By ROBERT S. MERRILL
Franklin County and most areas of Cache Valley experience poor air-quality events during stagnant wintertime conditions due to temperature inversions that trap pollution by acting as a lid on the bowl-like topography of the area.
This winter has been worse than most because of persistent inversions, according to Melissa Gibbs, airshed coordinator for the Department of Environmental Quality.
Residents can decrease exposure to “bad” air in a number of ways. Some include:
• avoiding prolonged exertion. This means any outdoor activity that you’ll be doing intermittently for several hours and that makes you breathe slightly harder than normal. A good example of this is working in the yard for part of a day. When air quality is unhealthy, you can protect your health by reducing how much time you spend on this type of activity, she said.
• heavy exertion. This means intense outdoor activities that cause you to breathe hard. When air quality is unhealthy, you can protect your health by limiting the time spent on this type of activity or by substituting a less intense activity. Go for a walk instead of a jog. Be sure to reduce activity levels if you experience any unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, breathing difficulty or unusual fatigue, she added.
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