Dr. Moench’s “State of the Air” on Fox13
In their “State of the Air” report, the American Lung Association gave most of Utah failing grades for air pollutants.
Once again Salt Lake City, Provo, and Orem ranked in the top ten worst cities in the country, this time for ozone, and 20th worst for the 24 hour PM2.5 standard. Fox 13 asked UPHE to weigh in on the annual report.
Dr. Moench highlighted threats from rising ozone levels, increased dust pollution from the shrinking of the Great Salt Lake, and wildfires. The EPA recently rejected Utah’s request to waive the national ozone standards. The state, and big industry’s attempt to dodge responsibility for ozone reduction demonstrates their ambivalence towards the severity of ozone pollution and its effect on human health and the climate. UPHE has been advocating for air purifiers, especially in schools, for years. This is one of the best ways to ensure you’re breathing clean air throughout the day. It’s vital that children, who spend somewhere around 900 hours a year in school, have access to clean air. Air pollution has been shown to affect test scores and behavior as well as physical health. Until our lawmakers and local industries are forced to act on air quality, we have to do the best we can on an individual level.
Dr. Moench’s advice for residents? Engage in public policy, use air purifiers and do your part to reduce your own pollution contribution.
In short, the story is–less winter inversion pollution (because of less snow and less cold temperatures), but higher ozone, more dust, and more wildfire smoke. All of those trends are climate crisis related. Overall we’re headed in the wrong direction. The last thing we need is to exacerbate these issues by bringing in a massive new source of pollution: the dirty energy inland port.