New bill lists Utah air pollution as contributor to someone’s death

The bill would provide data on how pollution affects the quality of life in Utah.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Poor air quality obscures the Oquirrh Mountains and downtown Salt Lake City, as seen from the University of Utah on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021.

A new bill introduced ahead of the 2022 legislative session would allow air pollution to be listed as a factor in someone’s death on an official death certificate.

House Bill 109, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Handy, R-Layton, allows a physician to say that air pollution was a contributor to someone’s death when it’s put on file with Utah’s Department of Health.

In an interview with FOX 13, Rep. Handy said so far he has only heard anecdotal evidence that Utah’s air quality issues have factored into deaths and he wants data. The bill, he said, is part of a longer strategy to get data that can inform air quality policy.

“I’m hoping with additional data points it will, in fact, inform policy makers in the future. And I don’t know what we’re talking, five years, 10 years out there, but it will be very interesting to put this under a microscope to see, and then address policies as needed to protect people’s health,” he said.

To read more on the bill, visit FOX 13.

Editor’s note: The Salt Lake Tribune and FOX 13 are content-sharing partners.

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