Toxic metals found in southeast Los Angeles County air

Los Angeles County residents have reason to feel concern about a recent series of air quality tests conducted in Paramount. The tests’ results show a disturbing level of toxic metals polluting the air. Carlton Forge Works, a local metal manufacturing company, has been pinpointed as the source of the problem. The levels of toxicity are likely warrant further studies into the possible risks of toxic exposure to those in the facility’s vicinity.

Test results concluded that dangerous levels of several toxins, including nickel, permeated the air. Nickel is a carcinogen known to damage lungs, and to cause bronchitis and asthma. The South Coast Air Quality Management District, which released the findings, has issued Carlton an order to submit an emissions inventory.

Located in the southeastern portion of the county, Paramount is a working-class city with a population of 54,000 citizens, 35,000 of whom live a mile or less from Carlton Forge Works. All those in the area are in a potentially risky situation. But those most vulnerable may be the 365 employees of the manufacturing company, many of whom also live near the plant.

There is a distinct possibility the workers have been exposed to cancer-causing carcinogens floating in the air. Not yet determined is the extent of possible damage these dangerous carcinogens may have already inflicted.

People have the right to work in an environment where they can breathe without inhaling health-threatening materials. Companies whose airborne toxic byproducts waft through work areas and beyond must be held accountable if their practices yield injurious consequences to workers.

Should you find yourself suffering from symptoms you believe are attributable to toxic exposure at the workplace, you should seek counsel from an attorney versed in all relevant aspects of your concern.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Paramount residents not alone in pollution fight,” Tony Barboza and Jessica Garrison, Feb. 15, 2014

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