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Regional Summit on Air Quality and Health to Address Pollution's Toll on Pittsburgh Region
Date:4/30/2013

e rest of the community. White will speak at 2:15 p.m.

“Despite improvements over the past few decades, our region’s air still ranks among the dirtiest in the nation, with pollution levels high enough to harm our health,” said Deborah Gentile, MD, Director of Research, in AGH’s Division of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

“We know, for example, that two Pittsburgh-area school districts have asthma rates that are among the worst in the entire state. But the public also needs to be aware of the wide-ranging impacts of air pollution beyond asthma—in birth outcomes, cardiopulmonary illness and premature death,” said Dr. Gentile, who is also co-director of the Summit along with Sergei Belenky, MD, PhD, Medical Director, Division of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology at Pediatric Alliance, Pittsburgh.

“People may be surprised and disappointed at what these experts have to say about the many ways air pollution in our region is affecting our health,” said Robert Vagt, president of The Heinz Endowments, which is co-supporting the Summit along with the Suburban Health Foundation. “The ability to improve health, especially that of children and older adults, is what has motivated 150 organizations and businesses—and nearly twenty thousand southwestern Pennsylvanians to join the Breathe Project. This strong coalition is monitoring these serious problems and working to clean our air, thus supporting healthy families and communities.”    

The Summit’s keynote speaker is Joel Schwartz, PhD, Professor of Environmental Epidemiology at the Harvard University School of Public Health. Internationally recognized for his pioneering research on the
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