Utah has the highest per capita air pollution in the nation. Shame, shame, shame. It's all because of that magnesium plant out on Great Salt Lake pouring tons of poisonous chlorine gas into the atmosphere. Chlorine gas? That's what the smell is at the swimming pool and when you open a bottle of Clorox or some related bleach. That's urban-generated chlorine air pollution. Shame on you for putting more of that poisonous stuff into our air.

What's the beef? What is the sinister evil that comes of chlorinating our air? It's not harming the ozone layer. It has negligible greenhouse effect. It doesn't bother the plant or animal life in the nearby desert or lake.At high concentration, chlorine is poisonous, a war gas even, but at the concentrations involved in the pollution of our air, it's not a threat to the health. The workers out at the magnesium plant put up with that smelly stuff without particular problem beyond gagging if they take in a breath of it of exceptionally high concentration. Downwind it's far more diluted than over a swimming pool, too diluted to smell and far, far too diluted to have harmful effect. It's a trivial air pollution. Its No. 1 detriment is that it puts us at the top of an arbitrary listing. Utah can boast of leading the nation in trivial air pollution.

From time to time we see environmentalists crying wolf when there is no wolf. This is just such an occasion. Shame on our Department of Environmental Quality, the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News for falsely shaming us.

Volney Wallace