Air quality is dangerous for some across Wasatch Front
SALT LAKE CITY — Air quality, or air pollution, along the Wasatch Front has settled into a moderately unhealthy range for many people across the Wasatch Front.
KSL Meteorologist Grant Weyman says that the poorer air quality will be noticeable.
“We’re at that point in the year when we can get that smog [that] can settle in after a big storm,” Grant says.
He says that the haze shouldn’t affect visibility too much so it won’t affect travel, but all that haze and smog could cause some other issues.
“Yesterday at this time we were seeing a bunch of yellow and orange readings across the exclusive air quality network map, but today there’s a lot more red.”
AirNow.gov says those red dots on the map indicate a reading of the five major air pollutants that are regulated by the Clean Air Act: ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.
The ratings run between ‘clean air’ which has an Air Quality Index of 0, and ‘hazardous air quality’ which has an index of 500.
Today the majority of the Salt Lake Valley is in the ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ area, with ratings between 101 and 150, and ‘Unhealthy’ with readings of 151 and above.
AirNow.gov says that once air quality reaches the ‘Unhealthy’ rating, “Everyone may begin to experience some adverse health effects, and members of the sensitive groups may experience more serious effects.”
When the Air Quality Index falls into the ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ range, AirNow.gov says the general public usually isn’t affected, but those with lung disease or older adults or children can be negatively affected.
Grant Weyman says that the next chance for a storm that can clean the air is this weekend. That system should bring with it more precipitation.
In the meantime, he says we can expect temperatures near 40 with hazy sunshine on Tuesday and clouds moving in tomorrow.
You can see what the air quality is in your neighborhood on the KSL Air Quality Network Map.
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