Utah’s Dr. Jennifer Kious: ‘Air pollution can kill you’

Show us a body, Jennifer.

“I am a transplant to Salt Lake City. I grew up near Los Angeles, no stranger to air pollution, yet I have never experienced anything like the haze and foul-smelling air we are living in here.” [Salt Lake Tribune]

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13 responses to “Utah’s Dr. Jennifer Kious: ‘Air pollution can kill you’

  1. “Show us a body?” Are you kidding? Have you ever seen someone trying to breathe from a pollution driven asthma attack? It’s not pretty.

    • Attacks caused by PM2.5, or just high humidity with ozone warnings?

    • Howdy Biggles
      Everyone here, starting with Mr. Milloy, acknowledges that airborne irritants, including ozone and pollution, can be asthma triggers. I’ve treated asthma patients and COPD patients, and you’re right that they are suffering — but they suffer regardless of the triggers.
      COPD patients often die from the disease, many of them “prematurely” (say before 72 or 75), and pollution is probably a contributor to the disease in some cases. Tobacco and perhaps marijuana smoke are also contributors. We see COPD in people who never smoked and who live in clean-air environments, though, as we do with cancer.
      The question Mr. Milloy raises with “show us a body” is basically whether acute exposure to PM2.5 will cause an otherwise healthy person to experience health problems or death. So far, no one has shown this to be the case and the EPA experiments seem to show otherwise,

      • I don’t acknowledge air quality by itself as an asthma trigger. I’d like to see some evidence of asthma triggered at ambient levels of PM or ozone. See http://junkscience.com/2012/06/14/update-ozone-asthma-hospitalizations-still-not-linked-in-los-angeles-2009-2012-1st-quarter/

        • Howdy Mr. Milloy
          Ozone and PM2.5 may not be triggers — I don’t know enough about asthma and COPD to say and I may be saying too much when I point to ozone. Following your articles, no, it doesn’t look like PM2.5 is an immediate trigger. Other particles like soot might be triggers and I’m sure Beijing’s pollution includes plenty of them.
          It’s been a long time since I had practical experience in the field and I don’t recall that Tucson’s smoggier days always had more COPD and asthma patients.
          Some commenters seem to think you’re denying any role for air pollution in health problems and I’m sure they are mistaken.

          • Show me someone in the US whose health has been adversely impacted by ambient air quality.

            • Clean Air Advocate

              The data looks quite strong on this, Steve. Have you done any research? Or, are you simply labeling Dr. Kious’s comments as junk science without supporting your case. (even though her comments were editorial, not scientific, and were in essence a plea for citizen involvement to better the community) I detect nothing in her article that seems at all dubious from a scientific perspective.

            • If you know JunkScience.com, you know that we’ve been debunking the air quality scares since 1997.

  2. Sounds like the lady needs to return to the clean pure air of Los Angeles. A quick look suggests that the PM2.5 levels are higher in LA than Salt Lake City.

  3. I’ve been in LA when you knew you had air to breath because you could see it. Never seen a similar situation in SLC so I don’t know what this gal is talking about. Her issues are probably more about having to live in SLC rather than the glamor of LA. If there is any glamor to living in LA.

    • Clean Air Advocate

      Her comments seemed very much along the lines of a concerned citizen and mother, at least that’s the impression I took away.

  4. All I can say is – that one day in Melbourne, some years ago, I experienced symptoms exactly like those of an acute asthma attack, in a particularly bad polluted area of Melbourne, and I made damn sure I never visited that area again.

  5. Clean Air Advocate

    The winter inversion layers in Salt Lake City are quite bad this year. We’ve had many alert days on the PM 2.5 AQI. Anyone living here knows this. One can not even see the mountains on the worst days. And, one need not be a physician to know that there’s nothing mythical about Dr. Kious’s opinions. If anything falls in the junk science category, it would be a fair portion of the comments above, IMO.

    I have not seen any bodies, but I have no doubt that there are at least a handful this year, probably more.

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