There’s an old expression that says everything’s bigger in Texas. Well, it’s true for air pollution, too. Texas’s cities repeatedly show up on “most polluted” lists. Lately, San Antonio has been among smoggiest cities in the state–among the 10 most populated counties in Texas, the child asthma hospitalization rate in Bexar County is the highest.
This is troubling because high levels of smog, or ground-level ozone, harm our health. Breathing smog triggers asthma attacks, bronchitis, and other respiratory diseases in children. It also increases hospital admissions and death rates for adults.
Total charges for pediatric asthma hospitalizations, 2011:
–Texas: $172.9 million
–Public Health Region 8 (PHR 8): $22.3 million
–Bexar County: $18.0 million
Smog is formed when industrial pollution from cars, trucks, power plants, oil and gas wells, and factories combines with heat and sunlight in the atmosphere.
The EPA sets national standards for smog under the Clean Air Act, triggering state-based plans to reduce air pollution. The good news is that with the right plan in place, we can reduce smog pollution and enjoy cleaner, healthier air.
Reducing smog protects our families’ health. Join hundreds of San Antonio moms and dads who are part of Moms Clean Air Force. Help us fight for cleaner air.
Photo: Tom Reel /San Antonio Express-News