Utah prioritizes biggest polluters, not public health, Dr. Robert Weir

Photo by E P Kosmicki

Robert Weir, double-board certified in neurology psychiatry, and an active member of UPHE, had an excellent op-ed published in the Salt Lake Tribune. The op-ed discusses the growing ozone problem in northern Utah and criticizes the inadequate coverage and messaging around the seriousness of the issue. 

The health consequences of ozone pollution are extensive. Ozone’s harm extends to all major organ systems, causing heart attacks, strokes, cancer, poor pregnancy outcomes, Type 2 diabetes, dementia, and premature death.

Weir touches on of UPHE’s most consistent messages, “Medical research shows that there is no safe level of air pollution exposure whether it’s PM2.5, ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide or lead (all the air pollutants for which the EPA sets a standard). Every relevant medical society invariably calls for stricter standards. However, the EPA eventually succumbs to industry and political pressure and keeps those standards weaker, in some cases much weaker than the research demands.” 

Dr. Weir concludes his op-ed beautifully, writing, “In summary, Utahns should be outraged that not only is our state government not working to protect our public health in this matter, it is actively working to the benefit of our major polluters at the cost of public health. Ozone is not just toxic to the lungs but is deleterious to the whole body. There is no safe level of ozone, so 70 ppb should not be our goal. And finally, we should be placing the needs and health of our citizens before the greedy desires of those who benefit from exploitation of the environment and public health for personal gain.”

Find the full op-ed here.