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Coke plant pollution linked to “asthma epidemic” in Pittsburgh-area elementary school

“Perhaps most striking—the researchers’ testing was the first asthma diagnosis for 15 percent of the students with asthma, meaning the children were living with the disease untreated. . . .

“In Clairton, they pointed to a major nearby polluter—the Clairton Coke Works Plant—as a culprit for the excessive respiratory problems. ‘When we adjust for things like economics, race and smoking, these don’t appear to drive [asthma] but air pollution does,’ Gentile said. ‘Which makes sense, since many kids literally are living on the fence-line of the plant.’ . . .

“According to an Allegheny County Health Department report the plant had at least 6,700 air pollution violations over a three-year span between 2012 and 2015.

“Two of the main pollutants near the plant—small particulate matter (PM2.5) and black carbon—are know asthma triggers.”

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