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How’s the Air Quality at Your Home?

During the winter, when high pressure rolls in, pollution builds up.

Specifically pollution called PM2.5 which are tiny particles that actually obscure our view of the mountains and even of neighboring buildings on bad days.

The Division of Air Quality operates monitors at several locations across the Wasatch Front, but pollution concentrations can vary depending on where exactly you’re located. Contributing factors include:

  • Do you live next to a road?
  • Do you have a neighbor who frequently fires up their meat smoker or burns wood?
  • Is there a nearby restaurant or small business that releases precursor pollutants?
  • On top of all those factors– what is happening with the particular mix of geography and weather at your location?

Air quality science is complex.

But gaining a better understanding of pollution nuances across the valley can help policy makers make better decisions, and can help residents better protect themselves.

That’s why it’s so exciting that a research team at the University of Utah, led by professors Kerry Kelly and Miriah Meyer, is aiming to change the nature of this issue by giving us more information about our air.

Using a unique combination of crowd sourcing and citizen science, the research team is seeking volunteers within Salt Lake City to host air quality sensor at their homes or businesses to help collect data all across the valley.

This network of sensors will give the research team a much more extensive look at how air quality differs across region, based on elevation, time of day, and other variables.

The team will analyze the data with the ultimate goal of creating predictive models and visualizations of where unhealthy zones exist.

sensorpartpic

Air quality sensor.

Interested? By hosting a sensor, you’ll have information about the precise air quality conditions at your home or business, and be able to contribute to this important research.

Visit the www.aqandu.org page to learn more and to request a sensor. The project will be launching soon so make sure you sign up if you are interested!

For more information about local air pollution, visit http://www.ucair.org.

To find out what more you can do to combat dirty air, visit www.slcgreen.com/air-actions

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