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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

The Utah Division of Air Quality says the volatile organic compounds in window-washing fluid and other cleaning and personal-care products contribute to our bad air ("New strategy for scrubbing Utah skies clean," Tribune, Feb. 4).

Tailpipe exhaust is a major pollution source, but the DAQ has no effective plan other than asking us to voluntarily not drive. But public transportation is not readily available to many, perhaps most, citizens along the Wasatch Front.

We hear little about another source of VOCs — the oil refineries — from our political leaders. We need their products, but do these refineries belong in a high mountain valley prone to weather inversions and stagnant air?

The refineries wish to increase capacity, so why not help them do this in a more appropriate location? There must be experts who can advise them where they can relocate and not endanger public health. The taxpayer might help defray some relocation costs, just as they help other industries relocate here.

Meanwhile, by not washing our windows we at least can avoid seeing the smog. And if seeing is believing, then not seeing is … Oh, just do something realistic to solve our pollution problems!

Richard E. Kanner, M.D.

Salt Lake City

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