District Environmental Quality And Health Resources » District Air Quality Resources

District Air Quality Resources

The Paramount Unified School District continues to work on an ongoing basis with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), the County Public Health Department and other environmental regulatory and enforcement agencies to provide our district information regarding the concerns and findings relating to Hexavalent Chromium levels in the community. The SCAQMD is the regulatory agency in charge of the air quality in the area, as well as the agency providing information regarding the current investigation. The SCAQMD implemented the placement of testing equipment in school district property, rotating the testing equipment to various school sites and regularly reviewing and releasing results of those tests in their web site, which also includes information about their air monitoring activities in the City of Paramount, their meetings and processes: http://www.aqmd.gov/home/regulations/compliance/air-monitoring-activities
The SCAQMD announced a Summary of Efforts report:The SCAQMD has undertaken unprecedented, extensive efforts to identify and reduce sources of hexavalent chromium in the City of Paramount. This Summary of Efforts in Paramount (PDF included below), summarizes the significant progress made and provides highlights of monitoring, enforcement, rule development, public outreach, and coordination efforts.
Additionally, the Paramount Environmental Portal is provided by the City of Paramount, offering facts and information to residents and businesses about our City’s environment. The site focuses on the areas of air, water, and soil: https://paramountenvironment.org/
Please contact the office of the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services (562) 602-6025 if you have questions or comments.
The school district regularly publishes and sends home environmental information pertinent to our school community. 
Below, you will find facts related to air quality as well as resources provided to us by AQMD, the City of Paramount, and other agencies. We will update this information regularly.
UPDATE - Questions relating to Air Conditioning and Filtration in the School District - August 2020

Paramount USD has received various public records requests from the Center of Environmental Health (CEH) since July 2019 and the district has provided information indicating the HVAC services that the district has used for years.


More recently, staff scheduled a phone conference with Ms. Kaya Sugerman from the Center of Environmental Health to address updated information and the various public records requests and information dating back to July of 2019. Ms. Sugerman agreed to a phone conference which was held on August 12, 2020. Mr. Law, Mr. Frutos and Ms. Nunez participated in the conversation with Ms. Sugerman.  District staff explained the process the District has used to procure HVAC services including filtration, and the details of the rationale for the district to use a company for services including filter changes.  The District detailed an email with information from the Maintenance Department explaining that several years ago it was determined that district staff going on roofs to change filters created significant potentially dangerous conditions.  To reduce the potential challenges to District staff, the district decided at the time to transfer the service to a contractor that was “licensed to do that kind of work”.   Because of this process, the district has not procured specified filters in a manner that data could be provided to CEH. Furthermore, the district received a donation of Aeramax filters, outfitted with carbon filters to assist with the identification of odors in district locations, with no district specification for the filters in the donated units.


Staff explained to Ms. Sugerman, who was well informed and asking for various clarification points, that with the advent of Board approval of the Long Beach Grant (which provides for Merv 16 filters), and the Board direction to procure HEPA filters for the Aeramax units, the District began a process for filter procurement that will generate information in alignment with CEH requests.   Ms. Sugerman mentioned that she understood that once the District procures the various filters, specific information regarding the procured filters will be able to be provided to CEH.


The District assured Ms. Sugerman that once the procurement is Board approved, the details of the various filters procured will be provided to Ms. Sugerman at CEH.  From the conversation, Ms. Sugerman mentioned that she understood that the district had done in years past and that she was interested in the information provided once we had the necessary approvals.  As recent questions from a Board member's PRA are in essence those provided with responses to the prior inquiries from CEH (both 2014-date and 2016-date), the information is detailed again for response and clarification:


----time period beginning January 2014 through the present:


  1. All invoices and receipts for school HVAC system replacement filters purchased by the PUSD and PUSD schools.  The District procures HVAC maintenance services which include the provision of filters, but separate filters for our HVAC units are not typically procured by the District.


  1. All documents with information about filters used in PUSD HVAC systems and portable air purification systems, with sufficient information to determine the type of filter, product name, brand, supplier, SKU, and all other product identifiers.  The District does not purchase portable air purification systems; however, we have carbon filters for donated Aeramax units.

