Officials with the Air Quality Management District issued a notice of violation to Parter Sterilization Services in Carson for allegedly releasing a toxic gas into the air.
"You mostly worry about the kids, because they're outside trying to play, breathing this air," Leonardo Chiles said about his family's health after learning that the nearby business has been flagged by AQMD.
Chiles and his family live about a block from the company's location.
Officials said that Parter Sterilization Services has been releasing a toxic gas called ethylene oxide into the air at levels well above AQMD's threshold, which poses a health risk to the public.
"You worry about your head. I'm getting up in age, but my grandkids is what I really care about," Chiles told CBSLA.
Carson resident Ashley Perkins said the company needs to act responsibly.
"They're making money by being here, so they need to be more responsible," she said.
Air quality officials issued a notice of violation to the company after samples of the air showed high levels of the gas. Hundreds of homes and even an elementary school are within 2,000 feet of the facility.
People exposed ethylene oxide may experience headaches, nausea and vomiting among other symptoms, but long-term exposure to the gas can lead to cancer.
"There's a lot of ways for us to get exposed to cancer and long-term diseases, and I don't think that it's okay that these companies do this," Perkins told CBSLA.
The AQMD said it's working with the company to reduce emissions.
This is the second time in almost a year that Carson residents have dealt with breathing toxic air. Last October, many residents were sickened by a toxic odor from the Dominguez Channel, a stench that was linked to a nearby warehouse.
Neighbors hope that officials take swift action amidst this latest incident to ensure their safety.
"I think they could do better, and because we live now in a society where there's a lot of options, a lot of healthy, clean options that can keep people safe," Perkins said.
Requests for comment from Parter Sterilization Services were not immediately returned. Carson's mayor said the company must be held accountable and that the city will help the situation where it can.
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