New health guidelines released for outdoor activities

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Departments of Health and Environmental Quality released new personal guidelines to follow when the temperatures soar and the pollution settles in.

The Wasatch Front enjoyed beautiful blue skies and clear air Wednesday, but in the weeks ahead, when temperatures top 90 degrees and head for the century mark, dangerous ozone will pollute the afternoon air and threaten our health.

Rebecca Jorgensen, with the Utah Department of Health, said, "For people who are exercising out in high ozone levels, the more you are breathing in, the ozone is going to go deeper into your lungs and cause inflammation." That causes difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest and wheezing, and other short-term health effects.

Extreme heat and exhaust from our cars cook up the ozone. Smoke from wildfires can even pump fine carbon particles into the air. The Utah Department of Health says public awareness has come up in recent years for these kinds of concerns, but the specific guidelines are important."

**New UDOH and DEQ outdoor guidelines:**
• The best time for summer physical activity is before noon or after 6 p.m. • If physically active between noon and 6 p.m:
- Consider light to moderate activity (walking instead of running)
- Consider indoor activities • Discuss physical activities with your doctor, especially if you have a lung disease or a heart condition
So here are the guidelines recommended by the Departments of Health and Environmental Quality. They say the best time to exercise is before noon or after 6 p.m.

If you are physically active between noon and six consider light to moderate activity; walking instead of running or indoor activity.

And if you have a lung disease of a heart condition, talk about summer physical activity with your doctor.

Jorgensen said, "We wanted to have Utah-specific guidelines, and we wanted to make sure the public was aware of ozone and that it can have health effects."

[CLICK HERE for DEQ's hourly ozone level updates]


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Jed Boal


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