The Long Beach City Council will vote Tuesday on a recommendation to conduct a study to determine if Long Beach residents face any potential health risks caused by high levels of hexavalent chromium that were discovered in the city of Paramount, its northern neighbor, in recent months.
Commonly known as chromium 6, hexavalent chromium is known to be carcinogenic in high levels and can often be found in dyes, paints, inks and plastics.
In October 2016, air quality tests in Paramount, which borders North Long Beach, determined that chromium 6 levels were 350 times higher than normal levels.
The Los Angeles Department of Public Health determined the high levels were being emitted from two metal facilities in Paramount, Anaplex and Aerocraft Heat Treating Company.
Chromium 6, when breathed in at high rates over several years, can increase the risk of a person developing lung cancer, according to city officials.
The City Council recommendation asks that the city manager work with South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) to determine any potential health, safety and environmental impacts chromium 6 could have in Long Beach.
The recommendation, written and sponsored by Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, Fourth District Councilmember Daryl Supernaw, Fifth District Councilwoman Stacy Mungo and Seventh District Councilman Robert Uranga, states that because the “toxic compound was detected only a few thousand feet from the Long Beach city line, we have the responsibility to determine if Long Beach residents have been negatively impacted by air quality in Paramount.”