Utahns concerned about air quality can now get real-time updates right on their smartphone with a new app called “Utah Air.” The app is a joint project between the Utah Division of Air Quality and students at Weber State University.
The app displays real-time information about both ozone and small particulate matter levels, or PM2.5, for 9 Utah counties. But, you don’t need to be a scientist to understand the data because the app also displays the Division of Air Quality’s new air quality alert system. It is made up of three symbols that tell the user whether or not any voluntary or mandatory actions should be taken based on current air quality levels. Students at Weber State University’s National Center for Automotive Science and Technology developed the app. The center’s director, Joe Thomas, says he hopes the app will educate people to make better choices.
“People can make a decision, you know, do I use the wood stove? Do I use coal burning, or fireplaces, for that matter? What’s the best time to exercise, or do I even want to do that?” he says.