Respiratory hospital admissions associated with PM10 pollution in Utah, Salt Lake, and Cache Valleys

Arch Environ Health. 1991 Mar-Apr;46(2):90-7. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1991.9937434.


This study assessed the association between respiratory hospital admissions and PM10 pollution in Utah, Salt Lake, and Cache valleys during April 1985 through March 1989. Utah and Salt Lake valleys had high levels of PM10 pollution that violated both the annual and 24-h standards issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Much lower PM10 levels occurred in the Cache Valley. Utah Valley experienced the intermittent operation of its primary source of PM10 pollution: an integrated steel mill. Bronchitis and asthma admissions for preschool-age children were approximately twice as frequent in Utah Valley when the steel mill was operating versus when it was not. Similar differences were not observed in Salt Lake or Cache valleys. Even though Cache Valley had higher smoking rates and lower temperatures in winter than did Utah Valley, per capita bronchitis and asthma admissions for all ages were approximately twice as high in Utah Valley. During the period when the steel mill was closed, differences in per capita admissions between Utah and Cache valleys narrowed considerably. Regression analysis also demonstrated a statistical association between respiratory hospital admissions and PM10 pollution. The results suggest that PM10 pollution plays a role in the incidence and severity of respiratory disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Maximum Allowable Concentration
  • Metallurgy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Respiratory Tract Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Seasons
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Temperature
  • United States
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency
  • Utah / epidemiology
  • Weather


  • Air Pollutants