During dust storms, host spots on the lake will pop and emit swirls of dust, collecting particles less than a fraction of the width of a human hair, darkening the sky and propelling them into communities nearby. The smallest particles can remain airborne for weeks at a time. 

The lake bed contains pollutants like arsenic, distributed widely across the surface, which could be an indication that some of it occurs naturally, Perry said.  

The lake has long been a catchment for industrial pollution. Each area of the lake has its own recipe of toxic metals and other substances, fed by different polluting industries nearby. Researchers are concerned that what’s been stored in the lake will soon be carried on the wind into Salt Lake City and other neighboring communities. -NBC News