Events and Meetings
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Adrian Shelley
Politicians, community leaders, and citizens will gather for discussion about Port of Houston issues
(Houston, TX)— The Healthy Port Communities Coalition announces a Town Hall meeting to be held on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm at Holland Middle School, 1600 Gellhorn Dr., Houston, TX 77029.
For far too long, the voices of community members have been ignored in making decisions about the Port’s economic growth, routing of hazardous and heavy truck traffic, strategic positioning of pollution control devices, and disposal of hazardous wastes. The Healthy Port Communities Coalition seeks to give a voice to portside communities that have historically been left out of this decision making process.
The Coalition is conducting surveys in portside communities to determine the full extent of these effects and raise awareness about their causes. The preliminary results of this ongoing survey of 2,000 citizens will be discussed at the town hall.
The town hall meeting will be on Thursday, April 25th at 7:30pm, at Holland Middle School, 1600 Gellhorn Dr., Houston, TX 77029.
Organized by: Public Citizen, t.e.j.a.s., TOP, Air Alliance Houston, Pleasantville Environmental Coalition
Houston Ozone Action Day
Friday, March 22, 2013, 12:30 pm
Spring Branch Community Health Center
1615 Hillendahl, Suite 100
Houston, TX 77055
Air Alliance Houston, the American Lung Association Plains-Gulf Region, and the University of Houston Honors College present: Houston Ozone Action Day!
At our Houston Ozone Action Day we will unveil a groundbreaking smartphone app that can help citizens of the Houston region take control of their respiratory health. We will discuss how ozone affects personal health, explain the power of the new app, and hear from local medical officials about the need for just such a tool in the Houston area.
It’s ozone season in Houston. Visit houstoncleanairnetwork.com to see our real-time ozone map of the Houston region—the first of its kind!
Search “ozone map” on your smart phone to get a sneak peak of the new app.
For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
Matthew Tejada, Air Alliance Houston – 713-528-3779, 512-934-8661
Alex Wagner, American Lung Association – 713-629-5864, 281-433-4492
Dan Price, University of Houston, Honors College – 713-743-4136, 713-292-8784
Houston Clean Air Network Launches
Real-Time Ozone Website for Houston Region
Groundbreaking site allows Houston residents to get up to the minute air quality information
The University of Houston, Air Alliance Houston, and the American Lung Association, Plains-Gulf Region are pleased to announce the launch of the Houston Clean Air Network website and the first real-time ozone map designed to reach a wide range of users at a local level. Sponsored by a three-year, $450,000 grant from the Houston Endowment, this groundbreaking resource promises to change the way Houston-area residents view ozone and individual exposure.
“This sort of a resource has been a dream of local public health and environmental experts for many, many years,” said Air Alliance Houston’s executive director, Matthew Tejada. “The only way a person can protect their lungs from ozone is to not expose your lungs to ozone, and now we finally have a resource that allows people in the Houston area to do exactly that.”
Ozone is a dangerous pollutant that poses a serious threat to human health and is found in consistently high concentrations in and around Houston. The health impacts which result from exposure to these high concentrations range from mild to severe and place an economic burden on Houston’s economy both in productivity losses from adverse health effects and opportunity losses from individuals who choose to take their talents to other parts of the country with better air quality. With the introduction of this tool, individuals may now take control over their own exposure to ozone and reduce the associated health effects.
This groundbreaking site is presently the only place where users may access up-to-the-minute data at a personal address level and view that data via an animated visual display. This user-specific environment will allow a wide demographic of citizens to not only receive an accurate ozone reading at their specific location, but also promises to improve the general understanding of the formation and health effects ozone in Houston.
Although individuals are currently able to check ozone values at monitor locations through various government agencies, the data available is about 1.5 hours old. This is important because ozone values can change quickly, and people in sensitive groups need to know actual exposure levels.
The site provides a unique visual representation of how the real-time ozone levels are moving throughout the Houston area. Displayed much like a weather radar map, users see the ozone “cloud” moving across the Houston area. The ozone moves in often surprising ways and sometimes neighborhoods that are close to each other have very different ozone readings. That information can allow sensitive groups to limit their exposure without giving up the outdoors all day during an ozone watch.
“The reason no one had done this earlier, was simply because it was technically very difficult,” said Dr. Dan Price of the UH Honors College and leader of a team of researchers, computer scientists and students at the University of Houston, “The visualizations required that we write new code, both for crunching the raw numbers to produce the data and for animating it in everyone’s browsers. The scientists didn’t design their networks to optimize producing maps, much less in real time, and only recently has the computational power and know how become available to make this feasible at all.”
It is our hope and intention that this site will be a daily tool for the thousands of people in the Houston area who suffer from a respiratory disease, as well as a learning tool for teachers, students, parents, and children to understand how air quality affects their health. Just as everyone checks the local weather to plan their daily activities, we hope that everyone will similarly check in with the Houston Clean Air Network to see current ozone levels and adjust their actions accordingly.
Visit the website here.
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Air Alliance Houston is the Houston region’s leading health and clean air advocacy nonprofit. Air Alliance Houston’s mission is to reduce air pollution in the Houston region to protect public health and environmental integrity through research, education and advocacy.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through Education, Advocacy and Research. With the generous support of the public, we are "Fighting for Air." When you join the American Lung Association in the fight for healthy lungs and healthy air, you help save lives today and keep America healthy tomorrow.
The University of Houston’s Honors College houses the innovative and interdisciplinary Medicine and Society minor, as well as the new Honors Program in the Health Professions. The Honors College is a hub of excellence that serves the needs of gifted undergraduates in more than 100 fields and reflects the rich diversity of the University of Houston in its courses, faculty, and students.