Poor air quality on the Western Slope this summer increased health-related issues for people

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo — Poor air quality is nothing to joke around about.

Grand Junction experienced 64 days of elevated pollution this summer, causing health issues for many on the Western Slope.

While it may look like fog, thousands of dirty pollutants make up the layers of the atmosphere.

Where is most of it coming from?

Rex Wilmouth, with Environment Colorado Research and Policy, says, “the burning of fossil fuels, so with gasoline combustion engines and transportation, that is our biggest source of pollution from our automobiles.”

Vehicles release exhaust and other pollutants into the air.

Exposing our hearts, lungs, and brains to dangerous chemicals.

Dr. David Scott, an Allergy and Asthma M.D. in Grand Junction, says, “I think we’re probably seeing a 20% or so more cases of folks coming in with more acute, respiratory symptoms that I would have attributed to the air quality.”

Transportation isn’t the only concern for people experiencing symptoms, allergies also worsened people’s immune systems.

Dr. Scott also says, “this year wheat pollen season and the poor air quality overlapped almost perfectly which really made unfortunately a perfect storm for folks that had those allergies and were susceptible to pollution.”

Dr. Scott added, “if you’re having symptoms, if you’re a patient out there, who’s having symptoms from the air quality and you think that you’re having possible asthma or other pulmonary or chest symptoms, then I’d recommend talking to your primary care doctor about those symptoms, seeing what they’re taking is on it.”

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