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The Chronicle Reports On Toxic Emissions (again)

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Jan. 11, 2006, 7:21AM


State finds toxics imperil Ship Channel neighbors

Monitors show air pollution at 11 hot spots in the Houston area can sicken residents


Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

When Victor Sarmiento reports to work aboard the Lynchburg Ferry each day, he worries about what he will breathe.

For 12 years, as he has steered the commuter ferry across the Houston Ship Channel, Sarmiento occasionally has been overtaken by fumes

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Gosh.............I almost got foot in mouth disease a minute ago ! Glad I re-read those posts. I grew up less than a 1/2 mile from Exxon in Baytown, my father was CFO and CEO of Flexitallic Gasket ,in Deer Park, for 15 years or so. He died at 55 from heart disease, not related to any plant emissions and I myself have yet to have any symptoms, but I know I sure wouldn't want any. So, yeah, I suppose we should get in a huff over what is being released in the air for us to try and breathe.

Edited by TJones
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Well, the good thing about the arm growing out of my back is that soon, I'll be able to scratch my own back.

My very limited understanding of the pollution situation over there is that a lot of those plants have hardly any emission restrictions due to grandfather clauses set up as good ol' boy deals.

Grandfather clauses that prevent people from enjoying being a grandparent due to an early death is wrong.

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I wonder if you'd still feel this way if it was you sitting in the chemo room. I'm sure you'd take one for the team, wouldn't you?

What I like about the media is that it informs people about potential opportunities and threats that may affect their life, giving the masses a chance to make the decision to live/work or not live/work in a dangerous area, or in an area that is otherwise smelly. I, myself, am well off enough to afford alternate areas and would prefer not to inhale the scent of flared Armourall. Even though it may not constitute a major threat to my health, I just don't like the smell...so I'm unlikely to have cancer as a result of airborne toxins, but that's a result of the CHOICES that I make throughout life. On the other hand, I am likely to have to undergo a quadruple bypass one day...that doesn't mean that I'm going to sue Burger King for bringing it upon me or demand that Sheila Jackson Lee tax Burger King out of existence. I just happen to like Whoppers, and the reward of the burger outweighs the known risk of future heart attacks.

What I don't like about the media is when it goes 'yellow' and reports dangers that are way out of proportion with reality. I personally think that the Chronicle would be better serving the public by doing a more thorough analysis, comparing the risk of death in the Ship Channel area by exposure to toxins with the risk of death in River Oaks by exposure to stairs. A seperate article, of much greater importance, could review the latest phone-based study of households that report unpleasant aromas. They could even utilize GIS applications to create something similar to a daily weather map of smells. That would be far more important to most people, if they were objectively informed, even though it'd violate the 'if it bleeds, it leads' policy of news media.

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