Stair Climbs for Lung Research

Pittsburgh’s been in the news a lot lately as one of the study sites for the Reducing particle pollution = Extending lifespans research just published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In a Bloomberg article, I learned this particular city saw such a dramatic improvement in air quality because it shut down the steel plants that heavily polluted the region. But despite gains the study’s cities made in air quality since the inception of the Clean Air Act, Pittsburgh currently has the worst short-term particle pollution in the country. The city is illustrative, I think, of how far we’ve come with clean air policy and how far we still have to go.

You and I can help raise money and awareness for asthma and air quality research through American Lung Association events like the upcoming Stair Climbs.

ALA is holding Stair Climbs in 25 states. Denver’s one of them, but I won’t be living there in time to participate. The climbs are “vertical road races” up prominent skyscrapers’ flights of stairs. Not only do the Stair Climb teams raise money and awareness, but the intense nature of the climbs themselves give team members a sense of how it feels to be breathless during an asthma flare.

Climb Pittsburgh III will take place Saturday, March 28 at the Gulf Tower. If you live in the area and want to support the American Lung Association there, why not join an existing climb team or start your own? Can’t participate in the climb? Donate money instead.

Are you participating this year? Outside Pittsburgh, find a Stair Climb in your city.

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