This year, resolving to help reduce Utah air pollution might be the best commitment you make for yourself and the environment. In northern Utah, especially along the Wasatch Front, both summer and winter weather bring their own unique set of pollution problems. Bad air can contribute to a variety of health issues, restricting movement and reducing quality of life. Read on for some helpful tips for reducing your contribution to air pollution this year.
Utah Air Pollution Challenges
During the summer, sunlight and heat mix with high, harmful ozone levels that result from vehicular traffic. During the winter, wood fires and vehicle emissions create large quantities of particulates in the air. These particulates often become trapped under a dense layer of air known as an inversion. Inversions can remain in place for days or weeks, until a weather change blows it out. Particulates grow denser in the air during an inversion and the longer the condition lasts, the worse the problem becomes. The effects of these conditions on the human body can be dire.
How Air Pollution Affects the Body
Airborne particulates can cause problems even for normally healthy individuals. For people with existing health issues or other risk factors, however, the problem becomes more serious. Pollution can greatly worsen asthma and other lung diseases. For those with cardiovascular disease (congestive heart failure, for example), chest pain and shortness of breath are common results of inversion and high particulates. In extreme cases, high levels of pollution can even trigger a heart attack in at-risk individuals. Children and the elderly face the greatest risk, but even healthy people may need to limit their outdoor activities during these times.
What You Can Do to Help
During the summer months, simply driving your car less (or not at all) during the day is helpful, as is fueling up your car either during the early morning or late evening. In the wintertime, when more than half the pollution comes from vehicle emissions, consider carpooling or taking public transportation, and work from home whenever you can. Avoid idling your vehicle for more than 10 seconds at a time. Accelerate more slowly and obey the speed limit. But most important, keeping your car in good working order can greatly reduce the amount of dangerous emissions it produces.
In the Sandy and Salt Lake areas, Emission Time is committed to helping residents reduce their personal contribution to Utah’s pollution problems. Visit them for your vehicle emissions testing and on-the-spot vehicle registration renewal, as well as many types of automotive repair services. In 2015, resolve to let Emission Time help you reduce Utah air pollution.