Hexavalent Chromium in Paramount

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is working with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) to protect the health and safety of Paramount community members.

AQMD found Aerocraft Heat Treating Company and Anaplex Corporation in violation of the California Health and Safety Code by emitting high levels of the carcinogen hexavalent chromium pdf icon , also called chromium 6.

To complement the AQMD's Order of Abatement, Public Health issued a directive to each company to take all necessary actions to eliminate the current high levels endangering the health of the public, and to submit a list of all completed and planned actions to the Department of Public Health.

Background

Air monitoring for hexavalent chromium and other toxic air contaminants in Paramount has been ongoing since late 2013 when AQMD responded to community complaints of metallic odor thought to be coming from a metal forging and grinding operation in Paramount. Since then, air monitoring in the area has expanded, and AQMD has identified several other industrial facilities potentially contributing to the problem.

The most recent air testing by AQMD between October 15 and October 30, 2016 detected elevated levels of hexavalent chromium. Two metal factories, Aerocraft Heat Treating Company and Anaplex Corporation, have been identified as being sources of the chemical release of hexavalent chromium into the air.

Health Effects of Breathing Hexavalent Chromium

Hexavalent chromium is a toxic form of a metal called chromium. Breathing chromium 6 does not usually cause any immediate health symptoms. However, over many years breathing chromium 6 can cause:

  • increased risk of lung and nasal cancers

In addition, breathing chromium 6 at high levels over time can cause or worsen:

  • Irritation to the nose, throat, and lungs (runny nose, coughing, or nose sores)
  • Breathing problems or asthma (trouble breathing, shortness of breath, or wheezing)

Working for You

Public Health will consolidate and review all available information on this matter and will inform you and members of the community of the results of our assessment. Public Health will continue to work with AQMD on its response and take any necessary action to protect the health and safety of Paramount community members.