The Four Horsemen of the Airpocalypse

UPHE’s president and co-founder, Dr. Brian Moench, gave an excellent presentation last week titled “The Four Horsemen of the Airpocalypse: ozone, winter inversion, wildfire smoke and dust.”

Air pollution is the number one environmental cause of human death and contributes to four of the five leading causes of death, heart disease, cancer, lung disease and strokes. On average, human life is reduced 2-3 years along the Wasatch Front because of air pollution exposure. 

Dr. Moench hits on some common misconceptions around air pollution, such as the air quality index, which shows the danger levels of air pollution. There is no safe level of air pollution for anyone with lungs or a heart. 

The presentation also hit on some of the major pollution sources affecting us today. 

Wood smoke is the most toxic type of particulate pollution for you to breathe. It’s even more toxic than cigarettes. Poor forest management and drought policies contribute to increased wildfire smoke. 

The vast majority of dust pollution is coming from dried lake beds. Great Salt Lake has the highest concentration of mercury levels of any lake in the U.S.