Carnegie Mellon University
October 15, 2013

Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon's Community Health: Air Pollution in Pittsburgh Mobile Laboratory To Debut at Inaugural Clean Air Dash and Festival

Contacts: Chriss Swaney / Carnegie Mellon / 412-268-5776 /
Jennifer Bails / The Heinz Endowments / 412-521-3504 /

Event: Runners participating in the first 5K Clean Air Dash may want to catch their breath at Carnegie Mellon University's newly equipped Community Health: Air Pollution in Pittsburgh mobile laboratory, an outreach van designed to map and monitor air quality throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. The outreach van was made possible through a two-year grant from The Heinz Endowments.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase some of our ongoing work in monitoring harmful air particulates," said Albert Presto, an assistant research professor of mechanical engineering and a faculty member of the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies at CMU.

Presto and Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Professor Neil Donahue, head of CMU's Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research, have been working to develop a holistic approach to improving climate and air quality prediction tools. Their outreach work has spanned everything from studying jet aircraft emissions on the region to how Western wildfires impact air quality.

"We are pleased to be part of a new race and festival designed to bring greater attention to the quality of our air where we all work and play," Donahue said.

The Breathe Project — a coalition of more than 170 businesses and organizations and thousands of individual supporters working toward clean air in southwestern Pennsylvania — has sponsored the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP) to organize Pittsburgh's first Clean Air Dash and Festival.

The event begins with a 5K race, along with a 1-mile fun run/walk led by Karen Hacker, the new director of the Allegheny County Health Department. Following the race, a park festival will feature CMU's new mobile van for community outreach, free yoga classes, the Venture Outdoors climbing wall, an obstacle course from the Pittsburgh Passion, food, music and environmental information booths.
For additional event information, see

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 19.

Where: Three Rivers Heritage Trail, South Side Riverfront Park, Pittsburgh, Pa. Enter from South 18th Street.