Public Health Facts

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Toxic air in our backyard poses a significant threat to public health and sickens people in all our communities.

10 Health Facts You Need To Know

Fact #1

Pittsburgh ranks as one of the top 25 most polluted cities in the nation in regard to year-round particle pollution (PM2.5). [1, 3]

Fact #2

Allegheny County ranks in the top 1 percent of counties in the U.S. for cancer risk from air pollution. [2]

Fact #3

Our air poses a significant threat to public health with an increased risk of heart and lung disease, asthma, diabetes, cancer and premature death. [1, 3, 6]

Fact #4

Asthma, cardiovascular disease and stroke can be aggravated by short-term exposure to particulate pollution. [7]

Fact #5

Suspected carcinogens in air pollution are associated with lung cancer, bladder cancer and childhood leukemia. [6]

Fact #6

Air pollution may be the cause of neurodevelopmental disorders (autism spectral) and neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson’s, ALS, Alzheimer’s), which have increased at alarming rates in recent decades. [6]

Fact #7

Low birth weight and developmental effects in babies are linked to chronic exposures to toxic air pollutants and particulate matter. [6]

Fact #8

Air pollution has been linked with pregnancy and birth complications among women living in Allegheny County, including increased risk of preeclampsia, gestational hypertension and preterm births. [1]

Fact #9

Fine particulate matter may alter metabolism in genetically susceptible populations, leading to higher body mass index (BMI) and obesity. [6]

Fact #10

The construction of the Shell Petrochemical facility in Beaver County could erase 30 years’ worth of regional air quality improvements and bring a variety of health risks from the VOCs it will emit. [5]