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AQMD Acknowledges Elevated Cancer Causing Chromium 6 Levels in Compton



SAN PEDRO, Ca.— Following letters and calls by Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-San Pedro) to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department and the governor of California over concerns about carcinogens in Compton’s air, the Southern California Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) today revealed it spotted elevated levels of airborne hexavalent chromium.

“The people of my district have breathed in dirty, dangerous air for too long. I do not want another child to be handed an asthma inhaler or another person to be diagnosed with lung cancer because of a slow or inadequate response,” said Rep. Barragán.

Earlier this year, Rep. Barragán asked for immediate monitoring after the air quality management district warned that Compton residents may be exposed to higher-than-normal amounts hexavalent chromium.

Also known as chromium 6, it is a chemical listed by the Environmental Protection Agency as a human carcinogen. Further monitoring by SCAQMD is necessary before the sources of chromium 6 pollution can be determined with precision.

“The Southern California Air Quality Management District must act quickly to identify the exact sources of this cancer-causing chemical,” Rep. Barragán said.

The Congresswoman called for all enforcement options to be on the table. Rep. Barragán will continue work with federal public health agencies such as the EPA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as they conduct risk assessments and determine the danger posed to vulnerable populations.

“Healthy air is a basic right, and the people of Compton shouldn’t be breathing air laced with toxic compounds,” she said.

“The air district must be able to take quick action against dangerous polluters, which is why I’ve advocated for AB 1132, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia’s legislation for empowering air pollution control officers,” Barragán added.

The Southern California Air Quality Management District will hold a town hall meeting on Aug. 2 at the Dollarhide Community Center at 6 p.m. to discuss the outcome of the air monitoring.

For more information about the town hall, contact Rep. Barragán’s office at 310-831-1799.