The Houston Chronicle funded and conducted a study into air quality at 84 homes and 16 public places in four Southwest Texas communities adjacent to major refineries and/or chemical plants. The newspaper also analyzed more than a decade's worth of air pollution data collected by the state. The effort revealed that residents in this area were being exposed to elevated levels of dangerous and cancer-causing pollutants. Officials were aware of this and some of their own employees charged with monitoring the air were getting sick themselves. The study was able to pinpoint the culprit, adjacent industries.