COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Apr 14, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A Texas A&M University study shows Houston has wild fluctuations of air pollution that are far above acceptable national standards for health safety risks.
Renyi Zhang, professor of atmospheric sciences at the College Station-based A&M, modeled Houston's air during the summer months.
He found that at night, the city's ozone level (rated in PPBs, or parts per billion) was near zero, but during the day it zoomed to more than 200 PPBs -- far higher than the U.S. standard of 120.
Zhang's findings are reported in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
He says the high daytime rating can be directly traced to the huge refineries and petrochemical complexes in the area, plus the large amount of auto exhaust in Harris County.
"It all means a significant health risk is possible for people in this area unless something is done," he said.
Some studies have previously shown Houston to have some of the worst air pollution in the United States.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.