Mar 26, 2024 - News

Where SLC's air quality ranked in 2023

Average air quality in major U.S. cities, 2023
Data: IQAir; Note: Among cities with at least 500k metro-area residents; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Last year's wildfire season made air quality worse in cities across the country — but not in Utah.

The latest: In 2023, Salt Lake had the 11th-lowest average particulate matter levels, known as PM2.5, of 103 cities reviewed by IQAir, a Swiss air quality technology company.

  • Ogden was 9th-lowest and Provo was 12th.

Yes, but: All three cities exceeded levels recommended by the World Health Organization.

The big picture: It's not coincidental that the cities with the worst air quality last year were in the Upper Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, as those regions were smothered in smoke from Canada's unprecedented wildfire season.

The intrigue: Winter inversion still packed a punch last year, with February's air pollution more than three times the WHO's recommended maximum.

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