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Neville Chemical ranks 8th in county for air pollution

By Elizabeth Perry


Neville Chemical is number eight in the top 10 most polluting plants in Allegheny County according to a recent study by PennEnvironment Research.


“We know air pollution is bad for people’s health, for fine particulate matter, shortens people’s lives and that’s been shown a bunch of times,” said Carnegie Mellon University Research Professor Albert Presto with the Department of Mechanical Engineering Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies.


Presto said different emissions can cause a variety of adverse health effects such as cancer.


“A lot of those are what we call aromatics and a lot of the aromatics are toxic air pollutants, some of them are known carcinogens,” Presto said.


Neville Chemical emitted cancer-causing agents Naphthalene, Ethylbenzene, Styrene and Cumene in addition to other dangerous chemicals, according to the study.

The most recent data collected by the Pennsylvania Department of Health dates from 2019, ranked Allegheny County second in the state for breast cancer, and third in the country overall for cancers of all types. The Penn Environmental study found a total of ten industrial facilities in Allegheny County have emitted a total of more than 1.4 million pounds of toxic pollutants in 2021.


Cancer was the cause of 22% of deaths in Allegheny County in 2013.


Neville Chemical has been operating a plant on Neville Island since 1927, according to the company website, making hydrocarbon resins from coke products for nearly 100 years.


The most polluting plant on the list was the USS- Clairton Plant in Clairton, followed by ATI Flat Rolled Products Holdings LLC, Thermal Transfer Corp in Duquesne, PPG Industries Inc in Springdale, and Universal Stainless & Alloy Products Inc, in Bridgeville rounding out the top five.


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