Utah study: Even slight bump in pollution affects young lungs

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  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    April 14, 2018 10:01 a.m.

    Pollution with PM 2.5 is an existential to all who breathe. Children are particularly sensitive, but the incidence of pulmonary and cardiovascular complications in all age groups is significant. It can no longer be considered "the price of doing business."

  • FelisConcolor Layton, UT
    April 13, 2018 9:35 p.m.

    Regardless of the caveats mentioned by the authors of the study, these results provide yet more evidence to disprove the hyperbolic contention of local clean air advocates that air pollution kills at least 1,000 Utahns every year.

    Over a 15 year period, the study's authors could only document 106 deaths which could be reasonably attributed to PM 2.5 exposure, or roughly 7 deaths per year.

    This number corresponds well to the results of a 2016 study, which determined ozone pollution in the Salt Lake area caused an estimated 13 deaths per year.

    While the BYU study only included a fraction of the overall Utah population, it can be safely assumed that the nearly 147,000 individuals in this study were among the most susceptible to air pollution by the simple fact they sought or required treatment for their illnesses. The actual number of deaths in the general population attributable to PM 2.5 pollution is probably even lower.

    Depending on the concentration, air pollution can indeed be deadly. But for the vast majority of Utahns, air pollution levels along the Wasatch Front are a seasonal irritant, like summertime dust or springtime pollen.

  • kaysvillecougar KAYSVILLE, UT
    April 13, 2018 2:58 p.m.

    To Closed Minded Mormon, The Fake Maverick and others who have a persistant political itch they need to scratch, why do you have to be so political? Rodan32 summarized the situation perfectly. This is our problem - all of our problem. I agree that the more we can do to clean our air, the better off we'd be. The other day I was jogging past a charter school and at least 10 parents had their cars idling in front of the school, in April. Amazing! It was 65 degrees. There was no need to idle. Let's start with all of us. Bag the political hyperbole.

  • red.diehard Central, UT
    April 13, 2018 2:41 p.m.

    Maybe we need 2.5 million fewer Utahns.

  • The Real Maverick Spanish Fork, UT
    April 13, 2018 2:22 p.m.

    The Kochs don't care. And they spend so much on Utah's politicians to keep the air foul and dirty.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, WA
    April 13, 2018 2:01 p.m.

    State Republicans don't care about clean air.
    They do everything they can NOT to do anything about it!

    People will vote for them because of the (R) anyway....

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    April 13, 2018 1:47 p.m.

    I don't smoke cigarettes.

    I smoke car tail pipes.

    We don't need oil or coal anymore.

  • rodan32 Orem, UT
    April 13, 2018 1:22 p.m.

    The issue isn't our leaders; it's us. Every new development that's announced I see comments worrying about whether there will be enough parking. Every decision for new subdivisions and shopping centers is motivated by cars. Everyone drives even very short distances, like to church on Sunday. And if you wanted to walk or bike to the store, how many of you live within a mile of a store, and once you got there, would you have to walk through a huge parking lot to get to the entrance anyway?

    I really like cars. But I don't like that we live in cities that require you to use them for everything. When the priority in every planning decision is to make sure cars can get through town really fast and then park when they get where they're going, you're going to encourage lots of driving. I'd suggest people walk a little more, but most of us live too far away from anywhere we could walk to. My kids aren't even allowed to walk to school because it's not safe for them to have to cross the 6-lane state highway where idiots go 70 mph and ignore crosswalks. Plus the school is two miles away anyway, so here we are.

    It's not money or politics. It's us.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 13, 2018 12:39 p.m.

    This is a clash in views of "freedom".

    On one side, absence of any government regulation = freedom. (Related health issues are unfortunate, but as we're told... "freedom isn't free".)

    On the other side, freedom from pollution, a healthy environment to raise children is a type of freedom.

    Utah politicians are paralyzed - they hope the Easter Bunny will magically make things better.

    They fear libertarian extremists more than they fear angry young parents.

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    April 13, 2018 10:01 a.m.

    Dexter183 said: "The headline of this article portrays the results of this study as an absolute certainty. When you read the article it is filled with “may cause” or “could cause” and “further study is needed” statements by the researchers analysis."

    Good enough for Big Pharm as a disclaimer, even when they know it causes health problems up to and including death, the "may cause" clause, saves them millions in law suits.

    Utah's leaders won't tackle this until they are forced to.
    They are filled with excuses, but the solutions might be hard, or cost.

    "What about the children?" Our wise leaders created the Zion Curtain to protect delicate eyes from seeing drinks poured in sin, and fight to keep children from smoking, even second hand smoke in cars, but we allow our air to be nearly as filthy and you breath it all day every day.


  • sgallen Salt Lake City, UT
    April 13, 2018 8:44 a.m.

    Our leaders lack the backbone to make significant changes. Nobody wants to admit that we can either have luxury or health. We can't have both. To live with healthy lungs in Salt Lake, we either need to cut our population by half or accept a lower standard of living.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    April 13, 2018 8:42 a.m.

    Yeah, nobody in political power in Utah is going to change anything: Profits over children & public health.

  • Dexter183 Murray/Salt Lake County, UT
    April 13, 2018 8:42 a.m.

    The headline of this article portrays the results of this study as an absolute certainty. When you read the article it is filled with “may cause” or “could cause” and “further study is needed” statements by the researchers analysis. Don’t you think it’s a bit mis-leading for folks that just scan the news paper by reading headlines?

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    April 13, 2018 8:12 a.m.

    Well, let's see. Health hazards for young children versus lower profits for polluters and fewer taxes from non-polluting electric cars. Health versus money. Oops, too bad for the kiddies.