“Like Dixon and Poling, it took Boone a while to realize there was an air quality problem. Boone, who moved to the city in February 2016, first noticed a smell when the weather warmed and he left his windows open.
“’I thought my basement neighbors were doing something weird,’ Boone said. ‘I thought they were emptying the trash or doing something with mushrooms I didn’t understand.’ But the smell—which he described as ‘a peppery, industrial, diesel smell’—persisted when he walked through Squirrel Hill to catch the bus. ‘It’s interesting to see how a lot of the locals can’t smell it.’
“Boone bought a house, but he’s unsure whether he’ll stay in Pittsburgh after earning his degree in four years. The air quality will be a factor. ‘Why would you live somewhere where you can tell the air is killing you?’ he asked. ‘That is the main reason why I wouldn’t stay.’”