UTAH'S AIR QUALITY

Smog poses health concerns for Salt Lake City; doctor advises change

Dec 18, 2023, 6:23 PM | Updated: Dec 19, 2023, 1:05 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A fog looming over Salt Lake City caused some confusion through the weekend and into Monday by concealing a bigger problem: pollution.

During certain parts of the day Monday, Salt Lake hit national charts for the worst air quality index in the U.S. and remained in the top 10 throughout. The haze in the air was confirmed by KSL meteorologist Matt Johnson to be a mixture of both fog and smog.

“The fog is just a ton of water — water vapor that’s been trapped in the atmosphere and has now supersaturated the atmosphere,” Johnson said.

Dr. Denitza Blagev, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Intermountain Health, told KSL TV that this inversion is bad for anybody, whether they’re in the “sensitive groups” category or not.

“Even if you’re not one of the people that can walk out and have wheezing or coughing or shortness of breath breathing, that air is still bad for you,” she said.

Blagev said that pollution particles affect more than just the lungs, adding to the risk of stroke, autoimmune diseases, or even heart attack.

“They get into the bloodstream and then they can cascade inflammation, clotting throughout the body,” she said. “There’s no safe level of air pollution.”

Johnson said Utah’s next real chance to push out the inversion with a storm is Saturday, meaning the air quality index is likely to continue to worsen until then. Blagev advised the community to exercise inside, because “we know in general that air quality inside is better than air quality outside.”

Another way to mitigate the problem is driving as little as possible, and if driving is required, idling at a minimum.

“I think one of the key things with that air pollution is to realize when the pollution is bad enough,” Blagev said. “You should really change your behavior.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Utah's Air Quality

Researchers gathered in a Weber State University room for a Air Quality Summit....

Mike Anderson

Air Quality Summit puts focus on Utah air pollution and solutions

Many of the researchers who study Utah's air pollution problems are sharing what they've found while working to find solutions during Thursday's Air Quality Summit.

2 months ago

An electric UTA bus charges in Salt Lake City, Utah. (KSL TV)...

Ken Fall

EXHAUSTED: Electric transit buses in Utah and the hope for a carbon neutral future

Does the UTA plan for all-electric buses make for dramatic air pollution reductions along the Wasatch Front?

4 months ago

green mountains send up smoke to cover the sky...

Mike Anderson

New $850,000 grant to help Utah monitor wildfire smoke and protect students

We've all see it, the time in late summer and early fall when Utah skies become gray with wildfire smoke. Sometimes it's from other states, sometimes it's even from Canada.

4 months ago

Multiple bills in the Utah Legislature aim to target air quality and offer tax breaks for switching...

Lindsay Aerts

Here’s what the Utah Legislature is doing to address air quality

Multiple bills in the Utah Legislature aim to target air quality and offer tax breaks for switching to electric lawn equipment.

4 months ago

Jennifer Love...

Katija Stjepovic

Rebates make clean air upgrades cheaper for Utahns

It's no secret that Utahns are exhausted by our bad air quality but there are ways you can help reduce emissions from your home.

4 months ago

KSL TV investigated how other cities are managing their air quality. Pictured here is maintenance w...

Deanie Wimmer

Exhausted by bad air: Is smog-eating tech something Utah should consider?

What if Salt Lake could address our pollution problem with technology that “eats” the smog? Several U.S. cities and countries are doing just that with surfaces treated with materials that “neutralize” smog. Is it a solution Utah should consider?

4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Smog poses health concerns for Salt Lake City; doctor advises change