Thursday, July 17, 2014

How Bad Is the Air?

Answer: We don't know.

Source: Utah Division of Air Quality
With the infusion of smoke over the Salt Lake Valley, I was curious about the air quality.  Sometimes with smoke in the summer, you get the double whammy of elevated PM2.5 and ozone at the same time.

Unfortunately, it appears that a computer network failure has resulted in a loss of real-time air quality data in Salt Lake County (see red box below).

Source: Utah Division of Air Quality
I suspect based on data from other counties that we're probably in a moderate air quality for PM2.5 and either moderate or unhealthy for sensitive groups for ozone in the afternoon.  I suspect the folks at the DAQ can access data from additional sensors, which informs the statement in the red box above, but unfortunately John and Jane Q. Public, can't.  

We've spoken previously about the need for more publicly available real-time air quality monitoring stations in the Salt Lake Valley (see Inversion Snippets).  Here's yet another reason to address this need.  The public deserves to know all they can about the air they breath.  

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