What you need to know

What You Need to Know

There is plenty of scientific evidence that southwestern Pennsylvania experiences some of the worst air pollution in the country. Air pollution significantly degrades health, especially that of children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups. And while the region’s air quality has improved over the past few decades, progress lags behind that of other polluted cities in the country. Despite conventional wisdom, much of our air pollution is generated locally and comes from a wide variety of sources, including manufacturing, electrical power generation, chemical production, coke and steel making, diesel trucks buses and locomotives, barge towboats, automobiles, wood-burning,  and dry cleaning.

The Heinz Endowments believes that it is long past time for our region to accelerate the pace at which we clean our air. We must work together to reduce all sources of air pollution to achieve air quality levels that are healthy for all. This is imperative both to protect the quality of life of our current residents as well as to keep us competitive to attract new businesses and residents. You can go to the website of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency to get a snapshot of today’s air quality for the whole region. It will give you a sense of how southwestern Pennsylvania's air quality compares to other parts of the country. 

In December of 2010, an eight-part investigative series published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  reported the link between air quality and serious health conditions in the region. The Endowments will continue to commission research and share the research of others to better understand how various parts of our region are affected by air pollution geographically and over time. The Endowments also will report on the sources of air pollution and how specific health problems are linked to poor air quality. 

For more information, go to the following:


Research reports that relate to the Pittsburgh region: 

Pittsburgh Regional Environmental Threats Analysis (PRETA): Ozone Report

PennEnvironment, Dirty Energy's Assault On Our Health: Ozone Pollution



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