Does the air seem hazy to you this summer? Well, it's not your imagination.

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The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality reports that this year, there have been more days with unhealthy levels of smog pollution than we've had since 2012.

Why is Texas Air Quality Getting Worse?

A combination of factors are to blame for the harmful levels of ozone in the air across the state. Our recent record-high temperatures in Texas mixed with industrial and vehicle emissions make ozone levels rise.

KTRK is reporting that as of this week, Texas air monitors have recorded 43 days since January of this year when ozone concentrations were high enough somewhere in the state to be considered unhealthy by the Environmental Protection Agency. According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, that's the highest number from January through June in ten years.

Why is Ozone Dangerous?

Texas heat does more than make us uncomfortable. The high temps that can increase ozone levels are also dangerous for our health. If you notice there are certain days when it seems hard to take a deep breath, it could be the high level of ozone in the air.

When inhaled, ozone can damage the lungs, and even fairly low amounts of ozone can cause chest pain, coughing, shortness of breath and throat irritation. It can also make chronic respiratory diseases like asthma worse, and decrease your body's ability to fight respiratory infections, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

This summer, dozens of warnings have been issued across Texas, advising people with asthma, older adults, and others at risk of lung complications to stay indoors on days when smog levels are projected to be high.

What is Texas Doing About Air Quality?

The EPA has proposed a rule that would require about two dozen states, including Texas, to cut ozone pollution from power plants and industrial sources like natural gas pipelines and chemical companies.

According to KTRK, politicians and regulatory agencies in Texas are trying to block stricter regulations, saying the new requirements could force power plants to switch energy sources from natural gas or coal to renewable energy, and the EPA doesn't have the right to do that. It seems like we should all be fighting for clean air, since everyone uses it. Hopefully, a resolution that can make everyone breathe easier will happen sooner than later.

The Most Dangerous City in Texas for 2022 May Surprise You

According to FBI statistics, Texas had 438 violent crimes and 2,562 property crimes per 100,000 residents as of this year. For every 100,000 residents, there are 224 police officers statewide.

Crime rates are expressed as the number of incidents per 100,000 people.

Bet You Didn't Know: 10 Bizarre Texas Laws Still on the Books

Many states still have strange laws on the books that aren’t enforced or taken seriously anymore, and Texas is no exception.

Most of these laws are just funny now, but at one time, there was a valid (or at least somewhat valid) reason for them to exist.

Texas has plenty of strange rules and regulations that you could technically be prosecuted for if you violate them, since they've never been amended. Some of these are only for specific cities and not state-wide, but all of them are pretty odd!

Let's take a look at 10 of the weirdest ones in the Lone Star State.

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