Thursday, February 17, 2011
A number of physicians, health care professionals and organizations are sending a letter to Pittsburgh Council asking it adopt the "Clean Construction" Diesel emission regulation ordinance. Diesel emissions have been linked to heart attacks, asthma, lung cancer and premature deaths and the Pittsburgh Clean Air Act currently before council would require contractors working on large, publicly funded projects to retrofit their equipment and use cleaner fuels. Dr. Bernard Goldstein, Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the University of Pittsburgh says diesel emissions have been on the radar of health professionals for a long time, but it's been difficult to regulate because emissions come from so many small, local sources. Goldstein says he's happy to see a construction boom in the Pittsburgh region, "because it means we're coming out of our economic problems. As we do, we're going to have even more sources (of diesel emissions) -- the time to control them is now, the time to put in new controls to be sure people are using the most effective controls for their diesel sources is now."