(KSTU) — Salt Lake Valley residents experience a dip in air quality every year during winter time. For more sensitive people, the effects are even worse.
Bill McKinley's pulmonary doctor's appointments are detailed, discussing his Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He said he typically has trouble breathing during this part of the year.
Pulmonologist Dr. Denitza Blagev works at Intermountain Healthcare and researches Utah's air. She said even people who aren't especially sensitive to the bad air are affected, though they may not recognize it.
Dr. Blagev explained the Salt Lake Valley is like a bowl, where warm air sits on top of cold air and traps all the pollution generated in the area.
This, in turn, keeps all the particulates in. Particulates from pollution can be hazardous, Dr. Blagev said.
"Your chance of developing lung cancer, of getting pneumonia or developing asthma or COPD is much higher than people living in clean air environments," she said.
Utahns can try to cut down on air pollution by not idling their cars and reducing the number of trips they take in their vehicle. And to further protect their health, they can follow McKinley's example.
"I stay in," McKinley told FOX 13. "I try not to do much activity."
See the full story in the video above.