an aerial view of a city at sunset

Marianne Wilson from Rose Park experienced pregnancy loss in 2010 due to the pollution in Salt Lake City, More specifically living in the west-side region for 17 years. The U of U has found that more than 1,300 women have a 16% higher risk of miscarriage from short-term exposure to elevated air pollution. The west side of Salt Lake County has been reported to have the worst air quality “The interstate highways that run through and past the area; the industries and rail lines within it; the jet engines revving at Salt Lake City International Airport; and the concentration of warehouses- and the heavy-duty diesel vehicles that operate in and around them” Residents living in the west-side area have had to make adjustments in their lives to accommodate the bad air. And suffer the consequences of bad infrastructure decisions made 130 years ago. “Their air is worse, their health risks are higher and their quality of life is poorer” Salt Lake City government has made efforts to plant 1,000 trees every year on the west side canopy but this hasn’t been able to completely erase the problem. In 1893 during the growth period of Salt Lake City, Miscalculations occurred to the west side as government officials attempted to determine where to establish industrial facilities based on how meteorology and wind patterns affected air quality; no factories were built near the eastern canyons.
Gary Sapp, an Utah resident “remembers seeing ads for tourism in southern Utah promoting an escape to fresher air.” If the state continues to fail to meet air quality standards, sanctions can be placed in Utah although could lose “hundreds of millions of dollars ‘of funding the process. Redlining has contributed to the West side’s hazardous air, which has also harmed neighborhoods’ school funding, access to food, and home prices. Utah’s population is 75% white, on the west side minorities make up 56% of the west side population. Daniel Hernandez has been living in Rose Park for most of his life, his oldest son was born premature and later caught a respiratory syncytial virus twice. Hernandez emphasizes the lack of resources compared to the rest of the county there are no whole foods in his neighborhood, there are plenty of 7-elevens, and he’s been using KN95 masks since before the COVID-19 pandemic which he kept on hand on bad air days. He notes that it would be nice if public transportation was free which would be better than driving everywhere . This article has helped me understand why Salt lake Cities air quality is so bad and why certain areas of Salt Lake County have worse air quality than others. Along with the redlining and systematic racism that has affected the way of life of those who are living in these areas; west-side salt lake county.

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