A new study predicts that, within the next ten years, Texas will lead the nation in sicknesses linked to ozone-forming pollutants.
These pollutants are a byproduct of oil and gas activity, reports The Texas Tribune.
Ten years from now, the study says, oil and gas pollutants will be responsible for almost 150,000 childhood asthma attacks. The illnesses will lead to over 100,000 lost school days. These conclusions were drawn by a joint effort of the Clean Air Task Force and Earthworks, a national environmental group based in Washington D.C.
The study was not peer-reviewed, and oil industry officials have sought to discredit it. Ozone forms when emissions from cars and industrial plants mix with airborne compounds contained in sunlight. The polluted air can worsen asthma, lung disease and heart conditions. The pollution can even affect folks who live far away from Texas oilfields. Researchers relied on Environmental Protection Agency data to come up with the figures.