Coughing in a Winter Wonderland
Be glad you’re not on the planning committee for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. First there was terrorism to worry about; now there’s the weather. Salt Lake’s squeaky-clean image could suffer a blow if the world gets a glimpse of the woeful air pollution that plagues the city in the winter. Snow in Salt Lake City usually means a temperature inversion, which creates one of the ugliest smog blankets in the country. The U.S. EPA ranks Salt Lake among the 10 worst cities in the nation based on carbon monoxide counts. About 1,100 Utah residents per year die from respiratory diseases, which are often caused or exacerbated by poor air quality.