Clean Air Solutions Fair Blog

  • Indoor air quality - Inversions are natural events due to cold temperatures and our surrounding mountains (for a more detailed explanation, take a look at CATALYST’s January 2018 issue). When air becomes stagnant, pollution, which normally gets ventilated away, ends up trapped. This causes us to earn a dangerously high rank in particulate matter (also known as PM2.5) levels in the country. Luckily, newer technology has been helping reduce pollution levels, including cleaner industrial sources and fuels, more efficient (and even electric) vehicles. You… Read More
  • Air quality affects sleep quality - We have a pretty good understanding about air pollution in relation to respiratory illnesses like asthma and COPD, and know there’s a link to cardiovascular disease. But it turns out air quality also affects how well we sleep. In 2004, the EPA awarded the University of Washington a research grant to study how air pollution affects the development of cardiovascular disease in healthy people. The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) also looked for correlations between exposure to air pollution and… Read More
  • Car care = air care - Passing an emissions test has been a requirement for registering a passenger car or truck in Salt Lake County since April 1, 1984. Nonetheless, pollution coming from the tailpipes of cars and trucks makes up roughly half of the air pollution in the Salt Lake Valley. The exhaust from vehicles contains precursor pollutants like NOx and VOCs that lead to the formation of both summertime ozone and wintertime particulate (PM2.5) pollution. Manufacturers install emissions control equipment in gas- and diesel-run… Read More
  • Cold starts - Tips on how to avoid that moment when cars produce the most pollution Did you know that 75% of the pollution coming from your tailpipe occurs in the first 50 seconds your car is running? In fact, 90% of the VOC pollution and 60% of the NOx pollution your car will spew while driving is emitted within the first 50 seconds. Cold starts are a major problem when it comes to emissions from passenger cars and trucks. A cold start… Read More
  • If you’re in the market for a new car… - Read this first We’re fast approaching car buying season. Now is the perfect time to learn how you can consider air quality when deciding on which make and model to buy. There are many factors to consider when buying a car. What size is right for you and your family’s needs? Color, cup holders, leather or fabric interior, and gas mileage all make the list. But you can also consider making a better choice for air quality when purchasing your… Read More
  • The air knows no boundaries - Prevailing winds carry ozone to Utah from upwind states as well as across the Pacific This time of year there is a lot of buzz about ozone air pollution. Ozone plagues areas of Utah every summer when the temperatures rise and the sun shines bright. Ozone also troubles areas of the Uinta Basin in the wintertime—a phenomenon that is not so well understood, since ozone pollution is typically associated with summertime temperatures and sunlight. What is ozone and what does… Read More
  • Good news: Utah’s air quality is improving! - Caveat: It's an ongoing process In 2006, the EPA tightened the health standard for PM2.5 pollution—the fine particulate matter pollution that builds during winter inversions and causes serious health effects—lowering acceptable levels from 65 to 35 micrograms per cubic meter. When a location has air pollution that exceeds that standard, the EPA classifies the area as “nonattainment.” In November 2009, the EPA designated three geographic areas of Utah as nonattainment for PM2.5 pollution: Provo, Salt Lake (including Davis, and parts… Read More
  • Meet the dust doctor - Atmospheric scientist Kevin Perry knows what blows from the Great Salt Lake Last year I wrote about dust that often blows in from the southwest, plaguing areas of the Wasatch Front (see CATALYST, July 2018). I wanted to take a closer look specifically at the dust that comes from the Great Salt Lake. The lake remains near historic low levels, with over 500 square miles of its lakebed exposed. This is due to many factors, including low snowfall years, continued… Read More
  • “Rolling coal”: how to make bad air worse - Rolling coal” is the practice of intentionally blowing a plume of thick black exhaust from a diesel truck. To make  this happen, someone has modified the emissions controls to increase the amount of fuel entering the engine. The sole purpose? To emit large plumes of black exhaust into the air. While it’s not actual coal, the pollutants add injury to the Wasatch Front’s already beleaguered air. And it’s illegal under state and federal air quality laws. When Weber County began… Read More
  • You can legislate the air! - Air quality-related proposals for Utah's 2019 legislative session Tier 3 gasoline has made many headlines in the past year and is touted as one of the most crucial strategies for cleaning up Utah’s air. Tier 3 is EPA’s latest standard, dropping the sulfur content of gasoline from 30 parts per million (ppm) down to 10ppm. Combining Tier 3 gasoline with Tier 3 vehicle emissions standards will reduce NOx and VOC emissions by as much as 80% compared to previous Tier… Read More