SOUTHWEST PA AIR QUALITY
Air pollution affects everyone. The
average adult breathes more than 3,000 gallons of air every day.
Children breathe even more air per pound of body weight and are more
susceptible to air pollution. In addition,
those with sensitivities,
the children, elderly,
people with heart
and lung disease or in
the summer, adults
who exercise outside,
face problems when
air quality pollutants
rise beyond health
GROUND LEVEL OZONE
Ozone—good up high, bad nearby
Ozone in the stratospheric ozone layer
protects us from the sun’s harmful rays.
But at the ground-level, where we
breathe, it creates problems. From May
to September, sunlight and high temperatures
bake pollutants emitted by
motor vehicles, power plants, industry
and other sources to form smog, or
ground level ozone.
Short term exposure to high levels of
ozone irritates the lung’s airways causing
inflammation. It can aggravate
asthma and bronchitis and increase hospital
Particle pollution is tiny drops of liquid or small
particles of dust, metals, and other material that float in the air. Some particles are dark or large enough
to be seen as soot or smoke. Others are so small that
they can only be detected with an electron microscope.
It comes from a variety of sources such as cars, diesel
engines, power plants, industry, construction,
forest fires, open burning, and wood combustion.
Although a year round problem, particle pollution
levels spike during high ground-level ozone days in the summer and during the winter and fall when
woodstoves and fireplaces are in use.
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SOUTHWESTERN PENNSYLVANIA AIR QUALITY PARTNERSHIP, INC.
The Air Quality Partnership forecasts “Air Quality Action Days” —
days when the air is expected to be unhealthy to breathe.
Receive FREE REAL-TIME AIR POLLUTION ALERTS throughout the year via e-mail.
It’s fast. It’s FREE. It’s easy!
It’s the best way to learn about the air quality in your area.
Find out more about the Air Quality Partnership and air quality in your area at:
To obtain hourly air quality data for Allegheny County call 412-578-8179.
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Special thanks to the Southwest PA Air Quality Partnership, Inc. who gave us permission to reprint these materials. Please contact the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission if you would like any additional information on air quality.
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