Los Angeles

Elevated Levels of Carcinogen Found at Paramount School

Air quality officials have discovered elevated levels of the carcinogen Chromium-6 last week at an elementary school in Paramount.

Air monitors at Lincoln Elementary School on May 10 recorded 2.60 nanograms per cubic feet of hexavalent chromium in the air around the school, about 26 times ambient levels in the Los Angeles basin, which range from 0.02 to 0.01, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported. Long-term exposure to the odorless particle is linked to cancer.

The substance, also known as chromium-6, has recently been found at high levels in and around nearby metal processing facilities.

Sam Atwood, the spokesman for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, said he doesn't believe the single reading demonstrated an immediate health threat. Three days after the May 10 reading, monitors showed the levels had dropped to .43 nanograms per cubic feet.

But the Air Quality Management District is continuing to investigate nearby sources of the substance.

Ruben Frutos, an assistant superintendent at Paramount Unified School District, said the district has been closely watching the situation and remains in weekly contact with air district officials and the Los Angeles County Health Department.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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