On the now all-too-common Orange and Red Air Days, the air burns your nose and throat, and it smells like burnt tires and twice-baked garbage outside. It's cold, miserable and polluted under this cap of inversion, a phenomenon seen each winter along the Wasatch Front. Because the valley is surrounded by mountains on both sides, cold air becomes trapped under a layer of warm air, so pollution continues to build up until a storm rolls in ... but it always comes back. The number of alert days has increased drastically over the past decade, and some physicians are linking the poor air to defects in child birth and chronic health problems for adults. All the while, the state's top-polluting companies (not to mention citizens who could care less) continue to spill poison into the air. Does this all sound a little drastic? Well, it should.
Read the follow-up post: The Inversion's Worst Enemies
Photographer and award-winning journalist Austen Diamond specializes in creative portraiture, commercial photography and editorial photojournalism. For booking inquiries and to view his portfolio, go to www.AustenDiamond.com.