In Salt Lake City schools, absences rise when the air quality worsens, and it’s not just in times of high pollution or “red” air quality days — even days following lower levels of pollutions saw increased absences.
Research is still ongoing, and the evidence isn’t yet conclusive enough to draw a cause-and-effect relationship between air quality and children’s absences from school but the correlation, according to Daniel Mendoza, a research assistant professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and visiting assistant professor in the Department of City & Metropolitan Planning, merits further exploration. Mendoza and his colleagues published their results in Environmental Research Letters.
Air pollution is harmful for not only the health, but also the education and well-being of children in our community,” says study co-author Cheryl Pirozzi, assistant professor in the Division of Respiratory, Critical Care, and Occupational Pulmonary Medicine. “Even at relatively low levels that many