Friday’s air quality may have looked better, but we’re still not in the clear

Local News

MURRAY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Friday’s air quality may have looked better, but we’re still not in the clear.

Poor air quality. It’s highest during winter months when the cold air is trapped at the lower levels of the atmosphere and just above the surface.

To help protect you from air pollution, Dr. Denitza Blagev said it’s important to reduce the amount of time you spend outside.

But if you can’t escape the outdoors, she said a mask is a short-term fix.

“You can think of the mask as a way of reducing the air pollution exposure, but it doesn’t completely address the problem,” Blagev said.

Because masks don’t completely solve susceptibility to bad air quality, she said a way you can help reduce it is to not idle your car.

“I know it’s cold outside, and lots of people are sort of in and out of short little things but turn the key off and don’t idle,” Blagev said. “That seems like a really small, personal sacrifice for the air quality.”

Because air quality affects everyone – not just those sensitive to sooted air – Blagev said there’s a danger to not protecting yourself.

“People that live in areas of higher air pollution are more likely to die prematurely, more likely to develop heart disease, more likely to develop lung cancer, more likely to develop COPD and asthma,” Blagev said.

Air quality is better Friday than earlier in the week, but Blagev said symptoms such as chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough can all come within a few days of the initial bad air.

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