Utah residents suffer from an increased amount of short-term particle pollution during the winter. Decreased temperatures and increased atmospheric pressure cause polluted air and smog to gather near the ground. Three Utah cities rank on the American Lung Association list of top short-term particle polluted cities. Out of 15 cities with dangerous air quality indexes, seven are located in Utah. The Deseret News has compiled a list of the top seven polluted cities in Utah based on the air quality index (AQI) from Tuesday, January 8, 2013. Read more about action days, today's air quality index forecast and understanding and using the air quality index information.
Air quality index: 164. (151-200 is the unhealthy range.)
Population impacted: 526,810 people are at risk in the Provo/Orem area.
On the American Lung Association's list of top short-term particle polluted cities, Provo/Orem was No. 11. The association also graded Provo as having an "F" for 24-hour particle pollution. The association found that many particle pollutants can cause heart attacks.
>> Aerial views of Utah Lake in Utah County on Friday, Mar. 2, 2012.
Air quality index: 152, which is still in the unhealthy range.
Population impacted: 1,744,886 people are at risk in the Salt Lake/Ogden area.
The Salt Lake area was No. 7 on the American Lung Association's list, and it also received an "F" for 24-hour pollution.
>> Looking over the Salt Lake Valley with the winter inversion blanketing the valley Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2013.
Air quality index: 150 (101-150 is in the range of being unhealthy for sensitive people — children and elderly people.
Population impacted: Nearly 84,000 people live in Ogden and will be affected by the smog.
American Lung Association research has found that particle pollution is associated with cases of adult-onset asthma and diabetes.
>> A snowman is stamped into a soccer field near Weber State Univerisity campus Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, in Ogden, Utah.
Air quality index: 129, which is still in the range that's unhealthy to sensitive people
Population impacted: 125,422.
Logan rated No. 8 on the Lung Association's polluted states list and also received an "F" for 24-hour pollution.
>> In this photo taken March 15, 2011, Kenny DeMeurichy, who works in the watershed sciences department, walks a blimp across the campus of Utah State University in Logan, Utah.
Air quality index: 121
Population impacted: Brigham City has a population of 18,000.
>> Aerial photos of the Brigham City LDS Temple. Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012.
Air quality index: 106, which is still unhealthy for sensitive people
Population impacted: The Vernal area has a population of around 9,248, according to the 2011 census estimation.
"Short-term spikes in particle pollution can last from hours to several days and can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and emergency-room visits for asthma and cardiovascular disease, and most importantly, can increase the risk of early death," according to the American Lung Association's State of the Air site.
>> Researchers with the 2011-2012 Uintah Basin Winter Ozone Study demonstrate the use of a balloon to collect air samples Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, at Utah State University Uintah Basin in Vernal.
Air quality index: 80, which is in the moderate range.
Population impacted: The Tooele area has a population of around 32,206, according to the 2011 census estimation.
>> Cyclists compete in stage 2 of the Tour of Utah at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012.