Air regulators find a cancer-causing metal at 350 times normal levels in Paramount. Now they’re looking for the source

Air quality regulators are investigating metal-processing facilities in Paramount after detecting high levels of hexavalent chromium. Above, Village Park with Carlton Forge Works in the background in 2014. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Air quality regulators are investigating metal-processing facilities in the city of Paramount after detecting a potent cancer-causing metal at 350 times normal levels.

After discovering high levels of the carcinogen hexavalent chromium late last month, the South Coast Air Quality Management District intensified an ongoing investigation, inspecting businesses in the southeast Los Angeles County community in a search for who might be responsible.

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Philip Fine, a deputy executive officer for the air district, said hexavalent chromium readings of 26 nanograms per cubic meter, detected on Oct. 27 by an air-monitoring device deployed near Madison Street and Minnesota Avenue, were among the highest he could recall.

"We're really focused on finding the precise source of these high levels," Fine said. "As soon as we can, we will be acting aggressively to stop the emissions."

Toxic hot spots still exist in Los Angeles. … They can harm children, the elderly, and we need to do something about it.


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Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

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Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

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Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

Hexavalent chromium, emitted by chrome platers, metal finishers and facilities in the aerospace industry, is known to cause lung cancer.

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