Chiquita Landfill: Castaic residents remain concern about odors, toxic materials spewing into air

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CASTAIC, Calif. (KABC) — Residents remain concerned that leaks at the Chiquita Landfill in Castaic are continuing to pose health risks to the surrounding community.

Work crews are scrambling to contain gas and water leaks throughout the landfill. Residents are concerned the leaks could not only cause more of the odor they’ve been dealing with for a while but lead to air pollution and health concerns.

Environmental regulators say that local air and water samples at the landfill have contained elevated levels of benzine a cancer-causing chemical that evaporates easily.

A medical doctor says prolonged exposure to benzine as well as other chemicals spewing from the landfill can have catastrophic health effects.

“Benzene is a very dangerous carcinogenic chemical and it takes small amounts to get to that carcinogenic level,” says Dr. Ali Jamehdor.

He adds that it presents a greater danger in aerosolized form than as a solid.

Eyewitness News reached out to the AQMD, which issued a brief statement: “As you may know, this is a complex issue with lots of moving parts. South Coast AQMD, along with the U.S. EPA and other state, local and county agencies are working together to reduce odors from the landfill.”

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