MINUTES - Environmental Committee Meeting (MAY 27, 2021)
Click HERE to open the May 27th Minutes
District Indoor Air Quality Testing - March 29, 2019 Survey Report
Report Excerpts - Hexavalent Chromium (Cr(VI)):
No airborne Cr(VI) was detected above the OEHHA NSRL inside any of the classrooms during the 24 hours of sampling.
District Cr(VI) ambient air monitoring - School Results and information - The synopsis of the district schools report is as follows:

 All indoor Cr(VI) air levels measured at both school sites ranging from were well below the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) long-term health risk level of 0.0002 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3)


 Indoor Cr(VI) air levels measured at Gaines ranged from Not DetectedJ to 0.0000336 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3) were well below the City of Paramount stationary monitor result for the period of September 26 to 29, 2018, which ranged from 0.00015 to 0.00016 μg/m3 for the 2, 24- hour samples collected and analyzed.


 The outdoor Cr(VI) air levels measured at Gaines was 0.000103 μg/m3 and was below the City of Paramount stationary monitor result for the period of September 26 to 29, 2018, which ranged from 0.00015 to 0.00016 μg/m3 for the 2, 24-hour samples collected and analyzed.


 Indoor Cr(VI) air levels measured at Lincoln ranged from Not Detected to 0.0000559 μg/m3 were below the SCAQMD stationary monitor result for the period of September 23 to 29, 2018, which ranged from 0.00006 to 0.00022 μg/m3 for the 2, 24-hour samples collected and analyzed.


 The outdoor Cr(VI) air levels measured at Lincoln was 0.0000457 μg/m3 and was below the SCAQMD stationary monitor result for the period of September 23 to 29, 2018, which ranged from 0.00006 to 0.00022 μg/m3 for the 2, 24-hour samples collected and analyzed.


No airborne Cr(VI) was detected above the OEHHA NSRL inside any of the classrooms during the 24 hours of sampling. One exterior sample collected on the Roof of Gaines Room 1, exceeded the OEHHA NSRL. 0.00148 micrograms (μg) Cr(VI) as compared to the OEHHA NSRL of 0.001 μg was detected in the ambient outdoor air from air pollution from local manufacturing during the same sampling period that Classroom 1 was monitored. This is suggestive of an exterior ambient air issue in the vicinity of Gaines. The outdoor levels measured at Lincoln were 0.000638 μg, below the OEHHA NSRL.


 All Cr(VI) air levels are well below occupational exposure levels established by California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH -- better known as Cal/OSHA) and other consensus levels such as American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value and National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Level.


 All Cr(VI) air levels (level measured and Limit of DetectionM) were a magnitude of 4 to 15 times the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) Office of Human and Ecological Risk (HERO) Screening LevelsN, (hereafter, DTSC-SLs). It is noted that all of the outdoor samples collected at school sites from December 21, 2016 through March 26, 2019, measured by both the City of Paramount and the SCAQMD were in excess of the DTSC-SLP. These levels in excess of the DTSC-SL are suggestive of a need for on-going further investigation and a quantitative baseline risk assessment. It is also noted that the Limit of Detection (LOD) for the method used is greater than the DTSC-SL which introduces limitations to the assessment and suggests the need to determine if a method with a LOD below the DTSC-SL can be developed.

