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What’s floating around in Utah’s dirty air?

PARK CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) – The smog covering the Wasatch Front may be dangerous to your health, but what exactly is making it so toxic? ABC 4 sent Reporter Brian Carlson to find out.
PARK CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) – The smog covering the Wasatch Front may be dangerous to your health, but what exactly is making it so toxic? ABC 4 sent Reporter Brian Carlson to find out.

Step outside and you can see it. Right now the air across the Salt Lake Valley is nasty and filthy. Friday Carlson spoke with Steven Packham, a Toxicologist from the Utah Division of Air Quality, to find out what’s up there?

Packham said we have the everyday pollution from cars and chimneys, etc., but right now the inversion is also causing gases in the air to form new pollution particles.

“As high as 75% of all the pollution that we see is coming from these secondary particulates,” said Steven Packham, Toxicologist, Utah Division of Air Quality.

The inversion won’t let that air escape,

“The thermal inversion is pushing all of that air down, so it’s squeezing it, and it makes it denser,” said Packham.

Packham claims it can be dangerous for your health, especially if you are sensitive to the air.

“You should avoid long periods of time where you’re outside heavily. If you want to go for a 15-20 minute walk that’s not a problem for most people,” said Packham.

So what can you do? Packam said anything that reduces pollution is a good idea.

“Anything that will cut back on the amount of pollution that goes into the air per hour, per day is going to help us during these times,” he said.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @tv_briancarlson
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