The Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, Calif., has contracted with the University of Pittsburgh on the latest in a series of studies investigating the health effects of air pollution. This is the first-ever large-scale characterization of air pollution health effects in the Pittsburgh region.

The studies are among the most comprehensive undertaken to date examining the association between a large number of specific air pollutants and observed health effects in settings where people live and work. Pittsburgh is a critical addition to the series because of its location downwind from major industrial centers along the Ohio River valley. It is now known that there are thousands of specific pollutants comprising the air we breathe. What is not well understood is which pollutants are causing observed health effects.