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Get off the roads

Published February 9, 2013 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

To reduce his patient's exposure to harmful pollution, my dentist closes his office on red air-quality days.

In the interest of public safety, many schools and businesses close during snow emergencies, to reduce the inevitable accidents and injuries from ignoring the power of nature. Plus, getting people off the roads speeds the clean-up.

Our current smog levels represent what the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment called, in a letter to Gov. Gary Herbert, a "public health emergency." Strong words, not to be taken lightly.

How do we respond to an emergency? We take extraordinary measures.

We cannot control the weather or the geography, but we can act as caring emergency responders. Unhealthy air pollution ought to trigger action similar to snow emergencies: Get people off the roads, for their safety and to help clean up this mess.

Mark Gardiner

Salt Lake City