Pittsburgh Out-Pollutes L.A.

by kespeland on May 2, 2008

Our neighbors up river take the number one spot for the worst short-term particulate pollution in the nation. Particulates are those microscopic particles spewing into the air from burning fossil fuels. And the short-term measurement refers to an EPA rule about days when concentrations of particulates peak. The ranking comes from the American Lung Association, which just issued its annual “State of the Air” report.

For the short-term particulate standard, Louisville came in at #21 on the list of the worst. We’re a little less polluted than San Francisco, but no better than Philadelphia.  When it comes to the yearly particulate average, Los Angeles takes top place again, with Pittsburgh coming in at #2, and Louisville #18.

Of course, the idea is not to make the list at all, but I think Louisville’s lower place on it reveals some progress. Plus, we can’t all live in the city with some of the cleanest air, Cheyenne, Wyoming, with its pollution-defending altitude, strong winds, and lack of major power plants. You can read the report here.

Also, coming the week of May 5th, you can catch my story about how the elderly are more likely to suffer from air pollution, which is likely to be affected by climate change.

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