Salt Lake business' tool measures dirty air

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – A Utah company is using a special tool to show customers how nasty the air quality is during the inversion.

Mike Thayne, owner of Smith Crown, showed off his particle meter to ABC 4. Smith Crown sells air purifiers, a hot commodity during bad air days.

“We've been selling a lot of them lately people that have smaller children that can't deal with the environment outside,” said Thayne.

Next to the purifier, the meter reads zero particulates per cubic foot.

As for outside, it’s a different story. “Normally on a clear, sunny day it's about 200,000,” said Thayne.

On a “red air” day, like Wednesday, the meter climbed to 12 million. Thayne said he's never seen a number that high. “Never, it usually hovers around 9 million in these bad inversions,” he said.

To put 12 million particulates into perspective, Thayne said Beijing and Mexico City hover around half that. “It's kind of scary, actually if we have the worst air quality in the country, we might have the worst air quality in the world right now,” he said.

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