Utah’s air quality is a failure

Posted at 5:56 PM, Apr 24, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-24 20:56:21-04

SALT LAKE CITY - The American Lung Association says Utah is a failure when it comes to our air.

Parts of Utah are ranked the sixth worse air in the nation, which contributed to the failing grade from the American Lung Association. Asthma sufferers in Utah aren't surprised by the report.

"I started to get it probably around 20 and it's become progressively worse, especially during the winter, I can't even go out and run," said Kory Christensen.

Salt Lake and Weber Counties rank sixth in the nation for worst air pollution. Cache Valley came in tenth.

"We were seventh last year in the report, we're sixth this year so a little bit worse, one slot higher in terms of pollution," said Glenn Lanham, executive director for the American Lung Association.

The annual state of the air report gave Utah an "F" for both particle pollution like soot and ozone pollution like smog. The ranking comes from data of the state's air quality from 2009 to 2011, so the dirty air from this past winter wasn't taken into consideration.

"I know a lot of folks who see the data today are thinking about this past winter. That data isn't going to be available until the 2014 report," Lanham said.

Although Utah received a failing grade, our air is cleaner today than it was when the report was started 14 years ago, but changing EPA standards are partially responsible for that.

Lantham hopes Utah's failing grade encourages more people to focus on having cleaner habits.