Two public meetings are scheduled to take place Dec. 1 to discuss health risks linked to the harmful emissions at two Paramount metal-processing facilities in 2016—before air quality officials ordered reductions in toxic emissions.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District is expected to send notices to households and businesses throughout much of Paramount, along with parts of Compton, North Long Beach, west Bellflower and the southern tip of South Gate, the agency announced Tuesday.
The meetings will focus on risk reduction efforts and assessments of the health risks posed to residents due to harmful emissions that the agency discovered at Anaplex Corp. and Aerocraft Heat Treating Co. in October 2016 following its deployment of portable air monitors.
The agency said it discovered high levels of hexavalent chromium, known as chrome 6, and identified Anaplex and Aerocraft as “the two dominant sources” of those emissions.
The investigation into the two facilities and other similar businesses in the region led the agency to discover “sources of emissions previously unknown to the industry or regulators,” leading it to propose more regulations to further control the emission of chrome 6.
Chrome 6 is a human carcinogen linked to lung cancer when inhaled over the years to decades.
One of the regulation amendments is expected to be considered for adoption at SCAQMD’s board meeting Nov. 2.
“It’s important for residents to understand that these risk assessments represent a snapshot of the potential cancer risk in 2016, just before SCAQMD ordered steep and rapid reductions in toxic emissions from these two facilities,” Wayne Nastri, SCAQMD’s executive officer, stated in a release. “Since then, Anaplex and Aerocraft have taken steps to reduce their emissions toward the goal of meeting risk thresholds under our health-protective rules and regulations.”
A risk assessment for Anaplex, located at 15547 Garfield Ave., found that in 2016 the facility “posed a maximum cancer risk to the nearest resident of 931 in 1 million, assuming that level of emissions persisted for 30 years.” Meanwhile, a risk assessment for Aerocraft, located at 15701 Minnesota Ave., found a maximum cancer risk to the nearest resident of 1,900 in 1 million. Both calculations account children’s greater sensitivity to pollution, the agency stated.
Officials said those levels exceeded the agency’s 25-in-1 million threshold for cancer risk. The agency stated that early risk reduction efforts have dropped the cancer risk for each facility to about 25 in 1 million and once efforts are completed the cancer risk is expected to be about 1 in 1 million.
The Anaplex meeting will run from 10 a.m. to noon and the Aerocraft meeting will run from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The meetings will take place at Progress Park, located at 15500 Downey Ave. in Paramount.
Click here to read more about SCAQMD’s air monitoring and enforcement activities in Paramount.