S. CA air regulators must protect children from hexavalent chromium at school
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Did you know that there are 117 chrome plating and anodizing companies in Southern CA working with the highly toxic chemical, hexavalent chromium, and many of these businesses are zoned near schools, day care centers, hospitals, and homes? Did you know that during the past year South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has discovered several Southland companies emitting dangerous levels of hexavalent chromium, some as much as 350 times above the average for Southern CA?
In the past year four companies were taken to court by SCAQMD and ordered to reduce their levels or be shut down. Dr. Cyrus Rangan, Director of the LA Public Health Department testified that hexavalent chromium is among the deadliest toxins known to science. SCAQMD wanted to expand their monitoring to 1,100 companies in what they considered a lifesaving mission. But the metal industry is outraged. And they are pushing back—HARD!
In the wake of this public health crisis, the SCAQMD has proposed long overdue rule 1469 in order to control the deadly mist often released during the chrome plating and anodizing process. Metal industry lobbyists argue that SCAQMD is ‘trying to run them out of business.’ And the pressure is working. SCAQMD is backing down.
Metal lobbyists were able to get key wording out of proposed rule 1469 including a requirement that companies located near llicensed daycare center, hospitals, convalescent homes, schools, and residence be required to install HEPA filtration or equivalent pollution controls (see below-page 31). This is simply unacceptable.
To add insult to injury, SCAQMD proposed ambient air monitors outside these 117 companies, small machines that register if the levels of hexavalent chromium in the air outside the company is reaching a dangerous level. The industries argued that this was ‘unfair’ and that SCAQMD was ‘picking' on them. What is unfair about protecting our children from deadly toxins?
Please sign this petition to Mr. Wayne Nastri, CEO of SCAQMD, asking him to direct his staff to revise the proposed rule 1469 to require that the 117 companies using hexavalent chromium be required to conduct continuous outdoor ambient air monitoring AND to install state of the art pollution control systems including HEPA filtration with negative air inside a total enclosure in order to protect the public. And the industries profiting from this dangerous business, not the taxpayers, must be responsible for paying for these critical safety measures to ensure hexavalent chromium is not reaching dangerous levels.
Call SCAQMD (1 800 CUT SMOG) and ask to speak to Susan Nakamura and CEO, Wayne Nastri. Tell them not to succumb to industry pressure. Southern CA children deserve to be protected. All children deserve our protection. They are the future.
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