Last week, air quality sensors in Beijing were reporting pollution above index. Earlier this week Seattle had days of fog that was relieved by a return to their natural weather: rain. Now air quality in Utah is becoming a concern.
An inversion had established itself over part of the state that includes Salt Lake City and Provo. Salt Lake had a temperature of 18 Wednesday while Park City, above the inversion, was at 43. That inversion is keeping the cold air trapped at the surface, and with it, the pollution.
The Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment submitted a petition Wednesday to state leaders calling for them to take action to reduce the amount of atmospheric pollutants until the inversion has abated.
Wednesday the recorded air pollution in Salt Lake City was 130 micrograms per cubic meter. That's about 3 times the acceptable limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency or a bad day in Los Angeles.
Regulators are working to limit the sales of aerosols and encourage people to reduce driving, but the full results won't be seen for a few years.
The National Weather Service office in Salt Lake, which forecasts for the entire state, is tracking a system moving through the state that will hopefully break the inversion and mix some of the pollutants out of the valleys being affected.