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Houston ISD cancels weekend on-campus activities at east area schools

The district decided to cancel on-campus activities due to reports for the Deer Park industrial fire re-igniting Friday.

All on-campus activities for the Houston Independent School District east area campuses have been cancelled for the weekend, HISD announced Friday afternoon. 

The district decided to cancel on-campus activities due to reports for the Deer Park industrial fire re-igniting Friday. 

Sporting events were rescheduled at alternate locations, the district said.

Several school districts were closed on Thursday in the wake of the air quality incident from the ITC Deer Park fire.  And on Friday, some districts announced they would not be open.

The list of Friday closures include the following:

  • Channelview Independent School District
  • La Porte Independent School District 
  • Galena Park Independent School District
  • Pasadena Independent School District
  • Deer Park  Independent School District
  • Sheldon Independent School District
  • Northeast Campus, which includes KIPP Legacy, KIPP Polaris, KIPP Voyage, KIPP Northeast College prep
  • East End Campus, which includes KIPP Intrepid, KIPP Explore
  • South East Campus, which includes KIPP Climb, KIPP Prime
  • The Rhodes School
  • Goose Creek CISD
  • Richard Milburn Academy
  • Lee College

Shelters--in-place were issued for all of Deer Park and Galena Park this morning because of elevated levels of benzene. We're going to continue following this story.  Stay with KHOU.com and our mobile news app for the very latest on our air quality situation.

 RELATED: Researchers, local agencies collecting water samples from Galveston Bay after ITC fire

RELATED: Feds will investigate ITC Deer Park fire after benzene scare

RELATED: Deer Park residents relieved shelter-in-place is over

RELATED: Crews working to empty ITC tank that emitted benzene vapors

RELATED: How to check air quality levels in your area

Benzene exposure, signs and symptoms

Below are the signs and symptoms of benzene exposure.  They could present themselves anywhere from minutes to several hours after exposure”

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • Confusion
  • Unconsciousness
  • Death (at very high levels)

Eating foods or drinking beverages containing high levels of benzene can cause the following symptoms within minutes to several hours:

  • Vomiting
  • Irritation of the stomach
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Convulsions
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Death (at very high levels)

How to check air quality in your area

With news this morning that tests found higher than acceptable benzene in the air near the ITC plant, many of you are asking how to check those levels where you live or work.

Harris County has set up this special air quality page for the Deer Park fire. 

Here are some tips on how to use it.

How to shelter-in-place

When emergency management officials order a shelter-in-place due to hazardous materials possible in the air, these are steps you should take to seal off a safe space, according to FEMA.gov.

  •  Bring your family and pets inside.
  • Lock doors, close windows, air vents and fireplace dampers.
  • Turn off fans, air conditioning and forced air heating systems.
  • Take your emergency supply kit unless you have reason to believe it has been contaminated.
  • Go into an interior room with few windows, if possible.
  • Seal all windows, doors and air vents with 2-4 mil. thick plastic sheeting and duct tape. Consider measuring and cutting the sheeting in advance to save time.
  • Cut the plastic sheeting several inches wider than the openings and label each sheet.
  • Duct tape plastic at corners first and then tape down all edges.
  • Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to seal gaps so that you create a barrier between yourself and any contamination.


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