Clean air is critical to good health and well-being. When our air becomes too polluted, it affects physical and mental health, diminishes the safety of outdoor physical activity, and it contributes to social isolation by forcing people indoors. Intermountain is investing resources to ensure we keep our air clean. We can all play a part in improving air quality.

Air Pollution Affects Us All

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Steps We Are Taking to Improve Air Quality

At Intermountain Healthcare, we know we play an essential role in improving air quality. In 2020, 8,500 of our caregivers transitioned to remote work since March in response to COVID-19. As a result, caregivers have driven 18,200,000 fewer miles and spent 975,000 fewer hours in their cars. This shift has reduced emissions equivalent to 36 railcars of coal burned. 

Producing electricity can pollute our air. We are investing in resources to reduce our power utilization to limit air pollution. In 2018, we partnered with Rocky Mountain Power and its Wattsmart Business Program to swap out all fluorescent lighting with LED lighting in all our hospitals in 2018 while making additional adjustments to reduce our energy consumption.

Intermountain Healthcare and Rocky Mountain Power's Wattsmart Business Program

In the near future, we will be encouraging our caregivers to monitor their local air quality and work from home, where possible, on days with poor air quality. We are working to transition our fleet of vehicles from gas to hybrid, to reduce our vehicles' idling times, and to find more opportunities for our caregivers to work remotely to reduce the source of tailpipe emissions.

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Know the Air Quality Index

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a national system used to measure and report air quality. Managed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the AQI looks for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: particle pollution, ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide. The EPA takes daily readings of these pollutants and interprets it into a specific number ranging from zero to 500 and a specific color. On days where the AQI level is 51 (yellow) or higher, you should be taking steps to limit your exposure. Here are some safety tips you can follow to stay healthy: LEARN MORE

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Steps You Can Take to Improve Air Quality

We can each take steps to improve air quality. Transportation is a significant contributor to air pollution. You can help by carpooling or using public transit for your commute. For short distances, using active transportation by walking or riding a bike creates zero emissions and is good for your health. 

Emissions can also be reduced by not warming up your car, avoiding idling, and adjusting your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter, 78 in the summer. 

We are a partner with UCAIR – the Utah Clean Air Partnership. Learn more about steps you can take at home, at work, and in the community from UCAIR, here.

Be Idle Free

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Air Quality and Wildfires

Wildfires can emit smoke that contains particulate matter, including harmful fine particulate matter PM2.5, that can harm our health. Smoke from wildfires can travel across entire across multiple states and linger in the air after a fire is extinguished.
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Air Quality Resources


Patient Education

Intermountain Blog Articles

Published Research Articles

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