© 2022 90.5 WESA
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Trapped Air Caused A Bad Smell In Pittsburgh Thursday

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA

It smelled bad in Pittsburgh this morning.

Low inversion layers trapped pollutants in the air closer to the ground. Inversions are common, occurring when a layer of cold air becomes trapped underneath warm air. While inversions tend to dissipate throughout the day as temperatures warm up, the root cause of the bad smell shouldn’t be ignored as the odor goes away, said Rachel Filippini, executive director of the Group Against Smog and Pollution.

“Inversions are a natural weather phenomenon. They happen all over the world,” Filippini said. “But if there's not pollution in the air being trapped closer to the ground, they're really not an issue.”

In an update this afternoon, Allegheny County Health Department spokesman Chris Togneri said department teams haven’t determined the source of the odor. There is no information that the smell is harmful to any population, including sensitive residents, he said in a statement.

Filippini said she wants the Health Department to investigate the pollutant and prevent noxious odors from engulfing the region in the future.

“It's frustrating because we know that inversions do trap pollution closer to the ground for longer periods of time, but they are not the source of the pollution,” Filippini said. “They didn't create the pollution, and they don't create the noxious odors.”

In the statement, Togneri l said the ACHD will investigate to determine whether enforcement action is necessary as a result of the smell.

Margaret Fleming is a newsroom production assistant from Chicago, IL. She's a rising junior studying journalism at Northwestern University and covers sports at the student radio station, WNUR. Margaret can be reached at mfleming@wesa.fm.
WESA invites you to participate in an audience survey. We’re interested in how you use WESA and what you think of our services. Your responses will help us shape what you hear and read from WESA in the year to come. This is an anonymous survey; it takes about seven minutes to complete and there are several opportunities to provide comments and suggestions. You can take the survey through Tuesday 12/6.