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Mayor Turner, Harris Co. Judge Hidalgo address concerns over ITC fire

On Tuesday, Houston community leaders addressed air quality concerns on the ongoing ITC chemical fire in Deer Park.

DEER PARK, Texas — For three days, the ITC fire in Deer Park has cast a shadow over the Houston area. 

Even though we learned today dangerous chemicals like Benzene are burning, officials say it isn't impacting air quality.

On Tuesday, community leaders addressed concerns of people downwind of the fire.

"It's really just this contrast of you seeing the plume, but the monitors are showing the levels are fine." said Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Judge.

We're told air quality monitors are stationed all over the area, some at fixed sites and some mobile. 

Officials say the readings show the air is safe to breathe, but there are three ways, you can see the results yourself.

First, ITC posted its air quality results online. Harris County has done the same at readyharris.org.

The most comprehensive data is on the TCEQ's website, where you can see hour-by-hour readings.

But you're probably wondering…what do these numbers mean?

First, find the chemical you're looking for like Benzene.

The number on the right shows what chemical reading would impact plants and people's health.

Anything lower is within safe range.

The numbers on the left show what the monitors are picking up in our area hour by hour.

Its all data officials say they're following closely.

"What I would say to the general public, if we detect there is any problem or cause for alarm, we will be the first to let you know." said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Health department officials were at the press conference today.

They did have a warning for people with respiratory issues, as well as children, the elderly, and pregnant women.

If you notice any unusual symptoms as this fire is burning, call a doctor right away.


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