Even though the chemical plants are 45 miles away from the heart of Houston, in Texas City, the tiniest particles can come here airborne. These tiny particles are called Particulate Matter (PM) these PM can come from atmospheric gases such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds. You can find such fuels as these in cars and industrial facilities such as chemical plants. By using coal fired power plants we are dispersing also mercury into the air that affects not only humans through affecting the organs and nervous systems, but also polluting the rivers and sakes. Clean Air) As of 2006 Houston ranks the 6th most polluted city in America. According to the EPA the average person breaths 3,400 gallons of air a day and according to American Lung Association the air that is being breathed is hazardous to their health. (Houston Ranks as 6th) Water pollution is also a large factor in Houston but IS also underway of resolving the issue the best it can be resolved. The pollution in waters are often caused by littering and also caused by chemicals, fertilizers, oil’s, coli form bacteria, and pesticides. During the times it rains it pushes and carries pollutants in water ways and into rivers and streams.
When flooding occurs it can also push sewage into lakes and streams which in turn could end up into the main water system. Because Houston flat topography it leaves the city open to flooding. The city of Houston is trying its best to resolve the issues with air pollution. In February 2006 the Mayor Bill White has announced that there will be use of higher technology and equipment to catch some of the airborne problems Houston faces. Some of which include infrared cameras and mobile monitoring units that will be placed on helicopters or ships or even handheld, to record the gaseous emissions.
The Mayor was happy to receive a $200,000 grant to purchase two infrared cameras and also $500,000 for mobile monitoring units that can be used to assess ambient air. As of only recently has the city of Houston been able to effectively locate the regions of pollution and its different types of toxic emissions. With the new types of technology that is under development, we will be able to distinguish the types of toxic emissions and also its sources.