Presentation on theme: "Let’s Clean Our Air, Together. What is the Breathe Project? We are: A coalition of businesses, government, nonprofits, residents and many others in southwestern."— Presentation transcript:
What is the Breathe Project? We are: A coalition of businesses, government, nonprofits, residents and many others in southwestern Pennsylvania. Our goal: To clean the air in our region. Why? For the health of our families and the future of our economy.
Pittsburgh’s Air Quality Needs Improvement Once known as “The Smoky City,” Pittsburgh’s air has improved over the past few decades. BUT: Just because you can no longer see the problem doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Our region’s air quality is still in the danger zone, ranking among the worst in the nation for harmful, yet largely invisible pollutants.
Key Air Pollutants in our Region Ozone (or “smog”) is created by chemical reactions between oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight. Particulate matter pollution (“PM” or “soot”) is the term for a mixture of solid particle and liquid droplets found in the air. These can include inhalable course particles with diameters up to 10 micrometers and fine particles with diameters that are 2.5 micrometers and smaller. Hazardous air pollutants (or “air toxics”) are those known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental effects.
Air Pollution In our Region Is Widespread The problem exists throughout the region–it is not limited to one “dirty” monitor. Pollution comes from local businesses, power plants, industrial and commercial facilities, even wood stoves (“stationary sources”) and from cars, trucks, buses and construction equipment (“mobile sources”).
Poor Air Quality Hurts Our Health Poor air quality worsens asthma and other respiratory diseases. Poor air quality causes higher rates of heart disease and lung cancer. It can contribute to heart attacks – and increases the risk of premature death. Poor quality can also increase your chance of other serious health conditions. The most vulnerable are the most affected: children, the elderly, people with cardiac or respiratory disease, women who are pregnant. But everyone’s health is at stake, and there is no “safe” level of exposure.
Poor Air Quality Hurts Our Economy Companies seeking to relocate often don’t consider cities with poor air quality. Employee recruitment/retention can suffer. New facilities can be built only if there are reductions in pollution from existing facilities to “offset” the new emissions. Federal transportation funding can be restricted. Air pollution reduces employee productivity because of missed work days due to employee illness or the need to care for sick children.
Local Solution to a Local Problem There ARE solutions to our air quality problem, and we are committed to finding the right answers for the Pittsburgh region. For the first time, CEOs of our major corporations are standing side by side with public health experts, environmental advocates and elected officials, all pledging together to clean our air for our health, economy and way of life.
We’re Already Succeeding We’ve reduced harmful emissions from Pittsburgh’s school buses and construction trucks. We held the first major medical conference about health effects from poor air quality in our region. Scores of organizations and hundreds of individuals are joining our growing coalition. We’re building networks of informed citizens to help ensure that key stakeholders understand clean air is essential to our region’s future.
Our Partners are Cleaning Our Air Some things our coalition partners are doing: PNC Bank is a leader in green construction, including installing a “green wall” on its headquarters building. Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy organizes tree plantings to boost the number of pollutant-absorbing trees in our region. Carnegie Mellon University purchases 100% of its energy from wind power. The Pittsburgh Pirates have implemented a host of energy conservation measures at PNC Park, including installation of compact fluorescent light bulbs and motion sensors for lighting fixtures.
Visit our website at www.breatheproject.org Latest news and research, clean air events, information about air quality in our region. Hear from our coalition members about why they are part of the Breathe Project. Learn how you can make simple changes and take easy steps to clean our air.
Join the Breathe Project! If you care about the air you breathe, we invite you to join us today. Our lives–and way of life–depend on clean air. Sign up at www.breatheproject.org. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/breatheproject. Follow us on Twitter @breatheproject.