Metal-finishing facility north of Long Beach suspended for emitting high levels of chromium-6

A metal-finishing facility in Paramount, just north of Long Beach, was ordered to suspend its operations Thursday by the South Coast Air Quality Management District for emitting high levels of the toxic compound hexavalent chromium.

Anaplex Corp., located at 15547 Garfield Ave., shut down all of its equipment with the potential to emit the compound as of 4:30 p.m. Thursday because “the agency’s air monitors, on average, recorded levels of the compound above a trigger threshold of 1.0 nanograms per cubic meter,” the air agency said.

SCAQMD officials said the level is obtained through an average of three 24-hour samples collected over a period of a week. The threshold was specified in an administrative order adopted in January 2017.

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This is the seventh time Anaplex has been ordered to suspend its operations since the order was adopted. It has curtailed its work in February, June and December of last year and January, February and August of this year.

SCAQMD has monitored more than 35 locations in the Paramount area since fall 2016. During that time air quality tests determined chromium-6 levels were 350 times higher than normal levels.

“Hexavalent chromium is a potent human carcinogen associated with lung cancer when inhaled over long periods of time, typically years to decades,” according to the agency.

Anaplex, which is an employee owned corporation, stated that external factors continue to affect it, like other area industries that are capable of emitting chromium 6 at much higher levels.

“It is our interest and mission to manage and control our own emissions to protect the health of those who work at Anaplex and those of our community,” Anaplex said in a statement. “But Anaplex is unable to control emissions created by others in the industrial area where it has been established for over 56 years.”

This story has been updated with a statement from Anaplex.

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Stephanie Rivera is the community engagement editor for the Long Beach Post. After graduating from CSULB with a degree in journalism, Stephanie worked for Patch Latino and City News Service before coming to the Long Beach Post in 2015.