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Sunshine, heat and cars are the recipe for ozone pollution

Jun 4, 2021, 7:01 AM | Updated: 2:28 pm
I-15 Davis County ozone pollution...
FILE -- 03.18.99 - Traffic backs up on Northbound I-15 in the Bountiful area in Davis County. PHOTO BY GARY MCKELLAR

SALT LAKE CITY — Hot weather and sunshine along the Wasatch Front have the Utah Division of Air Quality forecasting higher levels of ozone pollution. Orange conditions, which are unhealthy for sensitive groups, are predicted for Salt Lake and Utah counties Friday. 

Bo Call of DAQ said ozone is not a pollutant that comes from vehicles. Rather, it’s created by a chemical reaction when nitrogen oxides and other vehicle emissions react with sunlight. 

Call told KSL NewsRadio newer cars pose less of a problem than older vehicles. “A brand-new car probably emits a whole lot less than the ’94 Buick or some other car of that vintage,” he said.

Lawnmowers and other gasoline-powered equipment also emit pollutants that can turn into ozone. Unlike particulate-pollution levels during winter inversions, Call said levels can change during the day.

“If you’re going to mow the grass, then mow earlier or mow later. Ozone is kind of a cyclical event,” he said.

A new state law requires “surge teleworking”: Employees who are prepared to work from home stay away from the office during high air-pollution periods.

State workers who can have been asked to work from home for a second day this week because of the ozone-pollution forecast.


New air pollution law in Utah will keep many state employees home

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Sunshine, heat and cars are the recipe for ozone pollution