HOUSTON—The Baylor College of Medicine’s Environmental Health Service (EHS) opened a clinic this April to service children in the heavily-polluted Houston Ship Channel Area. The clinic is the result of a 2011 settlement NELC negotiated with Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, which provided $2 million for the project.
The clinic targets children with elevated blood lead levels or poorly controlled asthma—symptoms associated with industrial pollution—and also provides training to minimize environmental hazards in the home.
As explained by EHS Director Winifred Hamilton, “We may work with the city to address a nearby emission source, help the patient and their family to reduce allergens and combustion gases in the home, and possibly address other issues, such as nutrition and stress.”
With only 25 percent of the $2 million settlement fund spent to date, the fund will continue to provide aid to those facing significant environmental health impacts. EHS plans to open a clinic for adults in late 2014 and is already looking for other income streams to support the clinic.