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It's ozone season. Show UCAIR and take action for better air

Posted at 1:41 PM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 15:41:16-04

When it's winter and inversion season we talk a lot about air quality.

It's now summer and we talked with Thom Carter, Executive Director of Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR), about what we need to know about air quality and ozone season.

Ground-level ozone is created when chemical reactions from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen react with sunlight.

High levels of ground-level ozone in the summertime can have the same effects as poor air in the winter with symptoms like throat irritation, worsening asthma and other respiratory issues.

There are some things we all can do in the summer that will make a big impact on reducing ground-level ozone to improving our air quality.

Things like fueling your vehicle or mowing the lawn in the evenings rather than in the mornings keep VOCs out of the air during the heat of the day, meaning fewer ozone particles forming.

You can also help by driving less or using electric tools. Be sure to check your tire pressure, because keeping tires properly inflated decreases the amount of fuel used, as well as emissions.

All the things we do in the winter help as well, like skipping a trip or walking or biking.

With more of us teleworking, UCAIR partnered with the Salt Lake Chamber, EDC Utah, The State, WFRC and others and recently sent out a survey on teleworking participation during the pandemic. 7,500 working people responded to the survey with some interesting findings:

97% are doing some sort of teleworking during the pandemic.
More than 55% of organizations surveyed were teleworking exclusively during the height of the pandemic.

Attitude
66% of employees had a positive attitude toward teleworking prior to the pandemic.
86% have a positive attitude about teleworking today—a 20% increase in just months.

Benefits experienced
93% maintained or increased productivity working from home
92% reduced/no commute
85% saved money
72% increased time with loved ones

Biggest concern
More than 50% cited limited connection with co-workers and a decreased sense of team.
Willingness to telework during inversions
94% of executives said they are 'likely' to continue to allow their employees to telework moving forward specifically during poor air quality days.
93% of employees say they want to continue teleworking specifically on poor air quality days.

To find out more about things we can all do visit: UCAIR.org. You can also download the free UtahAir app to be aware of current air quality levels where you live.