Utahns to feel the effects as air quality worsens

SANDY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Salt Lake Valley residents are feeling the chill of that cold air trapped on the valley floor. We don't need extremely cold air for inversion to form, cooler air can get trapped on the valley floor and hazy sunshine is the result.

With a very quiet, calm storm track for the long range forecast, we anticipate valley haze and smog will continue to build. A strong inversion is possible the longer we go without a storm in Northern Utah. Inversion becomes really noticeable on "red" air days, but there is a large group of Utahns who are already dealing with the stress of our weather pattern.

"The cold air and the inversion, it makes it harder for me to breathe and it's just dirty air and it's hard ot breathe more," Trey Monsen of Sandy said.

Trey Monsen loves playing basketball, but this time of year, he is really feeling the strain. Struggling to breathe in the winter months is something that's particularly hard to watch for Trey's mother.

"It's hard for me, especially because he plays ball, he is really active, and he can't keep up with the other kids. Right around this time of year, it happens all the time," Misty Monsen, Trey's mother, said.

It's more of a reality for Utah parents than you might think. Every Utah classroom averages two children with breathing problems and asthma impacts one in 11 Utah adults. Dr. Duane Harris practices in Draper at Intermountain Allergy and Asthma and says when temperatures go down, patient visits go up.

"You see more flares, people that need to start taking extra medicine. They use more of the recuse medicine when the inversion is bad," Dr. Duane Harris said. Cold, dry air makes breathing harder, but when you add poor air quality to it, asthma sufferers have to think differently.

"Stay indoors, they take their medicines, they get a flu shot and try to avoid getting sick as much as they can," Dr. Duane Harris of Intermountain Allergy and Asthma said. For more information on air quality and tips to prepare for declining conditions, visit: http://deq.utah.gov/.


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