Air quality and asthma in Cache Valley: Researcher seeking participants

LOGAN, Utah — New research at Utah State University is looking at how children with asthma respond to air quality in the Cache Valley area.

USU professor Mehmet Soyer is working with 10 families in the Cache Valley area with children who have asthma, asking them when they pull out an inhaler, when they skip recess and what their symptoms are after a bad air quality day.

“People are worried about the air quality and would like to do more about how we can reduce air pollution in Cache Valley,” Soyer said.

The research is designed to see if asthma is affected by family genetics or air quality.

So far, Soyer says their research shows it’s related to air quality.

“When their kids are coughing their lungs out, people are asking, 'Are you sick?' Actually, they are not sick,” Soyer said. “They have asthma, which is triggered by the bad air.”

If it’s a "red" air day, some of the families won’t send their kids to school. Other days the children are just missing recess.

Soyer hopes his team’s research can help find solutions for Utah’s kids.

“Eventually we would like to pass a resolution with city hall to stop idling,” Soyer said.

If you or someone you know who qualifies would be interested in participating, Soyer said you can reach him by email at mehmet.soyer@usu.edu or call him at 435-554-6675.

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