Hexavalent Chromium Levels Remain Low in Paramount as City Continues Air Monitoring Program

Paramount, California (January 17, 2023) – The City of Paramount is researching options for the purchase of five new air monitoring devices as part of its ongoing program to measure levels of hexavalent chromium in the community, a proactive approach in prioritizing the health of its residents. The new monitors will be the most state-of-the art on the market.

In support of the City’s actions, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently awarded Paramount with a $319,754 grant that will cover the testing costs for two years. 

At the November 8 City Council meeting, the City’s air quality monitoring contractor, T&B Systems, Inc., provided a report on the latest results of their monitoring of hexavalent chromium. The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) previously noted that  concentrations above 1.0 nanograms (ng/m3) over three consecutive days signaled concern, whereas readings below 1.0 ng/m3 are considered relatively normal “background” levels.

T&B said that the City’s background concentrations remain well below 1.0 ng/m3 at an average of approximately 0.030 ng/m3. Air monitoring around school locations showed the lowest concentrations measured. Lowest average measured concentrations were observed on Sundays, with Saturdays as the next lowest.

Paramount’s commitment to community air monitoring serves as a continuation of the SCAQMD’s self-described “most extensive hexavalent chromium air monitoring program in the world,” established in 2016 due to a previous discovery of spikes in the levels of the metal. After concluding that hex chrome levels had been “low and stable” for an extended period, SCAQMD ended its program in September 2021. At that time, the City Council decided to keep the testing intact.

“The City remains committed to ensuring our air quality is safe,” said Paramount Mayor Vilma Cuellar Stallings. “There’s nothing more important than the long-term health of our community, which is why we have continued our robust air monitoring program.”

Residents can find the results posted on the Paramount Environmental Portal: ParamountEnvironment.org/Air/ 

For more information, please contact Planning Director John Carver at (562) 220-2036.

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