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June 25th 2012-- Los Angeles Times

Diesel exhaust can cause cancer, World Health Organization says

Diesel Particulate Matter  (DPM) is part of a complex mixture that makes up diesel exhaust and has fine and ultra-fine particles that are respirable, which means that they can avoid many of the human respiratory system's defense mechanisms and enter deeply into the lungs.  Numerous international health agencies have concluded that diesel exhaust is a probable or known carcinogen, with particulate matter accounting for diesel exhaust’s carcinogenicity. Various U.S. studies estimating the lifetime excess cancer risk caused by air pollution have concluded that DPM is responsible for 70% - 89% of the total cancer risk caused by air pollution in the U.S. and includes premature mortality, decreased lung function, exacerbation of asthma, and negative immunological effects upon the respiratory system. Exposure to DPM also causes eye, nose, and respiratory irritation symptoms such as cough, phlegm, chest tightness and wheezing.  Long-term exposure can lead to chronic, more serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, cardiopulmonary disease, lung cancer and chronic inflammation of the lungs. 

Residents of Elysian Valley and Cypress Park are mostly unaware that breathing this particulate matter pose a serious health risk. Children and or older citizens are the most susceptible to these hidden hazards.  Residents and visitors to this area are being exposed to this nearly every day because of our close proximity (less then 400 feet from many residences) to the Metrolink Maintenance Facility where numerous trains idle for a minimum of 80 hours a week. Inspectors from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) have reported back to Elysian Valley residents after visiting and talking with the MetroLink Management that this area services approximately 28 trains per day at an hour and a half each between the hours of 7:00 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday however 

we citizens who live next to the Taylor Yard witness them being serviced up to 3 hours each and more. 

Multiple engines are being serviced at once as well as overflow traffic after 5:30 with locomotives that are serviced at odd hours of the night, sometimes running all night long and weekends. This translates to approximately 320 hours of DPM exhaust monthly or over 16,500 hours a year.  Residents are constantly breathing exhaust, depending on the wind current. Exposure to DPM is cumulative which poses a very serious heath risk in the long run.

Some Diesel Exhaust Hazard References

*California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment:: Health Effects of Diesel Exhaust

*Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Chemical Sampling Information, Diesel Fuel 

*American Cancer Society: Learn About Cancer - Diesel Exhaust 


*Clean Air Task Force: "Diesel and Health in America: The Lingering Threat" 

Effects From Inhaling Exhaust Fumes 

*Other problems DPM is creating for our city is addressed in a recent LA Times article, "EPA is 

  sued over smog in Los Angeles Basin"

New Updated footage 12/15/11

Below: Metrolink locomotives are being serviced on a Tuesday morning 7:45 AM 12/13/11

Both videos are looking East toward the Taylor Yards from the New Los Angeles River Bike Trail.

The wind current is blowing south east toward Cypress Park which receives the majority of the pollution into their parks, schools and neighborhoods.

Approxiamtly 30 trains are serviced here daily within this small area.

Approx 400 feet from resident.

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Sept. 15, 2011- Metrolink locomotive reving its engine in the cover of the night releasing Diesel Particulate Matter. This is a common occurrence several times a week at the Metrolink Central Maintenance Facility.

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The film clip below was filmed on a Wednesday night 10:30 PM from a residents backyard of when the Metrolink locomotives are spewing excess amounts of DPM into our neighborhoods.   This occurs during both weekdays and weekends.

You can easily see the DPM coming up from below the MetroLink light post

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Tuesday,  August 16th 2011 /  9:50 pm,

Diesel Particulate Matter coming from a MetroLink locomotive at the Central Maintenance Facility at Taylor Yards.

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Below: footage that is typical on weekdays. This area of Elysian Valley overlooks the Metrolink Central Maintenance Facility less than 400' from many houses in the neighborhood. Decibel readings are from 70 to 85.
Engines on a regularly basis start up on weekdays at 7:10 am until approx. 5:30 pm. 4-6 locomotives are serviced simultaneously for a minimum of an 1 1/2 hours each.  The neighborhood typically gets a 3 hour break from noise and pollutants during a workers shift change, from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm (not always).  After 8:30 pm the overflow traffic begins. Usually it's one or 2 locomotives that idles anywhere from an 1 1/2 hours to 4 hours each. Friday and Saturday nights engines have been known to idle until 10:00 AM the next day. Also locomotives are known to start at 2:00 am to 4:00 am in the morning. Both the noise pollution and DPM is evident here. Conversation can not be had between two people during this time.

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Wednesday July 13th, at 7:50 AM. The locomotive is mostly hidden by trees.  DPM can be seen in the center of the frame. This engine (engine 800) went on like this for approx. 3 hours. The noise was truly unbelievably loud. Decibel readings were from 80 to 85+. Conversation can not be had between two people during this time. 

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