The Issue of Contamination of Air and Water in Texas

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There is always going to be a flaw somewhere within a system no matter how perfect you think it may have been, or even at one point ever was. Such factors vary but over time, if ignored, can lead to the fall of a once considered great nation. As of today, there are multiple complications facing the state of Texas, but I believe the greatest problem the state of Texas faces is pollution amidst the air and water. The contamination of Texas’s environment not only harms the habitat in which we live in, but it also causes the people living in Texas to possess a higher risk of developing health complications.

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“Everything is bigger in Texas”, so the saying goes, and when it comes to the pollution witnessed throughout Texas this statement can be considered to be quite true. Texas is known for many things, and one of those things is the abundance of petroleum refineries, power plants, factories, and other facilities spread across the state. All these buildings share one thing in common, and that is the release of harsh chemicals such as: sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, and other harmful chemicals into the sky. Not only do these facilities fill Texas’s air with pollutants, but during industrial maintenance, malfunctions, or natural disasters a catastrophic event can occur and cause oil spills into the bodies of water within Texas. These oil spills affect the environment by killing any marine life in proximity to the affected sight, destroying the food supply of any neighboring life, and contaminating the water; making it an utterly poor source to be even considered as usable. If consumed, polluted water can affect a person’s health by transferring diseases like hookworm into our bodies and if the water is full of pesticides, lead, and other hazardous chemicals can cause our kidneys and livers to fail. As long as facilities continue to contribute to the increasing percentage of different chemicals emitted into the air, there will be a deadly increase of the levels of toxins facing every Texan. The exposure of hazardous chemicals hidden within the air will impact everybody’s health tremendously if nothing is done to stop it. As of now some of Texas’s major cities such as Houston, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi are among some of the most polluted cities in Texas. All these cities are heavily populated with people of all ages, and the level of air toxicity will affect every one of these people’s health. Over time with the daily intake of breathing in contaminated air will result in noticeable changes on one’s health. One day you may seem to be in perfect shape but in the snap of a finger that all changes. One will start to realize that what used to be seemingly easy activity done outside will result in shortness of breath, lack of athletic abilities, chest pain, headaches, nausea, an increase in coughing, and a feeling of being overcome with fatigue. Depending on the length of exposure and the level of toxicity, there are different effects on one’s health. For instance, when exposed to high air pollution this can lead to an abrupt feeling of added stress to one’s lungs and heart, respiratory and cardiovascular illness, and impaired cells in the respiratory system. If exposed for a long-term period of time, there will be permanent health effects such as the progressed aging of the lungs, decreased lung function, the development of diseases such as asthma, cancer, and bronchitis, and an overall shortened lifespan.

The use of mobile vehicles such as cars, airplanes, and trains also contribute to most of the contamination outflow happening in Texas. Even the simplest of tasks such as driving to work or flying through the sky plays a major role in making our air supply impure. Every day we are blindly adding to the distribution of tons of chemicals spread across the state of Texas and we do not even realize we are doing so until after we are presented with the consequences of our actions. To help fix this problem we can start by making a difference in the type of transportation we chose to take to arrive to our desired destinations. Try to limit the use of driving vehicles and instead resort to riding a bike or even walking to wherever you want to go. Not only will we be reducing the spread of unwanted chemicals into Texas’s air, but we would be getting some exercise that will benefit own personal health. Another way we can fix our air quality is by placing regulations on how much pollutants can be exposed by refineries and other facilities that share the same qualities. By doing so we would be forcing the factories to limit the amount of our current energy source, or fuel, to be made. With that said we can also fix our air by coming up with a new source of energy to depend on; such as solar, wind, or kinetic energy. To limit the pollution of water in Texas we can start by recycling a lot more than what we do today. Most of the bodies of water near Texas are either full of waste thrown away by fellow Texans passing by or are contaminated by chemicals that make their way into the water. In order to fix the pollution of water we need to come up with programs that set high standards, monitor water quality, and control the waste emitted into the environment. In conclusion, I believe the greatest problem facing Texas is the contamination of both our air and water supply because it ruins our environment and has a toll on our health. Once addressed, we can rehabilitate Texas’s air and water supply by using specific methods that target the root of the problem and will ultimately leave us with a finer reserve of air and water quality.

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