The entire indoor air quality (industrial hygiene survey) report is attached and can be located in the Attached Documents Area below. This survey was a joint collaboration between the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and the Paramount Unified School District. The District paid for the field collection of data and report; LACDPH observed the process and paid for the laboratory analysis. This survey was also partially funded as a benefit of membership in the Alliance of Schools for Cooperative Insurance Programs (ASCIP). This report contains a presentation of data, summary of findings, methods, and recommendations related to findings.
Indoor Air Quality Testing Survey Results Presentation for Gaines and Lincoln Elementary Schools
A presentation of the indoor air quality testing conducted at Lincoln and Gaines Elementary Schools for our Lincoln and Gaines school communities. Staff from the Paramount Unified School District, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and consultants will present the results of the indoor air quality survey and answer questions.  Date/Time: Thursday, April 25, 2019 at 7:00 pm 
Meeting Location:  Jackson Middle School - 7220 Jackson St, Paramount, CA 
Please see announcement and presentation information below.
Proposition 65 Information
The District received a notification under Proposition 65 providing information and warnings relating to Hexavalent chromium exposure in Paramount.  Please see the copy of the letter below (in the attached documents area).  We are also providing the links for additional information on Prop 65 and air monitoring by the SCAQMD in Paramount.
The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is establishing this website to provide the public with information on chemicals, products and locations often associated with Proposition 65 warnings:   www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
The South Coast Air Quality Management District provides information about local monitoring activities:  www.aqmd.gov/home/regulations/compliance/air-monitoring-activities
Board presentation on Indoor Air Quality Testing to City Council
Please see the presentation by Board Member Garcia to the Paramount City Council on the District's efforts relating to indoor air quality testing, as well as details on the joint testing with the LA County Health Department.  Click below for the video:
Paramount USD - LACDPH Joint Testing Presentation - Video
The Paramount Unified School District developed a presentation about the District's air quality testing efforts, including the joint testing conducted in September 2018 in partnership with the LA County Department of Public Health.  The presentation includes information about process, results and testing methods:
Paramount Produces Air Quality Update Video 
The City of Paramount produced a video to provide a look back on the past year to update the progress that has been made.   Please click here to see it.  There is a long version of the video http://bit.ly/Paramount_Air_Quality_2018_long  and a short version with the highlights http://bit.ly/Paramount_Air_Quality_2018_short.
District Cr(VI) ambient air monitoring - School Results and information.  September 2017 - The synopsis of the district schools report is as follows:

No airborne Hexavalent Chromium (Cr(VI)) was detected inside any of the classrooms during the five days of sampling. Small quantities of Cr(VI) were detected in the ambient outdoors air from air pollution from local manufacturing during the same sampling period that classrooms were monitored.

 Cr(VI) results inside the classrooms were below the limit of detection and below the OEHHA NSRL for inhalation of 0.001 μg/m3. Outdoor levels measured ranged from less than 0.39 to 0.40 μg/m3Additionally, these levels are well below occupational exposure levels established by California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH -- better known as Cal/OSHA) as referenced in the report underTable I.   (Sept/2017)



Information on Hair Sampling of Children in Paramount
The District received information that there have been reports of hair sampling in children in Paramount, and claims that the testing has resulted in concerning results.  The County Health Department provided the information via email to City staff, indicating that they have no knowledge of a hair sampling report of children in Paramount.  

From: Charlene Contreras [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:26 PM
To: John Carver
Cc: John Moreno
Subject: RE: indoor air sampling results


HI John,


I apologize for the delay on the indoor air sampling results. I am trying to sort through some logistical issues but I don’t anticipate too much longer.


As for hair sampling of children in Paramount, I contacted Jane Williams, and she is not aware of any such study. We at DPH haven’t heard of a hair study either.


Best regards,


Charlene Contreras, R.E.H.S.

Environmental Health Manager

Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health

5050 Commerce Drive  

Baldwin Park, CA 91706


Note:   Charlene Contreras is an Area Manager for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

           Jane Williams is the Executive Director of California Communities Against Toxics







Paramount USD - District Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Framework
District Plan for Fiscal Years 2017-2020
The Framework:
Technical Solutions The Seven Technical Solutions define the most common issues that schools need to address to effectively manage IAQ risks. When addressed systematically and aggressively, an IAQ program that focuses on the Seven Technical Solutions will deliver a healthier school environment. The Seven Technical Solutions are grounded in the IAQ Tools for Schools provided by the EPA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention School Health Policies and Practices Study and the management practices of leading school IAQ Programs. The Seven Technical Solutions are:
  • Quality HVAC
  • Control of Moisture/Humidity
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
  • Effective Cleaning and Maintenance
  • Smart Materials Selection
  • Aggressive Source Control
  • Integrated Energy Management Solutions


Indoor Air Quality Design Tools for PUSD                                   


In the next few years, Paramount USD will continue to invest Millions of dollars constructing new school facilities, and continuing to renovate existing schools. Our schools are renovated to upgrade aging facilities and to incorporate technological innovations into our architectural design, including environmental updates.

Preliminary Design Phases
Controlling Pollutants and Sources
Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning (HVAC) Systems
Moisture Control
Renovation and Repair of Existing Schools
Operations and Maintenance
Portable (Relocatable) Classrooms