NPR / STATE IMPACT – The American Lung Association’s annual report card on air quality found more U.S. cities and more people experienced unhealthy air than in the previous report. And it ranked the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas as among the most polluted in the country. The association says its 2020 State of the Air report provides more evidence that climate change is making it harder to protect human health.
James Fabisiak a professor of environmental and occupational health at the University of Pittsburgh, said the rising ozone levels in this report stood out to him since they had fallen in previous reports. Ozone doesn’t come from a single source, and it’s aggravated by higher temperatures. “Therefore, climate change becomes a particular—at least, good—candidate as for why you might be seeing that particular change.”
Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, was one of only 14 counties nationwide to fail all three metrics. The Pittsburgh area, which includes parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, was the only one of the country’s worst 25 cities for short-term particle pollution that was east of Utah. That’s even though the area matched its best-ever year-round average concentration of fine particle pollution and saw fewer days with unhealthy spikes.
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American Lung Association Claims In Report That Climate Change Will Make It Harder To Protect Health, Apr 21, 2020, by Rachel McDevitt/WITF - This story is produced in partnership with StateImpact Pennsylvania, a collaboration among WESA, The Allegheny Front, WITF and WHYY.