Utah is not only known as a ski destination but for its inversion. If you don’t drive a fuel-efficient or hybrid car, there are ways you can lower your car’s emissions and lower your exposure to air pollution. Inversions happen when warm air traps the cold air, which in turn traps pollution. If outdoor air quality is poor, stay indoors and get an air purifier. Find out about Utah’s air quality.
10 facts about car emissions and Utah’s inversion:
1- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that half of all air pollution is caused by automobiles.
2- Car emissions that contribute to Utah’s inversion include ozone and carbon monoxide.
3- People who are most sensitive to ozone air pollution include asthmatics and those who suffer from Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
4- Ways you can reduce exposure to ozone pollution: If possible, only go outdoors when ozone levels are typically lower in the morning and evening. Unlike the inversion, ozone levels are higher when it’s hot and sunny.
5- Nitrogen and sulfur oxides cause acid rain.
6- Acid rain occurs when acid components enter the atmosphere through precipitation. The pH of acid rain is low and is particularly devastating to forests and lakes.
7- Acidity is not only found in rain but snow, hail, fog and even dust.
8- Want to find out if your rain is acidic? Keep a cup outside above ground to avoid contamination from dirt and use litmus paper to test pH levels. If the substance has a pH of 7 then it is neutral. Typically, unadulterated rain has a pH between 6-5.5 and pH greater than 7 is acidic and less than 7 is basic.
9- Ogden’s worst day for air pollution isn’t in the winter, but July 4th. Fireworks produce lots of air polluting particulate matter. Try to limit the amount of fireworks if possible or go to a parade or show instead.
10- Reduce your vehicle’s emissions by using gasoline additives that keep your carburetor and intake valves clean. In addition, have your vehicle’s air filter changed every 10,000 miles to prevent contaminants from reducing engine efficiency. If your vehicle has poor gas mileage, produces a loud noise when driving or has vibrating gas pedals, it’s time to get a smog test!