9653 (1-26 pp.)
Utah has a rich history related to air pollution; however, it is not widely known or documented. This is despite air quality being a top issue of public concern for the state’s urban residents and acute episodes that feature some of the world’s worst short-term particulate matter exposure. As we discuss in this narrative review, the relationship between air pollution and the state’s residents has changed over time, as fuel sources shifted from wood to coal to petroleum and natural gas. Air pollution rose in prominence as a public issue in the 1880s as Utah’s urban areas grew. Since then, scientific advances have increased the understanding of air quality impacts on human health, groups of concerned citizens worked to raise public awareness, policy makers enacted legislation to improve air quality, and courts upheld rights to clean air. Utah’s air quality future holds challenges and opportunities and can serve as useful case for other urbanizing regions struggling with air quality concerns. Population growth and changing climate will exacerbate current air quality trends, but economically viable clean energy technologies can be deployed to reduce air pollution, bringing substantial public health and economic benefits to the state’s residents and other settings with similar public health concerns.
Original Publication Citation
Mitchell, L. E., & Zajchowski, C. A. B. (2022). The history of air quality in Utah: A narrative review. Sustainability, 14(15), Article 9653. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159653
Mitchell, Logan E. and Zajchowski, Christopher, "The History of Air Quality in Utah: A Narrative Review" (2022). Human Movement Sciences Faculty Publications. 128.