During the routine public call with AQMD this week regarding the monitoring of hexavalent chromium levels, some confusion may have been generated about AQMD’s statements regarding how schools should respond in situations where elevated hexavalent chromium levels are detected at school sensors. Here is the statement they shared to participants in the call:
There seems to be a misunderstanding about a response that was given on the community call on March 28th. We would like to clarify that the SCAQMD has not recommended any changes in school activities based on the Cr6 monitoring data. The purpose of the school-based monitoring is to assess whether elevated levels of Cr6 found in some industrial areas may also be found at the local schools. An assessment of the data from the school-based monitoring is available on the aqmd.gov website. Based on the Feb 22, 2017 report, Cr6 levels found at the schools were generally similar to typical levels found elsewhere in southern California.
It should be noted that the Orders for Abatement for Aerocraft and Anaplex specify a 1.0 ng/m3 threshold as an enforcement level, based on the average across samples from 3 separate days. This 1.0 ng/m3 threshold is specifically for the purpose of enforcing these Orders; in other words, this is a trigger level for these facilities to stop their Cr6-producing (industrial) activities. However, the 1.0 ng/m3 level should not be interpreted as a trigger level for residents or students to modify their personal activities. Importantly, the main concern with Cr6 is with long-term exposure (for example, years to decades). Therefore, reducing your exposures to Cr6 on a single day or even a handful of days would not have much impact on your long-term cancer risk.
For additional information from AQMD about air quality in the City of Paramount, please visit this page on their website: http://www.aqmd.gov/home/regulations/compliance/air-monitoring-activities