‘Tis the season for inversions along the Wasatch Front, with at least one bad air day that made the news for giving Salt Lake City the worst air quality in the nation. As the dirty air has set in, doctor’s offices and hospitals have seen a spike in patients experiencing related health impacts.
Inversions are caused by a build up of particulate matter (PM) in the air and impact the health of all residents – young and old, sick and healthy. But where does bad air come from? Unfortunately, mostly from our own individual behaviors.
The single largest source of emissions come from the vehicles we drive. Other major sources include other fuel-based motorized machines (like snowblowers) and the heating units in our homes (particularly wood burning stoves and fireplaces, but also other heating mechanisms).
The good news is that we can all be part of the solution to reduce air pollution and to protect the health of ourselves and our families during times of inversion.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
1. Reduce the emissions you and your family create:
- Reduce cold starts in your engine
- Do not idle to warm up your car – turn it on and go!
- Replace woodburning fireplaces and stoves
- Swap out fuel-based snowblowers for zero-emission, battery-operated models
- Ride public transportation
- Stay tuned for actions from Action Utah to support good clean air legislation at the 2020 State Legislative Session!
2. Reduce the impact poor air quality has on your health:
- Stay indoors on bad air days
- Exercise indoors
- Use electronic air filters in your furnaces
- Lower your home temperatures to minimize using your furnace
- Don’t use woodburning stoves