Blood and urine samples taken from more than 300 workers at the Los Angeles Police Department's Northeast station do not show dangerous levels of chemical contamination, the city's assistant medical director reported Monday.
Only five employees showed even slightly elevated levels of either cadmium or mercury, said Dr. R. Leonard Goldberg, speaking before a task force charged with investigating reports of hazardous materials at the station, which was once a photo processing center. Two employees showed elevated levels of arsenic, but one had not been in the station in more than nine months and both reported eating seafood just before the tests, which could be the source of trace amounts of arsenic, Goldberg added.
All seven were still below the maximum recommended levels of the known carcinogens, Goldberg said. An independent environmental consultant hired by the Police Protective League told the task force that he concurred with Goldberg's findings.
The biological data taken from 328 employees out of about 400 who work in the Northeast Division appears to lend credence to extensive ground and air tests conducted during the last six weeks. Although there are detectable levels of chemicals in at least two areas of the station, all are at levels far below recommended exposure limits.
Each of the areas with some contamination will be scheduled for a full environmental cleanup, members of the task force said.
The task force will present its findings to the City Council's Public Safety Committee on Jan. 13.