In recent weeks the Salt Lake Valley has been smothered in smog. As a senior citizen, I’m especially vulnerable to its health effects, notably PM 2.5 particulate damage to heart and lungs. Since the powers-that-be are doing little about it, I’m taking action on my own — by restricting my car use, not burning wood, and staying indoors as much as possible.
But my dog needs her daily exercise, and when I venture forth with her I’d like to be protected by a face mask/respirator. Problem is, what kind to get? Local industrial supply houses carry a variety of different models but have little reliable information about which ones work best against PM 2.5 particles.
I therefore went to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality website looking to find good information about this. To my surprise and disappointment, there was nothing. So I wrote an email to the DEQ director asking for help. Her response failed to even address my concern; indeed it seemed to be some kind of form letter. My follow-up query went unanswered.
Can’t the DEQ do any better than this? With months of toxic air pollution still ahead of us, I think many Salt Lakers will want to protect themselves as best they can.
Salt Lake City
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