PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The American Lung Association says our area is one of the most polluted in the nation, but local health officials say the findings are flawed.

The rankings are based on the average concentration of microscopic particles in the air.

Pittsburgh is No. 3 on the list. Last year, the city led the pack.

“While we may have made a slight improvement, it’s still a long way to go before people can feel like it’s safe to breathe our air,” Heather Sage, a spokesperson for Citizens For Pennsylvania’s Future, said.

The Allegheny County Health Department objects to how the data was obtained.

It says the American Lung Association used a monitor near the Clairton Coke Works where readings are always high.

“The fact of the matter is we have seven other monitoring sites for this kind of air pollution – fine particulates – and all of these other monitoring sites are recording much lower pollution levels – levels that actually meet national standards,” Guillermo Cole, a spokesman for the health department, said.

More Health News
More Reports By Dr. Maria Simbra
American Lung Association
Allegheny County Health Department

Watch & Listen LIVE