Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE) is the largest civic organization of health care professionals in Utah, with over 340 members, primarily physicians, but also other health care professionals, biologists, toxicologists, engineers, air quality specialists and the general public. We are concerned about the health risks present in our environment, based on the overwhelming, convincing evidence in the medical literature demonstrating a wide array of chronic diseases are more common among people who are exposed to more air pollution, particulates especially.
UPHE is dedicated to protecting the health and well-being of the citizens of Utah by promoting science-based education and interventions that result in progressive, measurable improvements to the environment.
Since the group’s formation in March 2007, UPHE has met with former Governor John Huntsman Jr., the Air Quality Board, the Public Service Commission, several local mayors, local business leaders, media, and concerned citizens.
On March 30, 2007, five physicians from UPHE gave a presentation to Governor Huntsman with good evidence showing how many more people have coronary and cerebrovascular events (heart attacks and strokes) when air particulates are high. Some of the best studies on the relationship between air quality and public health have come out of Utah. For example, when a local steel mill closed 15 years ago, there was a landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that hospital admissions for pneumonia and asthma were halved.
We feel that the technology is currently available to make Utah a healthier and cleaner place. We are striving to convince our local business and government leaders that the health of all Utahans should come first.