Utah Public Radio has partnered with the Public Insight Network to report on public health effects of air pollution in Cache Valley. Listeners and other members of the community here have been telling us their experiences with air pollution through an online form. Jennifer Pemberton has been listening to these stories and has this update on public concerns:
We’re basically asking 3 major questions in our online form: Have you felt health effects from the pollution in Cache Valley? Do you check the air quality on a regular basis? and most importantly, what questions do you have about air pollution in our community?
As far as symptoms go, we’re getting a lot of feedback regarding coughing, sore throats, burning eyes, unexplained headaches, sinus infections, and tiredness or lethargy. A lot of Cache Valley residents have these symptoms but don’t really know if there’s a direct relationship to air pollution. And that’s okay! That’s why we’re doing this.
Logan resident Tiffany Adams, says,
“I'm not sure if I can completely attribute this to air pollution, but since living in Cache Valley since May 2012, I noticed differences in my health during the winter. I have had a continuous sore throat and scratchy throat. While it is common for me to get bronchitis during the year and colds or the flu during the winter, I have never experienced a lingering sore and scratchy throat like I have had since living in Logan."
People want to know what’s going on: Missy Lambert, of Logan, says she’s “been worrying a lot about how the pollution is affecting [her] kids' growing bodies.”
Drew Tebeau wants to know if “moving to Logan negated the health benefits of having quit smoking.”
A source asked “If the air is bad outside, is it also bad inside?” Another asked, “Is it "worse" in the valley bottom and "not as bad" on the benches?”
We’re going to try and get answers to as many of these questions as we can and we want to let listeners know that they are not alone in worrying about these things. If you want to share your story about air pollution, go to upr.org/source and tell us about it. We’re listening.