Breathing air pollution affects everyone's health! And, everyone is impacted by air pollution differently. It's important to pay attention to how your body responds to exposure during pollution.
During an inversion the pollutant of concern is PM2.5, which is small enough to get deep into the lungs and lead to health issues.
Signs that your body is reacting to pollution include: coughing, sneezing, and excess mucus production. Children, the elderly and those with chronic lung or heart conditions (asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart disease) are especially vulnerable.
A Utah Recess Guidance was created so parents would know when it's safe or unsafe for their children to go out during recess. It was created in partnership with the Utah Department of Health, the Department of Environmental Quality, school staff, parents, researchers and other community partners.
It recommends that on days when the PM2.5 is:
• Below 35.4 μg/m3 - All students stay outdoors for recess. This is Green and Yellow levels.
• Between 35.5 μg/m3 and 55.4 μg/m3 - Students with respiratory symptoms and 'sensitive' students stay indoors for recess. Sensitive students may include those with asthma, cystic fibrosis, chronic lung disease, congenital heart disease, compromised immune systems, or other respiratory problems. This is orange levels.
• Above 55.5 μg/m3 - All students stay indoors for recess. This is red and purple levels.
Parents are also encouraged to check air quality before sending their kids outdoors. You can visit health.utah.gov/asthma to access all the tools and resources you need to understand about air quality.
As you know pollution increases during an inversion. Do your part to help keep our air clean:
• Reduce your driving
• Try public transit
• Turn off your engine, don`t idle
• Don`t burn wood
For more information please visit: UCAIR.org.