SALT LAKE CITY — Between the fires and the inversions, people along the Wasatch Front have long been concerned about air quality. So a local doctor wanted to know if high-efficiency particulate air filters, or HEPA filters, really help clear the air.
Dr. Denitza Blagev is a pulmonologist whose patients experienced worsening symptoms, particularly during the winter temperature inversions that can trap pollution in the valleys.
“We would have people asking, ‘Well, what can we do? What can people do to try and protect themselves?'” she said. Specifically, they wanted to know if HEPA filters would help, but because there was so little science on them, she wasn’t sure whether to recommend them.
Blagev placed HEPA filters in 52 homes to see if they live up to their reputation. She was pleasantly surprised by the results. The amount of pollution coming in from outside was reduced by 23 percent, and fine particulate matter was cut by about 55 percent.
“Those are significantly reduced when you have the HEPA filter on, versus not,” she says. “It was really validating to be able to see how much air pollution is really cleaned up by these air filters.”
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