Air Pollution In Houston, Texas

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INTRO: Air pollution is a worldwide human health risk that affects people of all social classes. The most polluted cities can be found in developed countries such as the United States, China, and the UK. Although air pollution can be the result of natural phenomena such as volcanoes and storms, much of today’s issues stem from anthropogenic i.e. human, causes. Houston, Texas is one of the largest cities in the United States and, unfortunately, the quality of their atmosphere reflects the city’s expansive area, many shipping ports, chemical plants, and high traffic. The major issues that residents of Houston face are ground-level ozone, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and many other fine particulate matters that are correlated with health…show more content…
In his assessment of air pollution-related health risks in Houston, Ken Sexton (2007) lists the effects that five substances have on human health. He mentions that 1,3 butadiene is not only a carcinogen (toxins that increase the risk of cancer) but also has reproductive effects. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen that has been linked to respiratory effects. Acrolein and chlorine have respiratory effects, and hexamethylene has pulmonary effects. As if these effects were not sufficient proof that Houston’s air pollution is a great public safety risk, in a study by Liu Suyang (2015), it was found that several PM2.5 components such as: ammonium, sulfate, and nitrate, are associated with increased mortality rates. According to the Citizens League for Environmental Action Now (CLEAN), “short-term health effects of ground-level ozone include reduced ability to breathe, inflammation of the lung tissue, irritation of the nose and throat, and damage to respiratory cells.” (2004). As was mentioned earlier, “long-term exposure to smog has been linked to an increased risk of cancer and even death (CLEAN, 2004). In the 2015 State of the Air Report by the American Lung Association, they provided a list of health issues and the number of Houston residents that suffer from said issues. The following graph has been taken from their 2015…show more content…
The most polluted cities can be found in developed countries such as the United States, China, and the UK. Although air pollution can be the result of natural phenomena such as volcanoes and storms, much of today’s issues stem from anthropogenic i.e. human, causes. Houston, Texas is one of the largest cities in the United States and, unfortunately, the quality of their atmosphere reflects the city’s expansive area, many shipping ports, chemical plants, and high traffic. The major issues that residents of Houston face are ground-level ozone, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and many other fine particulate matters that are correlated with health

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