New air pollution tracking tool unveiled

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - A team of scientists drew a crowd Monday morning at the University of Utah, unveiling new tools that monitor air pollution.

"Today is the launch of the Hestia product. Hestia is an unprecedented look at the emission of carbon dioxide in Salt Lake valley," professor at the University of Utah, John Lin, said.

Scientists at the University of Utah and Arizona State University collaborated on the project and say carbon dioxide monitoring will really help the understanding of pollution levels in Salt Lake.

"To use carbon dioxide as a proxy to get pollution emissions, so there's where the connection to exposure and health and air quality comes in," professor at the University of Utah, John Lin, said.

These new tools will work with other monitoring devices already in place. One of the Hestia machines is even mounted to a UTA trax train. These tools are monitoring emissions from anywhere in the county. Readings from these machines will help scientists pinpoint the who, what, when and where of air pollution. Many know our inversion season speaks for itself, and this team of scientists believe being able to actually see pollution levels, instead of hearing about them, could help spur change in our behavior.

"It's a voluntary act, that sometimes is a reaction to seeing how things really are in your neighborhood and your city," Kevin Gurney, professor at Arizona State University.

Other cities putting these machines to use include Los Angeles and Indianapolis. The scientists ABC 4 spoke to Monday say they believe Salt Lake City could see success and be the pioneer of this type of pollution monitoring.


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