"There's at least one day a week where just breathing the air in Pittsburgh while you're just going about your day puts your health at risk"
PITTSBURGH—The air in Pittsburgh was unsafe to breathe for three months in 2018, according to a new report from the PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center.
Some modest regional improvement<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjYyMjE3Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMTYyNDk3Nn0.Gzt-u0f2E6MoskuQRQ4pd8gP8M8bAnl8JJWJDBrXWE8/img.jpg?width=11622&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C0&height=3744" id="45c5f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="41ac5655a3c4e5ab031d3be6f643cda3" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Flickr/ctj71081<p>While having unsafe air for a quarter of the year poses serious threats to public health, this report does point to some improvements: The organization's <a href="https://www.ehn.org/pittsburgh-air-quality-unsafe-2585850047.html" target="_self">last report</a> on national air quality, which came out in 2018 and looked at 2016 data, found that Pittsburgh had 121 days of unsafe air—so the region had 31 days of cleaner air this time around.<br></p><p>In 2018, Pittsburgh had 39 days in which half or more monitoring locations reported elevated levels of ozone pollution and 72 days with elevated levels of particulate matter pollution, according to the report. In 2016, there were 46 days with elevated ozone pollution and 97 days with elevated particulate matter pollution.</p><p>"It's hard to draw an overarching trend from just two years of data on unhealthy air days," Barber said. "We do know that in general over the past several decades, the trend has been toward improvements in air quality, though it has often been a little slower in Pittsburgh than the rest of the country."</p>