Pittsburgh has gotten a lot of credit for cleaning up the air and water after the heyday of its industrial past, but problems persist. Today, some communities still bear the brunt of pollution and a disproportionate share of the health issues that come with it. In our series, Hazardous to Your Health, we’ll explore some of these places and talk to the people who live there to understand the scope of the problem and what we can do about it.
This series is funded by the Pittsburgh Foundation.
Listen to a special episode of Hazardous to Your Health:
In urban neighborhoods, trees could prove to be more than just a nicety, but a necessity, when it comes to people’s health. In Pittsburgh's Garfield neighborhood, a group of volunteers is paying special attention to some vacant properties, mostly owned by the city.
Clairton sits in the shadow of US Steel's massive Clairton Coke Works. There's a growing concern among residents that the plant's emissions are causing asthma and cancer. But can a town prove that pollution is causing its health problems?
The EPA’s Environmental Justice office is meant to defend communities that face a disproportionate share of the effects of pollution. But the office’s funding could be cut entirely in President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal.
If you believe your health has been, or could be, impacted by industry pollution, one place to start is this organization. Staffed with doctors, nurses and public health scientists, the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project helps people and communities protect themselves.
Scientists have linked fracking with health issues for people who live near gas wells. Many wonder whether the fracking process itself is to blame. But one researcher thinks the problem might have nothing to do with fracking, but rather something we see so often, we hardly ever notice it.
The Clairton Coke plant - the largest in the country - has become something of a lightening rod in this community. And the town is full of people who are new to understanding what's going on and becoming active for the first time. Meet three of them.
What do you do when you worry that pollution from a local industrial plant is making people in your town sick, and you want to do something about it? It can help to talk to someone who has been down that road. The Allegheny Front connected people from two Allegheny County communities in different stages of this shared experience, and sat in on their conversation.
Last year the Shenango Coke Works closed. This spring some of the people who fought it are celebrating by telling their stories of living downwind from one of the region's biggest and most visible polluters.