Op-ed: Building energy efficiency to improve air quality

May 21, 2017 (Salt Lake Tribune)

In the Utah Foundation’s 2016 Utah Priorities Project survey, Utah voters statewide ranked air quality as the second most important issue in 2016, and voters along the Wasatch Front ranked air quality as the number one most important issue.
This won’t be news to anyone. In fact, the American Lung Association’s State of the Air 2017 report ranks the Salt Lake City-Provo-Orem area as the seventh worst in the U.S. for shorter-term spikes in particle pollution, a regular occurrence during wintertime temperature inversions. Logan was ranked eighth.
While our community is making positive strides to improve air quality, Intermountain Healthcare agrees that this continues to be an important public health issue. Poor air quality affects the people we care for and poses increased risk to children, the elderly and those with existing diseases. One-third of Utah’s population is either 18 and under or 65 and older; about 230,000 have asthma; and nearly 500,000 have cardiovascular disease.

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