UTah's air Quality History


Logan Mitchell, credit:KSL TV

You may be surprised to learn that the bad air quality that bedevils the basins along the Wasatch Front is better than any time since 1880. That was the first year that Logan Mitchell was able to detect what became a trove of stories and photos underscored by the concern Utahns had for the effect of bad air on public health.

A climate and energy analyst at Utah Clean Energy and affiliated faculty at the University of Utah's Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Mitchell has created a digital archive exhibit about the history of environmentalism in the Beehive State. The exhibit, detailed in a story on KSL TV, includes links to photos and articles and expands on a research paper Mitchell wrote last year.

“There was always an awareness that this was bad for our health,” he said of smoky air.

The story which aired March 22 continues: "When he first pursued the question, he thought, maybe pollution had become a public issue in the last decade or two.  As he scoured the archives, he discovered air quality has been a persistent concern as long as people have lived on the Wasatch Front."

The History of Air Quality in Utah digital exhibit showcases archival materials from the U's J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collections and historical newspaper articles from the Utah Digital Newspapers project as well as from other archives across the state.

Read the story about the exhibit on @theU.

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