Have you Downloaded the Air Quality App?
SLCgreen is helping the Utah Division of Air Quality to remind residents to download the app, UtahAir. The updated app will now send action alerts and three-day forecasts based on current conditions to help people plan the best times to exercise outdoors or drive. The app, for both Android and iOS users, can be downloaded at air.utah.gov.
During the winter, when high pressure rolls in, pollution builds up.
Pollution is a complex airborne mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets called particulate matter. The particulate matter is classified as fine particles, PM2.5, or coarse particles, PM10. These tiny particles can obscure our view of the mountains and buildings on bad days.
PM2.5 particles are so small and light, they stay in the air longer than larger heavier particles. This increases the chances of humans and animals inhaling them into their bodies. Particles that are smaller than PM2.5 are thirty times smaller than a human hair and are able to bypass the filtering system in our nose and throat into the lungs.
Health effects of PM2.5
Eye, nose, throat, and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath are a few of the short-term health effects of pollution build-up.
Long-term exposure to fine particulate matter, like PM2.5, is associated with increased rates of chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function and increased mortality from lung cancer and heart disease.
Where does PM2.5 come from?
Fine particles can come from various sources. They include power plants, motor vehicles, airplanes, residential wood burning, forest fires, agricultural burning, volcanic eruptions, and dust storms.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is an index for reporting daily air quality. It tells us how clean or polluted our air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for us.
The Division of Air Quality operates monitors at several locations across the Wasatch Front, and pollution concentrations can vary depending on where exactly you’re located.
With inversion season upon us, it is important to stay in the know to plan for our bad air days. Check out Utah’s DEQ blog for some helpful tips on limiting your emissions this year.
Do you have your own plan for red air days? Consider Creating an Emergency Air Quality Implementation Plan.
And check out what Salt Lake City is doing to improve air quality.
Let’s stay informed and work together to improve our air!