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Air Pollution in Houston, Texas


Many public health concerns are identified, and policies are offered to solve them. For this reason, policies are crucial in solving the problems people encounter. This study aims to provide a policy brief for reducing air pollution in Houston. This paper will give some background on the health policy issue. The problem’s scope and its victims’ demographics will be central themes in this paper. The essay will also include a problem statement. The policy’s negative effects on health, as well as some potential solutions, will be discussed. The document will also go into the measures needed to bring about a shift in policy. The implications for the healthcare system are discussed in the final section of the study.

The Policy Health Issue

Air pollution in Houston, Texas, has been selected as the health concern of the study. The American Lung Association ranked Houston’s ozone pollution the ninth worst in the US in their 2019 State of the Air Report. The three-day weighted average was almost 26.7, which is high (Demetillo et al., 2020). Local air pollution is a real problem. Active youngsters and adults and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma, lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, chronic bronchitis, and pneumonia are among those who feel its effects in Houston City.

A Problem Statement

Houston, Texas’s air pollution endangers locals’ health and standard of living. Roughly 5,000 people in Houston lost their lives prematurely in 2015 due to the city’s high corruption, while the city suffered roughly $49 billion in economic losses (Pan et al., 2021). As a result, fixing the problem is necessary to keep the city from suffering any further damage.

Policy Change

Houston has an unacceptable level of air pollution, and something must be done about it. There will be a sequence of actions required to initiate a policy shift. The first step is to collect data on how dangerous Houston’s air pollution is to people’s health. Shapiro & Walker (2020) report that Houston has the worst air pollution in the United States. Even though the city’s pollution levels have been steadily decreasing for the last 30 years, they are still extremely high. The second phase determines who will be key in shaping and enforcing the policy. In particular, government agencies and local administrators will play a pivotal role in shaping and enforcing these policies. These decision-makers will back the plan and allocate the funds needed.

The third phase will offer the selected stakeholders data regarding air pollution and its impacts. If a new policy is to be implemented, the identified officials will back it depending on the severity and frequency of air pollution in the area. A preliminary policy draft is the focus of the fourth stage. The draft will provide insight into the final form of the policy and any necessary adjustments. The next phase is to have discussions with local authorities and government representatives. These individuals have a strong interest in seeing the proposed modification succeed and will offer advice on what improvements should be made. The next phase is to draft the policy’s final version, including the proposed plan for lowering the city’s pollution levels. The policy may suggest, for instance, relocating some chemical manufacturing facilities. About 400 chemical plants are located in Houston. In addition, the city is home to two of the country’s four largest refineries. The final phase will be to put the new policy into effect to reduce the area’s severe air pollution.

The effect of Air Pollution on the Health Care Delivery System

Houston’s poor air quality severely affects healthcare in the city. COPD, asthma, and lung cancer are just some of the respiratory diseases that see an upsurge in occurrences due to polluted air. Because of this, healthcare providers will have more patients who need their services as the frequency of these situations rises. The high patient population also contributes to the high expense of healthcare. As the number of patients increases, the quality of treatment provided to each one is likely to decrease (Alexeeff et al., 2022).

Residents in Houston, particularly those who lead active lifestyles or suffer from respiratory illnesses like asthma, or lung cancer, face a serious threat to their health from air pollution. Thus, a new strategy must be implemented to lower the town’s high pollution rate. Evidence regarding air pollution levels in Houston and its impacts on public health will be collected, participants will be recognized, information concerning air pollution and its effects will be delivered to the key stakeholders, a draft policy will be established, consultations will be held with public officials and local administrators, a final document of the policy will be drafted, and the new policy will be executed. When put into effect, the new legislation will help lower the area’s already high levels of air pollution.


Alexeeff, S. E., Roy, A., Shan, J., Ray, G. T., Quesenberry, C. Q., Apte, J., … & Van Den Eeden, S. K. (2022). Association between traffic-related air pollution exposure and direct health care costs in Northern California. Atmospheric Environment287, 119271.

Demetillo, M. A. G., Navarro, A., Knowles, K. K., Fields, K. P., Geddes, J. A., Nowlan, C. R., … & Pusede, S. E. (2020). Observing nitrogen dioxide air pollution inequality using high-spatial-resolution remote sensing measurements in Houston, Texas. Environmental Science & Technology54(16), 9882–9895.

Pan, S., Fulton, L. M., Roy, A., Jung, J., Choi, Y., & Gao, H. O. (2021). Shared use of autonomous electric vehicles: Air quality and health impacts of future mobility in the United States. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, p. 149, 111380.

Shapiro, J. S., & Walker, R. (2020). Is Air Pollution Regulation Too Stringent? (No. w28199). National Bureau of Economic Research.


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