Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

Florian Martin, Houston Public Media

Air Quality Watchdog Worried About Proposed TCEQ Standard Change

Metal shredding facility along bayou in East End.

Wendy Siegle

Metal shredding facility along bayou in East End.

From Houston Public Media: 

There are more than 100 metal recycling plants in Houston, several of them in the East End along the ship channel.

Rod Gonzalez lives in the Magnolia Park neighborhood, not too far from some of them. He just moved here three months ago from south Texas, and he said Houston’s air feels different from what he’s used to.

“It’s definitely a different quality of air,” he said. “You know, I do experience a lot of allergy and watery eyes, and sometimes I don’t really know if it’s actually, you know, nature or my allergies or if it’s something that’s triggering it.”

There is no telling if this has to do with the recycling plants in the area but what is known is that tests have found higher than usual levels of hexavalent chromium, also called Chrome VI, in the air around these plants. Chrome VI is a metal air pollutant and has been found to increase the risk of lung cancer in workers exposed to it on a daily basis. Continue Reading

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