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225,000 Texas Children Attend School near Grandfathered Polluters

The American Lung Association cites asthma as the leading cause of children's hospital admissions for chronic conditions (1). Aside from asthma, research of ozone (smog) and particulate pollution consistently shows increased incidence of adverse health effects including allergies, headaches and infections; increased mortality (including newborns) and decreased lung volume (2).

A 1996 study by the American Lung Association and Harvard School of Public Health has also shown a link between emergency room visits and hospitalizations for respiratory conditions to high ozone levels in thirteen cities (3) . In some areas hospital visits doubled on high ozone days.

What does this mean for kids in Texas? A: report by the Sustainable Energy & Economic Development Coalition (4) revealed that:

  • In seven of the 29 Texas counties (5) with unsafe air over 292 schools are located within a two mile radius of a major grandfathered polluter.

  • More than one-third (107) of these schools are within two miles of multiple plants, increasing the exposure to pollutants.

  • Over 225,000 children attend school near facilities that are responsible for emitting over 300,000 tons of smog forming pollution each year.

Here is a list of Texas schools within two miles of grandfathered plants in selected counties.

Listen to Josh Schonborn's story. Josh Schonborn is a 12 year old asthma sufferer, who testified before the Texas House of Representatives Environmental Regulation Committee.

A 1996 study by the American Lung Association and Harvard School of Public Health has also shown a link between emergency room visits and hospitalizations for respiratory conditions to high ozone levels in thirteen cities. In some areas hospital visits doubled on high ozone days. A May 1996 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council estimated that Texas power plants emit particulates that are responsible for 2,617 premature deaths of Texans each year.

A May 1996 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council estimated that Texas power plants emit particulates that are responsible for 2,617 premature deaths of Texans each year (6).

Sources:

  1. American Lung Association Web site: http://www.lungusa.org
  2. The Center for Health and Environmental Justice
  3. Study by American Lung Association and Harvard School of Public Health
  4. "How the Grandfather Loophole Threatens Texas Schoolchildren", a report by the Sustainable Energy & Economic Development Coalition, 1999
  5. Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission Data Center
  6. "Breathtaking: Premature Mortality Due to Particulate Air Pollution in 239 American Cities", a report by the Natural Resource Defense Council. May 1996

Part Two: The Bush Environmental Agenda in Action: Protecting Grandfathered Air Polluters

Part Three: Polluters bet big on Bush

Back to Part I
Airing It Out
In Texas


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