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Letter: Tired of sacrificing health to industry

Published December 21, 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This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

I have been athletic my entire life, but after a few years breathing the polluted air in Salt Lake City, I have developed asthma, forcing me to cut back on my activities.

During our most recent inversion, I called my asthma doctor in a panic. I was hitting my rescue inhaler multiple times per day and feeling so lethargic that I could not work. After discovering I had lost significant lung capacity, he added yet another medication to my routine.

I eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, run a HEPA filter, and wear respirator masks. None of these measures have protected me from our filthy air. In fact, some of my healthy habits, such as walking to run errands, may have helped make me sick by exposing me to more pollutants.

I spend many days trapped like a prisoner in my apartment because going outside means an asthma attack. Never mind the relentless sinus pain, headaches, brain fog, body aches from inflammation and depression.

Expecting citizens to sacrifice their health — and maybe their lives — on the altar of oil refineries, mines, the Stericycle incinerator and car-based urban design is unconscionable.

Karrie Higgins

Salt Lake City