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Air Quality in Long Beach, Chemicals in Beverly Hills are a Concern for Schools

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In probably the most comprehensive study of its kind, a series from USA Today--The Smokestake Effect: Toxic Air and America’s Schools--pinpoints toxic hotspots near schools in over 34 states. Working with the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, they looked at over 127,000 public, private and parochial schools, ranking them by air quality.

Thirteen thousand schools across California were involved, with 3,266 schools residing in Los Angeles County. The worst school? Stephens Middle School in Long Beach. In fact, Long Beach had six of the top ten schools with the worst air quality, in Los Angeles.

There were also a listing of the schools with the most chemical concerns where the chemicals in the air were at concentrations well above EPA guidelines, and including such things as the carcinogen benzene and naphthalene. Of the 57 schools listed as having chemical concerns, Beverly Hills High School and Cesar Chavez Elementary (Long Beach) were included due to high levels of chloroform. It has been found that people exposed for a long period of time will face a cancer risk of 1 in 100, 000.