This City in Texas Has Been Named the Most Polluted City in State


Air pollution is a major environmental and health concern that affects millions of people throughout the world. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution causes an estimated 7 million premature deaths per year. More than 137 million Americans live in areas with high levels of particle pollution or ozone, two of the most common and harmful pollutants.

What are the causes and effects of air pollution?

Particle pollution, commonly known as particulate matter (PM), is a combination of solid and liquid particles tiny enough to enter the lungs and bloodstream. PM can originate from a variety of sources, including industries, power plants, cars, wildfires, and biomass burning. PM can cause respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, including asthma, bronchitis, heart attacks, and strokes. PM can also raise the risk of cancer and early death.

Ozone, commonly referred to as smog, is a gas produced when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds react with sunlight. Vehicles, power stations, industrial sites, and chemical solvents are all potential producers of ozone. Ozone exposure can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat while also causing lung tissue damage.

Ozone can also aggravate pre-existing respiratory disorders including asthma, COPD, and emphysema. Ozone can also weaken the immune system’s capacity to fight infections, raising the risk of early mortality.

Which Texas City Has the Worst Air Quality?

According to the American Lung Association’s 2022 State of the Air study, which examines data from 2018 to 2020, Dallas is the most polluted city in Texas. Dallas is ranked 16th in the nation for ozone pollution, with 47 hazardous days per year. Dallas is also the 24th worst for year-round particle pollution, with an annual average of 10.3 micrograms per cubic meter. Dallas is also the 28th worst for short-term particle pollution, with 10 hazardous days per year.

Dallas holds the unpleasant distinction of being Texas’ most polluted city, surpassing Houston, which ranks 18th worst for ozone pollution, 25th worst for year-round particle pollution, and 31st worst for short-term particle pollution. Houston has 46 harmful days for ozone, 10.2 micrograms per cubic meter of year-round PM, and 9 unhealthy days for short-term PM.

Other Texas cities that rank among the most polluted in the country include El Paso, which ranks 12th worst for ozone pollution, with 54 unhealthy days per year; San Antonio, which ranks 25th worst for ozone pollution, with 34 unhealthy days per year; and Beaumont, which ranks 20th worst for short-term particle pollution, with 11 unhealthy days per year.

What are the solutions for improving Texas’s air quality?

To enhance air quality in Texas, the state has already implemented legislation and set criteria for specific toxins. Texas, for example, has embraced the federal Clean Air Act, which regulates significant pollutant emissions such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, lead, and ozone.

Texas has also adopted the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan, which offers incentives and money for projects that cut emissions from both mobile and stationary sources, including automobiles, engines, equipment, and facilities.

Texas has also been investing in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, which may lessen reliance on fossil fuels while lowering greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions. Texas is the top state in wind power generation, accounting for 17% of its total electric system capacity in 2020. Texas is also the sixth-largest state for solar power generation, accounting for 3% of total electric system capacity in 2020.

Furthermore, Texas people may make specific efforts to limit their exposure and contribute to air pollution, including:

  • Check the daily air quality index and refrain from outside activities when the air quality is poor.
  • Instead of driving alone, consider taking public transit, carpooling, bicycling, or walking.
  • Keeping the car in good condition and not idling the engine.
  • At home and work, use energy-efficient equipment and lighting, as well as conserve power.
  • Avoid burning wood, rubbish, or any other objects that emit smoke.
  • Supporting policies and initiatives that promote clean air and environmental preservation.


In the end, air pollution is a global issue, resulting in millions of premature deaths each year. The World Health Organization lists particle matter (PM) and ozone as significant pollutants that cause respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses. Dallas, the most polluted city in Texas, suffers from excessive levels of ozone and particles. Texas has addressed pollution through legal regulations and incentives such as the Clean Air Act and the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan. Individual initiatives, like as lowering automobile emissions and promoting sustainable energy, are critical to improving air quality in the state.





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