UPHE Advisory on Recent Air Quality

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For Immediate Release                                                               September 7, 2017


Dr. Brian Moench – Board President, UPHE, 801-243-9089, drmoench@yahoo.com

Denni Cawley –  Executive Director, UPHE, 385-707-3677, dcawleyuphe@gmail.com


UPHE Advisory on Recent Air Quality


Air quality conditions on the Wasatch Front have deteriorated significantly in the last several days.   The pollution in fact may be a worse health hazard than during typical winter inversions because ozone is also elevated which does not typically happen during winter inversions.  The health impact of simultaneously high ozone and high PM2.5 is certainly additive, but it may be synergistic, i.e. have a multiplier effect.


Both PM2.5 and ozone have been shown to cause widespread health consequences, affecting all major organ systems–the heart, blood vessels, lungs, brain and placenta.   Strenuous exercise can increase the inhalation of pollution as much as ten times compared to rest.  The younger the person the more serious the exposure because the biological barriers that exist in the lungs, gastrointestinal tract and the brain are less well developed and therefore less protective.  Grade school and junior high age children are particularly affected by strenuous exercise in these circumstances.


Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE) recommend that if current conditions persist, Wasatch children and adolescents not exercise outdoors or engage in athletic activities until conditions improve, especially in the afternoon when the ozone levels are elevated.


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