 hours ago
Crews cleaning up after the shed and barn fire in Provo. (Credit: Provo Fire & Rescue)...
Michael Houck, KSL TV

One horse and kitten killed in Provo barn fire

Fire crews responded to a barn and shed fire in southwest Provo Saturday evening with a kitten and a horse as the sole victims.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Make Money Online Easily...

4 Ways that You Can Make Money Online Easily in Just a Few Clicks

Here are 4 ways that you can make money online easily in no time at all! Some are as simple as just a few clicks away.
tips to winterize your home...
Bonneville Digital SLC

Tips to Winterize Your Home | The Top 5 Ways You Can Prepare for the Cold Utah Winter Ahead

Before the snow hits, here are the top 5 tips to winterize your home to prepare for the cold Utah winter this year.
Utahns seek cleaner air as inversion persists