Air Quality and Health

Healthy Tips | Articles & News

There are health risks associated with physical activity outdoors when ozone levels are high. Physical activity causes people to breathe faster and more deeply allowing more ozone to be inhaled.

Poor air quality can affect your health

  • Every person has a different sensitivity to air pollution
  • Populations that are especially vulnerable include children, the elderly and those with chronic lung or heart conditions (e.g. asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital heart disease), and people who work or exercise outdoors

During inversion season, the primary pollutant of concern is PM2.5. It is important to learn what level of air pollution you are sensitive to using the PM2.5 tracking tool

Signs that your body is reacting to pollution

  • difficulty breathing
  • chest tightness
  • coughing
  • increased allergy or asthma symptoms
  • eye, nose or throat irritation

Tips for protecting your lungs during inversion season:

  • Check air quality levels before outdoor activities
  • The best time for outdoor physical activity is before noon or after 6:00 pm
  • If you are physically active between noon and 6:00 pm:
    • consider light to moderate activity (e.g., walking instead of running)
    • consider indoor activities
  • Discuss physical activities with your health care provider, especially if you have lung disease or a heart condition

This guidance is for all Utahns. There is no difference between rural and urban.

During inversion season, do your part to help reduce pollution in the air
    • Reduce your driving
    • Don’t idle your car
    • Don’t burn wood
    • Trip chain

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