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Chemical plants and asthma: A deadly combination

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2023 | Injuries |

Oil refineries are types of chemical plants that carry fluids between large processing units. Housed in large industrial complexes, many of these facilities can be found close to residential neighborhoods, with many residents feeling the effects of fumes and emissions. Those already living with asthma are particularly impacted.

Refinery history is troubling at best. Throughout the 1990s, refineries explosions were a common occurrence annually. While these events reduced over time, they have slowed and continued. A 2019 explosion served as a reminder that problems still existed.

Daily dangers

Those residing near these plants are in perpetual danger, being rushed to emergency rooms after experiencing minor coughs, burning eyes, sore throats, and worse. Adverse effects of residing near a refinery also include cancers, congenital disabilities, and neurological and cardiovascular damage.

In some areas of the country, access to healthcare and treatments is, at best, limited. Children attending school experience estimated lost days at or exceeding 100,000 students due to nearby pollutants.

Bad situations become worse

Children and older residents are in particular peril if they have asthma. Those with severe respiratory illness and other pre-existing conditions can suffer more severe and potentially deadly health consequences, mainly when particularly chronic symptoms are more gradual.

However, the fumes emitted present life-threatening consequences for those with asthma. Inadequate city planning has placed certain groups less than two miles from these factories. Residents are likely breathing air that violates ozone level standards.

Asthma patients have multiple options for daily treatment. However, the dangers of living near chemical plants and refineries continuously spewing out pollutants can only make a challenging situation worse.