Ozone Levels Rising with the Temperature

Ozone Levels Rising with the Temperature

Save Story

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Jed Boal ReportingThe heat is on in Utah and as the mercury rises this week ozone levels will increase. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality called for a voluntary "no-drive" today.

The ozone alert is the third of the year, but the first time this summer we can expect several days in a row. You can see the haze, which tells us there's a build-up of pollutants that are precursors to ozone.

The Wasatch Front ozone oven is on this week cooking up a bad batch of pollution that may not clear for a few days.

Rick Sprott/Division of Air Quality Director: “Looks like we're gonna get a stretch of very hot days, which is the perfect formula for high ozone, which is not what we want to see."

Ozone levels spike when pollutants from automobiles and industry are heated. The director of the Division of Air Quality says people with respiratory problems should take it easy.

Rick Sprott/Division of Air Quality Director: “It's odorless, it's colorless, but when you get it down in your lungs, it's like swallowing Clorox, damages tissue and causes real health problems."

The biggest thing Utahns can do collectively to help keep our skies blue and clear is to leave the cars parked for the day. But any gas-powered engine you choose not to use makes a difference.

Plenty of people use public transportation on no-drive days. Trax and UTA buses are clean air choices.

Gordon Jessee/Trax Rider: “For environmental reasons it makes for cleaner air in the valley. I notice on days like today, there's a lot of haze in the air."

Lou Anne Stevenson/Trax Rider: “I've noticed somewhat of a change in the environment since they put Trax in. It hasn't been quite as smoggy. We still have smoggy days, but it hasn't been as bad."

You can walk to lunch, gas up your car in the evening and combine errands when driving. Simple choices make a difference.

Rick Sprott/Division of Air Quality Director: “The challenge is we continue to grow, so we have to get better and better with behaviors, cleaner technology with cars. People are the key now to solving this problem."

Overall, air quality today is better than it was ten years ago and federal emissions standards are getting tougher for SUV's, trucks and diesels. But our behavior today will affect the air until we're all driving cleaner cars.

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast