When it’s winter and inversion season we talk a lot about air quality. However, it’s now summer and we’re talking with the Utah Clean Air Partnership, UCAIR. There is a lot to learn about air quality and the ozone season.
As summer begins, so does the 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—throat irritation, worsening asthma, and other respiratory issues. Summer ozone pollution is a gas and winter inversion pollution is made up of particulates, but like winter, small things we do every day in the summer will make a big impact on reducing ground-level ozone to improve our air quality.
UCAIR shared some ideas on how people can reduce their emissions this summer. Small and easy changes, really do make a difference. Things like:
- Fueling your vehicle or mowing the lawn in the evenings rather than in the mornings keeps VOCs out of the air during the heat of the day, meaning fewer ozone particles forming.
- Driving less or using electric tools limits the number of pollutants that can react in the atmosphere.
- Check your tire pressure, keeping tires properly inflated decreases the amount of fuel used, as well as emissions.
- All the things we do in the winter—not idling, skipping a trip or walking or biking— also help our air in the summertime.
With more of us teleworking, UCAIR sent out a survey to 7,500 working people throughout the state and found that:
- 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.
- 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.
- 93% maintained or increased productivity working from home
- 92% reduced/no commute
- 85% saved money
- 72% increased time with loved ones
- More than 50% cited limited connection with co-workers and a decreased sense of team.
- 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.
If you want to learn more go to the UCAIR website where you’ll find videos and other ideas to help improve our air during the summer.
You can also download the free UtahAir app to be aware of current air quality levels where you live.