When it comes to its chronically poor winter air, Salt Lake City already has topography working against it. Steep mountain ranges on either side of the city create a giant bowl, where dreaded winter temperature inversions trap cold air that stagnates with dust, factory smoke, and diesel exhaust from the city’s expanding web of freeways.

At least a million people have moved to the valley since 2000, and the air on some days looks — and actually can be — dirtier than Mexico City’s.

That makes Dr. Tom Nelson cringe. Nelson, who grew up here, manages the emergency room at one of Utah’s largest hospitals. And on bad air days, they see admissions go up for respiratory illnesses and even heart attacks.

“You’ll feel it in your throat and in your lungs, you’ll feel it stinging your eyes,” he says. “You can’t avoid it.”

Lately, Nelson and others worry about an additional threat: dust storms stirring up toxins off the shrinking Great Salt Lake blowing east into the city.

  • originalucifer
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    4216 days ago

    Right now the balance is all coming down on a bureaucrat or bureaucracy saying we know what’s good for your health," Sandall says. “We’re not going to take into account what’s good for your economy at all. But we’re gonna come in and we’re gonna be your health doctor.”

    its money. money is more important than health, he just flat out says it.

  • @GlitzyArmrest
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    1616 days ago

    I lived in Utah for a bit, and the half-year long inversions were horrible. It stinks so bad, and literally hurts to breathe. The only escape is to go into the mountains to get above it, where you can look back at the shelf of pollution with a renewed hatred of the Utahn government.

  • @hperrin
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    1116 days ago

    and can actually be - dirtier than Mexico City’s

    What the fuck is that about? Mexico City’s AQI is actually fairly clean for the size city it is. Is that just implying that Mexico is dirty?

  • Flying Squid
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    816 days ago

    They should just wait until Trump’s SCOTUS strikes down Chevron and then they can turn Utah into as much of a stinking, polluted wasteland as they want.

    • @[email protected]
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      616 days ago

      On the off chance that doesn’t happen it’s probably much easier to start now and ask for forgiveness later. It for sure will be cheaper to start thinning out the pool of potential litigants now than it will be further on.

  • Gazumi
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    216 days ago

    Those standards, however watered down were somehow an unexpected surprise catching Utah representatives entirely off guard. (Sarcasm)