PARAMOUNT, Calif. – Some Paramount residents say they are worried about something other than coronavirus. They are worried about air quality. 

Residents say too many chemicals from local businesses are being released into the air, but the city says everyone is safe.

Thirteen-year-old Cristiana DeLeon says she used to have nose bleeds twice a week, which her family suspects were caused by hexavalent chromium and other chemical emissions.


“It was pretty scary, I’m not gonna lie,” DeLeon said. “ I was just scared because it didn’t stop for like five minutes after so I got pretty scared.”

She and her dad Jose now check air quality monitors around town that test for chemical emissions. The city placed monitors around the city after numerous air quality complaints in 2016.

The Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has monitors too. The AQMD has said certain facilities that emit chemicals need to keep levels at or below 1 nG/m3.

One monitor detected levels as high as 2.2 nG/m3 in May of 2019.

The AQMD says there have been over 1000 complaints about Paramount’s air quality since 2016, and 37 total since January 2020.

“It’s our health, it’s our resident’s health, but especially them,” said Jose DeLeon, referring to Cristina and other children.

City leaders say they closely monitor the 18 businesses in town that emit metal. They’ve rewritten business standards to reduce emissions, and were told by the AQMD not to be concerned unless levels stay high over a long period of time. Plus, they have looked into reports of nose bleeds.

“We went to the school district about that because it was parents talking about their children,” said Peggy Lemons, Paramount City Council Member. “So they went to their nurses and said, 'We want you to go back through your files. Are there some inordinate amount of children who are getting nose bleeds?' And their files said no. The standard thing, noses dry out in California heat and there is nothing exceptional happening here. Every complaint, every concern, every issue, we go back and check it out.”

In a statement, the AQMD said, “Children are generally more sensitive to the health effects of air pollution compared to adults. When calculating risk thresholds for residential areas, children are accounted for as being more sensitive to the impacts of air pollution, so that if the levels are protective for children, they are protective for other people as well.”

The AQMD continues to work with Paramount city leaders to protect public health. The city says they’ve been working hard since finding out about emissions in 2016, even though the AQMD had record of nearly 500 complaints since 2010. But they say residents shouldn’t be alarmed.

“There hasn’t been any expressed concern by LA County Public Health up to this point,” said John Moreno, City Manager. “The AQMD and LA County Public Health work in tandem quite a bit. So if they aren’t sounding the alarm then we don’t have reason on our side to be concerned. We will continue to monitor it and that’s no doubt because the health of our residents is our number one concern.”

Christina’s family thinks more needs to be done. Her dad has run in the last few city council elections. He lost, but still wants better air quality for his daughter and other kids.

The family has even considered moving. Christina doesn’t want to, but hopes the businesses will.

“Maybe like mostly like close the companies down, or at least move them like far away where nobody would usually be,” she said.

The city of Paramount has an entire website dedicated to updating residents about air quality. The site is:

If any resident has air quality concerns, call 1 (800) CUT-SMOG. The number is 1 (1800) 876-3666 for Spanish speakers.