Paramount residents not alone in pollution fight

Soon after starting work at Lincoln Elementary in Paramount nearly five years ago, second-grade teacher Lisa Lappin became alarmed by the number of teachers and students sick from cancer and other illnesses.

Pungent, metallic odors sometimes blanketed the school, so Lappin started asking questions. She complained to county and environmental regulators, circulated petitions and sought help from environmental groups.

Last month, residents of this working-class city of 54,000 got answers from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Carlton Forge Works, a metal manufacturing facility a few blocks from the school, had been releasing toxic metals into the air, including hexavalent chromium and cadmium. More concerning were high levels of nickel, a carcinogen that can harm lungs and cause asthma and bronchitis.

Read full text in the LA Times