Cleaner air, longer life -- is there a better reward?
The study conducted by Brigham Young University and the Harvard School of Public Health described in Don Hopey's article "Cleaner Air Is Giving Longer Life to Region" (Jan. 22) confirms that efforts to improve air quality are allowing us to live longer, healthier lives. Pittsburghers' life expectancy rose by more than two years from 1980 through 2000.
We've made great progress in recent decades, but as current regional air monitoring data make abundantly clear, work remains to be done. One straightforward way to achieve further reductions is by targeting particulate matter from diesel vehicles. Diesel particulate matter is a toxic air contaminant and a significant source of fine particulates in our region. Once emitted, diesel exhaust is inescapable -- it is emitted at ground level where it can be readily inhaled by commuters, pedestrians and children riding diesel-powered school buses. The good news is that existing technology can reduce diesel exhaust particulates by more than 90 percent.
The Allegheny County Partnership to Reduce Diesel Pollution, led by the Group Against Smog and Pollution and Clean Water Action, is tackling diesel pollution through several local initiatives that will result in diesel emission reductions from school buses, waste haulers and construction equipment. Trucks, transit buses, school buses, waste haulers, construction equipment, locomotives and marine vessels all contribute to the diesel pollution problem in Pittsburgh.
Each must be addressed in any effective cleanup solution. Learn more about the important work being done by the local diesel campaign and how you can get involved at pghdieselcleanup.wordpress.com.
Group Against Smog and Pollution