Why is air quality relevant to your business?

The history of southwestern Pennsylvania in the last 150 years is largely shaped by industry – coke, coal, steel, and energy production, all of which generate air pollution.

Human health and air pollution are directly linked – particulate pollution from industrial and vehicular traffic have been proven to exacerbate asthma, heart diseases, and Type 1 and 2 diabetes.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette recently completed a thorough series on regional air quality in Southwestern PA called “Mapping Mortality,” discussing the human, environmental, and economic relationships involved with the issue of air quality.

Why is this related to your business? Consider how the health of your community would influence the local economy.  If your community is affected by heavy pollution, residents are more prone to dying younger, paying more for health care, and perhaps are even more likely to move away to avoid health complications.

In addition, out-of-town patrons may not want to support an area plagued by poor air quality. People will visit less, invest less, and take less interest in your town, which hurts business in a very direct sense.

Take a look at this map of SW PA to get a visual of the worst pockets of pollution.

The American Lung Association compiled a list of the Eleven Biggest Clean Air Events of 2010, some good, some bad, that will influence progress on this issue in the years to come.

If you are concerned about the social and economic vitality of your community, please stay informed about this issue and support lobbies for stricter regulations and more thorough enforcement.

Visit these sites for more information:

GASP PGH – Group Against Smog and Pollution in Pittsburgh

DEP BAQ – The Department of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Air Quality for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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Filed under Business, in Southwestern PA, In the News

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