Mail Icon Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Share
NEWS & EVENTS Subscribe to rss news feed  

 

Kaye Burnet
WESA
February 10, 2015

 

BCmap

 

Pittsburgh is the 6th most offensive city in the country in terms of air pollution, according to a 2014 report from the American Lung Association.

 

However, Carnegie Mellon University professor Albert Presto wanted to look further into Pittsburgh’s air quality. Using mobile laboratories, including a van he called the “Breathmobile,” Presto drove throughout Allegheny County collecting pollution data. Presto turned this data into a series of color-coded maps that reveal where pollutants are found in the county.

 

Presto will present these maps in a public forum at 7 p.m. Wednesday night in the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh.

 

Presto said Pittsburgh air quality is marked by high levels of particulate matter that violate Environmental Protection Agency standards. Particulate matter is made up of small solid or liquid specks suspended in the air. Presto said this includes the puff of black smoke that large trucks emit and the smog that can make far-away hillsides or buildings look fuzzy.

 

Presto’s maps show heavy pollution concentrations in downtown, Oakland and the Monongahela River Valley, among other regions—“pretty much the places you would expect,” said Presto.

 

Industrial facilities such as the Clairton Coke Works emit large amounts of pollution in Allegheny County, said Presto, which can affect communities miles away. Pittsburgh’s river valleys augment the problem, Presto explained, because “the emissions can get trapped down there.”

 

Stephen Riccardi from the PennEnvironment Research Center said Pittsburgh does not have to choose between clean air and industry — industry just has to clean up its act.

 

“There’s a lot of it that’s just asking the facilities to be more careful in how they are going about their processes,” said Riccardi.

 

Riccardi pointed out that while Pittsburgh has made big improvements in air quality since its soot-ridden days of the last century, there is still an ongoing problem.

 

“With air pollution, ‘better’ is hardly good enough,” Riccardi said, pointing out that particulate matter aggravates asthma.

 

Dr. Deborah Gentile from Allegheny General Hospital will be present at Wednesday’s forum to explain how poor air quality can hurt public health. According to the World Health Organization, particulate matter can cause respiratory and heart problems. It has been linked to lung cancer and increased hospitalizations, especially among children and the elderly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

events
October 20, 2017
GASP-toberfest     Join GASP for fun, fall festivities at GASP-toberfest as we celebrate a year’s worth of victories and successes.   Fri, October 20, 2017 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM EDT   Penn Brewery Restaurant 800 Vinial Street Pittsburgh, PA … Learn More
October 14, 2017
2017 Pittsburgh Solar Tour   Participate in the Seventh Annual Pittsburgh Solar Tour   PennFuture’s 7th annual Pittsburgh Solar Tour encourages solar and clean energy solutions by connecting citizens to residential, commercial, and public solar installations and installers. Each year, this free event attracts … Learn More
October 25, 2017
Pittsburgh’s Air Quality, Indoor Environments, and You   A CRASH COURSE AND CITIZEN SCIENCE SHOWCASE: PITTSBURGH’S AIR QUALITY, INDOOR ENVIRONMENTS, AND YOU October 25, 2017 – 3-6p The Heinz Endowments’ 31st Floor Conference Center   Despite great improvements in air quality since the days of streetlights being … Learn More
September 27, 2017
Petrochemical America: From Cancer Alley to Toxic Valley Will Pittsburgh forget the lessons learned from its toxic past in writing the next chapter for its future?   Several organizations concerned about the region’s air quality, environment and future have come together to present a multimedia exhibition that draws … Learn More
August 10, 2017
GASP Air Fair   “GASP for Clean Air! Sources, Symptoms, and Solutions” is an art exhibit put on by GASP and hosted at Assemble throughout August 2017. This family-friendly exhibit focuses on air quality issues impacting Southwestern PA and what they mean for … Learn More
October 17, 2017
Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Training Comes to Pittsburgh Join Climate Reality for their Leadership Corps training and work with former US Vice President Al Gore and renowned climate scientists and communicators to learn about what’s happening to our planet and how you can use social media, powerful storytelling, … Learn More
May 22, 2017
Green City Remix Explores Social Change through Air Quality and Art   Celebrate the first youth designed exhibit at the Senator John Heinz History Center. The Opening Celebration will showcase an art installation crafted by cohorts of high school learners from seven area schools. The students spent several months exploring the … Learn More
May 3, 2017
Physical Activity, Air Pollution and Asthma in the Urban Environment   Making the Connection Series: Physical Activity, Air Pollution and Asthma in the Urban Environment.   Dr. Stephanie Lovinsky-Desir will discuss her research and afterwards there will be a panel of health and community experts to respond to her presentation. … Learn More
See all events
latest on facebook

  • Fatal error: Uncaught OAuthException: Error validating application. Application has been deleted. thrown in /nfs/c09/h05/mnt/133684/domains/breatheproject.org/html/wp-content/plugins/facebook-feed-grabber/facebook-sdk/base_facebook.php on line 1254