“Toxic Smog” in China, India, and….Utah

by jim on February 18, 2013

UtahValleySmog26Jan07Air pollution so bad that local doctors are telling prospective parents to wait to conceive children. Beijing? No. New Deli? No? Try Salt Lake City.

"Try to conceive in mid- to late-spring, after the inversion is over. That probably gives [a woman] the best window of opportunity for the critical first three months [for the fetus] to develop under the least amount of pollution," said physician Brian Moench, an anesthesiologist and president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment. Better yet, he says, "get out of Salt Lake City to conceive."

Because of their geography and growth, some western US cities suffer significant smog problems in the wintertime when cold air inversions trap pollution and cause concentrations of pollutants to skyrocket. But this has been a particularly rough year for Utah. Northern Utah valleys have been choked in winter smog almost every day since Christmas. Soon after a storm covered the valley floors with snow two weekends ago, pollution climbed to levels considered "unhealthy" even for the general population. Things are so bad a group of doctors has asked the Governor to declare a medical emergency.

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