"Living and Breathing on the Front Line of a Toxic Chemical Zone"

"As the Biden administration moves to curb health threats caused by toxic chemicals, the debate hits home for families living near petrochemical plants."

"DEER PARK, Texas -- Juan López had just returned home from his job supervising the cleaning of giant tanks that hold toxic chemicals produced along the Houston Ship Channel, one of the largest petrochemical complexes in the world.

He was ready to sit down to dinner with his wife, Pamela López, and their four school-age children at their small house across the highway from the plants.

But as the family gathered, the facilities were still burning off chemical emissions, sending clouds of leftover toxics toward their two-bedroom home, hitting them on some days with distinct and worrisome smells — and leaving Mr. López concerned about the health of their children.

“I make good money where I’m at,” he said. “But I always felt like it was only me that was getting exposed, because I am working in the tanks with the chemicals. When the smell comes, all we can really do is try to keep everyone inside. Is that enough? I just don’t know.”"

Eric Lipton reports for the New York Times May 5, 2023.


Source: NYTimes, 05/05/2023