By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh breathed polluted air in 2020 for 57 days, according to a new report from the Penn Environment Research and Policy Center.

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The study found Pittsburgh ranked sixth in the state for unhealthy air days. They added up the number of days that had unhealthy levels of ozone and particulate pollution.

Research shows that pollution can have a drastic effect on health including heightened risk of heart disease, respiratory problems such as asthma, mental health issues and cancer.

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They say a lot of the pollution in our area comes from cars and buses but there are other contributing factors as well.

“One of the main and most significant contributors to air pollution in the Pittsburgh area is industrial pollution, particularly from the toxic ten most here in Allegheny County,” said Western PA Field Organizer Olivia Ross Perfetti.

The report calls for curbing the use of fossil fuels, increasing renewable energy use and strengthening air quality standards. It also warns that climate change could make our existing pollution problems even worse.

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“We can’t choose whether or not to breathe, but we can fight for clean air and the health of our community depends on it,” said Perfetti.