The American Lung Association's new State of the Air 2012 report lists Houston as the eighth-worst city in the United States for ozone pollution, also known as smog.
"Houston has had problems with smog pollution for years," said Dr. Neil Carman, an air quality expert and air program director for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. "Already in 2012, Houston has had 13 bad air quality days with high levels of smog, more than the city had in 2011 by this time."
Smog pollution poses serious health risks to Houston residents, including the risk of triggering asthma attacks, contributing to serious respiratory illness, raising the risk of hospital admissions for children with asthma and increased risk of premature death. Smog pollution most seriously threatens children, the elderly and people who work or exercise outdoors.
According to the American Lung Association report, an estimated 127,325 children suffer from pediatric asthma and 322,605 adults in the Houston area suffer from the condition.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area was also included in the list at No. 12 in the U.S. for worst smog pollution.