Energy & Environment

Community Air Monitoring Program shows high levels of air pollution in areas like Near Northside/Northline, Pasadena

Some air pollution hazards include high ozone levels in areas like Gulfton and pollution from industrial sources in Galena Park. 


Air monitoring device

New hyper-local data shows air pollution hazards in areas like Galena Park, Gulfton, and Near Northside/Northline.

Air Alliance Houston, a non-profit advocacy organization, unveiled the findings from their first year of their Community Air Monitoring Program. Anthony D'Souza is the Research and Policy Coordinator for Air Alliance Houston and said their data highlights air pollution hazards present in five communities near the Greater Houston area.

"It really depends on the community that you're living in, but all these communities are inundated by very high levels of pollution," D'Souza said. "[This] highlights the unique challenges that each of them face."

MORE: Air Alliance discusses air monitoring on Houston Matters (April 24, 2023)


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

D'Souza said areas like Galena Park get most of their pollution from industrial sources, while areas like Gulfton see high ozone levels because of its lack of greenery. Breathing ozone can cause chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion.

Such symptoms can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Loren Hopkins is the Chief Environmental Science Officer of the Houston Health Department and said the data collected from the Community Air Monitoring Program highlights such areas where people are more prone to asthma attacks.

"Some of these communities are in areas where there's asthma attacks six times higher than the rest of Houston," she said. "Happens only in specific areas of Houston."

Their data was recorded using air monitor networks activated in 2022. Cruz Hinojosa is the president of the Environmental Community Advocates of Galena Park and he and other residents are using that data to protect their health.

"I've lived in Galena Park for 24 years. People say, ‘Hey, Galena Park. Huele. It stinks in Galena Park,'" he said. "I'd say, ‘I don't smell nothin'. But no more."

Researchers say other areas they plan to monitor in the near future include Channelview and west of the Baytown area. Both areas are surrounded by petro-chemical plants.

Patricia Ortiz

Patricia Ortiz


Patricia Ortiz is a daily reporter for News 88.7. Her work includes a variety of topics including transportation, technology, energy, immigration and education. Patricia graduated from the University of Houston in Fall 2022 with a Bachelor's in Journalism. She spent most of her college career at the university's literary magazine,...

More Information