Submitted by dingurth1 t3_zz8xd4 in pittsburgh

I hope everyone's taking advantage of the beautiful weather today and letting the fresh air in before it gets rainy and cold again.

Unless of course you're obsessing over a pretty minor regional blip and don't want to, since as we all know, PGH is the worst air east of the Mississippi.

(Before people start riding me about it, yes it's only one day of data, but that's kind of my point. If yinz are going to obsess over every relatively minor blip we experience, I'm going to start obsessing over how good our air is to try to bring balance to the force.)



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timesuck t1_j2a8pcm wrote

Our air quality problems disproportionately affect marginalized communities. You’d know that if you had lived here for more than a few months. Great to know you’re able to open your windows, but other people aren’t and have been having this same problem for years. Talking about it with such a narrow view makes you look dumb and mean.

If that’s the way you want to present yourself, please, continue.


pittbiomed t1_j2dukqs wrote

Well it actually affects the areas where the wind direction pushes it as well , so there is that aspect that you forgot to me mention .


Antique-Low3985 t1_j2dwhu9 wrote

which marginalized communities are disproportionately effected by air quality here?


dingurth1 OP t1_j2abcs7 wrote

If people framed the argument like this, I would be much more sympathetic. But you wind up instead having people in well off communities wearing the poor AQI of the marginalized ones like some twisted badge of honor saying "I can tell when the air is so bad because my throat closes up" when the AQI in Upper St Clair or Shadyside is 60. I have no sympathy for that, and want to encourage people to be objective about their good air quality while fighting to improve that of marginalized communities that do need our help. Shaming the people who want to complain about the little things is not mutually exclusive from wanting to help those that truly need it. I'll take your advice though and try to be more tactful in the future.


samirabartends t1_j2auqcl wrote

Are you genuinely worried that Pittsburgh is in danger of people caring too much about air quality?


dingurth1 OP t1_j2b4q7f wrote

I mean, yeah. Which I know sounds weird, how can you care too much about a good thing? So forgive the length of the following.

To start, air quality is important, Pittsburgh's is not the best, and it's always good to shoot for improvement. But the center of my argument is people do care too much because current numbers don't reflect the collective consensus that our air is so bad.

This is mostly driven by the fact that Pittsburgh had decades of toxic air, so it firmly lodged itself in people's minds (rightfully so at the time). It doesn't help that there are still industrial centers that cause high localized problems on a semi regular basis. But the overall trend is PGH air is miles better than it used to be and is getting better year over year. Even in the worst areas.

But instead of people being happy and positive about that improvement, you have undue negativity dragging and holding people down.

You still see so much genuine anxiety and stress over this issue on this sub. If people were more objective about it, being realistic with our current air quality rather than fixated on the past, it would have tangible benefits on the area's mental health.

I genuinely think this likely probably feeds a placebo effect for a lot of people, making their physical health worse because they hype it up in their head when they see the AQI pass 50.

When people freak out about AQIs in the 50s, 60s, or 70s, its laughable. It disenfranchises people who have to deal with real issues living next to the factories where the AQI is 150, 200, etc. Those same people then cite the AQIs of those marginalized communities as if they can claim they suffer to the same extent which is what pisses me off the most.

Pittsburgh is a great city and yet you have so many people making or not making financial, life altering decisions because of this hyperbolic mindset. I get that especially for some neighborhoods and some people with specific issues they need to consider these things more seriously. But then you have people on this sub telling others to not move here because the entire city has toxic air which is blatantly false. It's like these people want to keep the city as down and depressed as they are.

To wrap this up, I just want to be crystal clear. We should be doing everything we can to improve the air and hold these polluting companies responsible, potentially even to the point of shutting them down. But unless people live next to one of these factories, they should realize that AQIs in the moderate range are typical for almost every urban/suburban community in the country. Which reflects just how far PGH has come.


westinghousesghost t1_j2a6hwi wrote

I feel bad for those in the AQ zone. It's such a gorgeous day for driving with the window down. Seems like a perfect r/fuckyouinparticular moment.