The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) is seeking an order asking Newport Beach-based Hixson metal finishing plant to reduce chromium 6 emissions as soon as possible. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, the facility poses an “unacceptably high” cancer risk to nearby residents. AQMD is asking its independent hearing board to order the company to reduce its chromium 6 emissions “on an expedited schedule.”
The Times article states that the metal finishing plant is located next to an apartment building in a neighborhood with homes and businesses near the border with Costa Mesa. The AQMD monitored the emissions and found a cancer risk of as much as 540 in 1 million. From the roof of the carport at the apartment building, the risk was as high as 375 per 1 million. AQMD officials say that risk level is “unacceptably high.” Hixson officials have said that the company will work with the air district to comply with pollution rules.
The Danger of Chromium 6
Chromium 6 is a known carcinogen that is used in metal plating. Chromium 6 was first talked about in the Hinkley water pollution case, which was exposed by Erin Brockovich, who was also the subject of an Oscar-winning film. Chronic inhalation of Chromium 6 has been shown to increase the risk of lung cancer. It could also cause damage to the small capillaries in the kidneys and intestines. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), adverse health effects associated with Chromium 6 exposure include skin irritation, asthma, nosebleeds, respiratory problems, sinus cancer, eye damage, kidney and liver damage.
Protecting Your Rights
Businesses and manufacturers that operate in our community have a responsibility to ensure that they remain good neighbors. When these companies fail to control toxic emissions, they cause irreparable harm to members of their own community. If you suspect that your cancer or illness was caused as the result of toxic exposure at home or at work, it is important that you obtain the counsel of an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer.
It may be challenging at times to prove that your illness was caused by harmful chemical exposure. However, expert medical opinion is the best way to establish the connection between an illness and toxic exposure. The best personal injury law firms will always offer a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation to affected victims and their families.