DEER PARK, Texas -- 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.
On the map in the center of the page, any shelter-in-place areas will be gray.
By 2 p.m. Thursday, the shelter-in-place had been lifted for both Deer Park and Galena Park.
On the same map, you can zoom in for a better look at specific streets in Deer Park and surrounding communities.
The red dots indicate areas where chemicals-- in this case benzene -- have been detected at levels that could cause health issues.
"The readings have crossed our very conservative air quality standards, related to OSHA standards,” Harris County Judge Lena Hidalgo said in a news conference Thursday morning. “We know this is concerning, especially to residents in the area of the shelter in place. We are continuing to monitor to verify if this is a short-term, one-time exposure or a longer exposure.”
Some people in the Deer Park area reported a variety of symptoms, including KHOU 11 reporter Michelle Choi and Photographer Mario Sandoval, who were there covering the story. Choi experienced light-headedness and burning skin and Photographer Mario Sandoval’s eyes were burning. They went to the ER to be checked out, as a precaution.
Along with the symptoms mentioned above, others can include vomiting, drowsiness, rapid or irregular heartbeat, headaches, tremors, confusion and unconsciousness.
If you have health concerns connected to the ITC fire, you can call the "Ask a Nurse" hotline at 713-634-1110.
We will continue to keep you up to date on KHOU 11, KHOU.com, our KHOU news app and our social media pages.