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Toxic Fog Hits Utah: Pregnant Women and Children Urged to stay Indoors as Pollution Goes “Off the Charts” in freezing Weather

Two million people are at risk from a toxic  fog that has descended over Utah as pollution levels in Salt Lake City reach an  all-time high.

The icy fog has smothered the Salt Lake  Valley for several weeks and trapped lung-busting soot emitted in the city  underneath.

The level of pollution in the city is now the  highest in America according to the  Environmental Protection Agency and  medical experts are now urging residents to stay indoors.

The smog over Salt Lake City, which is  surrounded by the Wasatch and Oquirrh mountain ranges,  has been caused by  a temperature inversion where warmer air has created a barrier above cold fog so  everything underneath is trapped.

Off the charts: There are now 130 micrograms of soot per cubic meter in Salt Lake City – three times the federal clean-air limit

Snow cover on the surrounding mountains has  amplified the phenomena, leaving Salt Lake City at just 18 degrees while Park  City basks in sunny 43-degree weather.

The warmer air aloft has acted like a lid on  the frigid valley air, leaving it with no place to go.

The pollution is now getting so bad that more  than 100 Utah doctors are calling for authorities to immediately lower highway  speed limits, curb industrial activity and make mass transit free for the rest  of winter.

Doctors say the microscopic soot – a  shower  of combustion particles from tailpipe and other emissions – can  tax the lungs  of even healthy people.

‘We’re  in a public-health emergency for  much of the winter,’ said Brian Moench, a  62-year-old anesthesiologist  and president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy  Environment, which  delivered the petition demanding action at the Utah Capitol.

The  greater Salt Lake region had up to 130 micrograms of soot per cubic meter – more  than three times the federal clean-air limit, according to the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency.

And for two million Utah residents, there is  no escape from the fog, except to the snow-capped mountains surrounding the city  or resort towns like Park City, where the Sundance Film Festival is under way.

 

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Posted by on January 24, 2013. Filed under NY News,Slider. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.