Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) August 14, 2012
A summer contest offers residents of Pennsylvania the chance to win prizes for guessing when the Steel City’s “First Clean Air Day of Summer” will occur. Much like a television weatherman might ask viewers to pick the first snow day of the year, the contest asks people to submit their guess for the First Clean Air Day of Summer.
The contest is part of an ongoing effort by a coalition of nonprofit groups (all members of The Breathe Project) to raise awareness about air quality in the Pittsburgh area. Although air quality is improving, the region’s air remains the sixth worst in the nation, contributing to health issues such as asthma and lung disease. The contest provides a positive way for residents of Pittsburgh and other areas of Pennsylvania to pay attention to the daily air quality and the standards by which good air quality is defined.
Pittsburgh has a reputation for high levels of particle pollution from the surrounding industries. But according to John Graham, a senior scientist for Clean Air Task Force who developed the criteria for the contest, a Clean Air Day is attainable. Clean Air Days are defined as days of high quality air -- among the cleanest five percent of days of the year -- with minimal air pollution. Calculations are based on standard measures of airborne pollution, including ground level ozone (smog) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5 - soot), as detected by four monitoring stations in Allegheny County. When the average ratio of the Lawrenceville Ozone, Lawrenceville PM2.5, Liberty PM 2.5, and Harrison Ozone is lower than 1.0, a Clean Air Day is declared and a winner is selected. So far, ratios have varied from a high of 4.16 on July 6 to a low of 1.22 on July 20 and 21. However, a third of the summer still remains and Graham believes that one could happen in September.
“Pittsburghers are all too familiar this year with bad air days, when the air is dangerous to breathe,” said Heather Sage, Vice President of Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture). “But we can begin to have truly clean and healthy air by making this the summer of energy. With all of us working together, changing how we use energy and what kind of energy we use, bad air days will become a thing of the past. And this contest is a great way to get all Pittsburghers taking action to make clean air a reality.”
Contest entry is free. Participants (Pennsylvanians age 13 and older) can enter at http://firstcleanair.net/ through September 21. Should the date they pick pass without there yet being a Clean Air Day, participants can try again by submitting a new guess. Those who pick the winning date will be entered into a drawing with a chance to receive one of several prizes including a free ride in a hot air balloon.
To enter the contest, participants can visit firstcleanair.net or text the word ‘air’ to 877877. There is no cost to enter the contest (text message fees may apply for text entries).
Nonprofit groups sponsoring the contest include Clean Water Action, Group Against Smog and Pollution, Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, Clean Air Council, Clean Air Task Force, PA Voice, the Children’s Initiative, and Women for a Healthy Environment.
The contest is being managed by Green Media Toolshed’s Netcentric Campaigns and is designed to reinforce and support the goals of the nonprofits and initiatives listed above.
Western Pennsylvania Director of Clean Water Action
The First Clean Air Day contest (firstcleanair.net) is a positive way for Pittsburgh area and greater Pennsylvania residents to learn more about the condition of the region’s air quality. The contest seeks to raise an awareness of and appreciation for clean air days.