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“How do you protect your children from something that you can't protect yourself from?”

The San Luis Valley has always had dust storms, for as long as humans have been there. The problem now is that as water dwindles, temperatures warm, a multi-decade drought rages on, and people continue altering the landscape, dust is increasing. Dust and sand storms impact farming economies by reducing valuable topsoil, and breathing in dust can have immediate and long-term respiratory and health impacts. We talk with farmer and rancher Kyler Brown and Dr. Lisa Cicutto about the impact of dust on public health and the state of farming in the Valley, along with the constant challenge of embracing change and uncertainty amid climate change. 

Kyler Brown, Farmer & Rancher
Dr. Lisa Cicutto, Director, Community Outreach and Research at National Jewish Health

Further Reading

“San Luis Valley Air Pollution, Asthma Rates a Growing Concern,” Collective Colorado, November 3, 2020.   

“Dust Under the Radar: Rethinking How to Evaluate the Impacts of Dust Events, on Air Quality in the United States,” GeoHealth, December 8, 2023.


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