Recent hexavalent chromium (chromium 6) air sampling results at Lincoln School have raised concerns: a sample of 2.60 ng/m3 was registered on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 by the monitor located at the school. That test result was significantly higher than the Sunday, May 7th result of 0.07 ng/m3. A subsequent test result from Saturday, May 13th registered 0.43 ng/m3.
Having observed the high result, the City of Paramount asked the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) to comment on the reading. SCAQMD offered the following statement:
SCAQMD staff continue to pursue the hexavalent chromium (Cr6) investigation in the City of Paramount, including intensive air sampling and enforcement activities. Importantly, the main health concern with Cr6 is with long-term exposure (for example, years to decades). While the levels of Cr6 detected at a location may vary from day to day, it is the long-term average level that impacts health risks from Cr6 exposure, and not the Cr6 level from a single day or even a handful of select days. We continue to work with facilities, agency partners, the community, and the City to identify and reduce sources of Cr6 emissions, in order to achieve long-term reductions of Cr6 levels in the community.
To understand SCAQMD’s reasoning that a singular reading should be viewed in the context of all monitor results at Site 25 (Lincoln Elementary), the City assembled this chart to visualize the readings at the site. The solid blue line below shows how the readings have generally fluctuated around 0.5 ng/m3 since February 2017, until the recent spike of 2.6 ng/m3 on May 10th. SCAQMD will continue to monitor the sampling results at Site 25 to determine if the 2.6 ng/m3 reading is indicative of an upward trend, or an anomaly.
“The City has been watching these test results closely, and continues to cooperate with the SCQAMD in its air quality work in Paramount. While the health risk is centered on the average level of long-term exposure, and while we’re glad the follow up reading dropped significantly, everyone at Paramount City Hall continues to partner with experts to source and resolve these emissions,” stated City of Paramount Mayor Peggy Lemons.
Continued the Mayor, “Residents can be assured of the City’s dedication to tracking this situation and taking whatever actions are necessary to support the SCAQMD in their efforts.”