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Air quality bounces back after smoky weekend

Published June 25, 2012 11:25 am

Pollution • Utahns can breathe easier as buildup blows away.
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Air quality problems that flared up Friday had drifted away by Monday, said the Utah Division of Air Quality.

"It looks like values are in decline everywhere," said Bo Call, who oversees the state's air-pollution-monitoring network. "The trend is, with the wind and the front coming, [the pollution levels] are declining."

On Friday, as the Saratoga Springs Dump Fire billowed soot into the skies, spikes of both ozone and PM 2.5 registered on monitors up and down the Wasatch Front. At some locations, pollution rose briefly to alarming levels, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Throughout the weekend, the trends were "spiky" and erratic, Call explained. But, with the speed and direction of weekend winds, much of the smoggy, sooty buildup blew away during the weekend.

When smog and soot pollution is high, all the usual concerns about the health impacts come into play. The young and the old, plus those with heart and lung disease, are most at risk. But high pollution can have an impact on everyone, causing stinging eyes, scratchy throats and, for those most affected, asthma attacks and other serious health complaints.


Twitter: @judyfutah —

Online: Keep up with the latest air-quality alerts

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