The American Lung Association's "State of the Air 2011" has ranked Pittsburgh as the third most polluted for short-term particle pollution. The region also ranked seventh for yearlong average of particle pollution, while Allegheny County was ranked 41st in the nation for worst levels of ozone. The County did have fewer days of dangerous air pollution and lower long-term levels of fine-particle pollution than last year.
Allegheny County Health Department spokesman Guillermo Cole says the A.L.A report is not getting a fair measurement of the city as a whole. "It uses reading from one air monitoring site, which happens to be the worst here in Allegheny County. And it uses that reading to represent what air quality is like throughout Allegheny County and the metropolitan area."
Cole says that the county as a whole is within healthy standards. He says they have always known that Liberty (where the A.L.A. monitoring site is located) is the most polluted in the county, but other air monitoring sites have shown much lower levels.
The A.L.A. gave the county an "F" for particle and ozone pollution this year. The Association cited in their report that 51,000 children and about 175,000 adults in the county have asthma. While the cleanest cities in the report were Honolulu, Hawaii and Santa Fe-Espanola, New Mexico.