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Research Highlight: Tim Collins Co-author on Air Pollution Study 

Persistent inequitable exposure to air pollution in Salt Lake County schools

Minority students experience higher concentrations of PM 2.5 levels in clean, moderate and poor air quality scenarios

Utah’s air pollution varies over the year, and at times it is the worst in the United States. The geography traps winter inversions and summertime smog throughout the Salt Lake Valley, but underserved neighborhoods—and their schools—experience the highest concentrations. Previous research has shown pollution disparities using annual averages of PM 2.5 levels, the tiny breathable particles that can damage lungs just hours after exposure. Children are especially at risk and experience more than just health effects; exposure to PM 2.5 affects school attendance and academic success.

A new study utilized a community-university partnership of nearly 200 PM 2.5 sensors through the University of Utah’s Air Quality and U (AQ&U) network. U researchers explored social disparities in air pollution in greater detail than ever before, and their findings reveal persistent social inequalities in Salt Lake County.

Read the full press release here:

Last Updated: 3/26/21