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Health, Science & Environment

Study Shows Indoor Air Quality Better than Outdoors

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Utah State University/Utah Division of Air Quality
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Utah State University's webcam shows the Cache Valley covered by an inversion layer.

 When the air quality gets really bad in Utah’s valleys, residents are told to stay indoors.  But is our indoor air really any better?  A new study from Utah State University is helping to answer that question.

Environmental engineering professor Randy Martin says our indoor air is much cleaner than outdoors on cold inversion days.  He says a lot of the hazardous PM 2.5 particles tend to evaporate in the warmer indoor environment.  But he says we can also cause problems for ourselves inside.

“Another thing that can have a huge impact that people don’t tend to think about this time of year are candles," Martin tells KUER.  "Candles, while they create a nice ambience, they are losers are far as air pollution because they put out a lot of particles.”

Martin studied the indoor air at schools in the Cache Valley and in several buildings on the Utah State campus.  He found the indoor air had only about 25-percent of the fine particulate pollution as outdoors.

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