News Release
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313 N. Figueroa Street, Room 806  |  Los Angeles, CA 90012  |  (213) 288-8144  |

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For Immediate Release:

May 13, 2016

Department of Public Health announces results from health assessment and indoor air testing in Porter Ranch

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has concluded its Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) and an Indoor Environmental Testing Protocol in the Porter Ranch area. Public Health undertook this work because, despite the end of the worst natural gas leak in US history, a majority of surveyed households reported experiencing symptoms similar to those experienced during the active gas leak even though methane and associated mercaptan levels in the air were markedly reduced.

Public Health, working closely with experts from UCLA, the California Air Resources Board, South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Department of Public Health, Cal/EPA's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and the US EPA, tested for over 250 chemicals in indoor air and household surface dust samples. Testing was conducted in 101 Porter Ranch homes near the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility, two schools and 11 homes outside the Porter Ranch area.

Findings: These combined efforts resulted in the following findings:

  1. No contaminants were found in the indoor air of the Porter Ranch homes. The air sample testing revealed that the air in the tested homes is similar to typical indoor home environments.
  2. Testing and analysis of household surface dust in the Porter Ranch homes revealed low levels of metal contaminants consistent with those found in well drilling fluid which suggests they originated from the Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage facility; and,
  3. These metals do not pose long-term health risks but can cause respiratory and skin irritation and could be contributing to symptoms reported by residents.

Recommendations: As a result, Public Health recommends comprehensive cleaning of household surfaces, thorough ventilation of homes to flush out any residual contaminants, regular replacement of heating and air conditioning filters, and proper maintenance of air purifiers to reduce the potential for exposures that may produce symptoms. Ventilation and comprehensive cleaning guidelines can be obtained at: along with Public Health's full report regarding its testing and assessment.

Public Health is directing Southern California Gas Company to offer and implement, at its own cost, the comprehensive cleaning protocol provided in the report.

Public Health, its partner agencies and scientific experts will continue to monitor available environmental data and health surveillance data, and will intervene as may be necessary to protect health in the communities affected by the Aliso Canyon Storage Facility.

Public Health experts will be available to answer questions regarding findings and recommendations with a Press Telebriefing:

WHEN: Friday, May 13, 2016 Time: 3:00 p.m.

CALL-IN: Call: (800) 230-1074

Participants are strongly urged to call in 5 minutes prior to the start time of the call to check in.

Participants will need to provide their name and organization.

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises nearly 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $900 million. To learn more about the LA County Department of Public Health and the work they do, visit PublicHealth, and follow Public Health on social media at ublicHealth, facebook.c om/LAPublicHealth, and youtub