Lake Balboa Residents Say They’re Getting Sick From Breathing City’s Asphalt Dust

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Lake Balboa residents say a giant pile of asphalt near the Van Nuys airport is causing respiratory problems in their community.

Residents such as Jamie Holzhauer say dust from the pile disperses into their neighborhood during periods of strong winds, particularly during Santa Ana wind events.

“After a windy day I literally feel like I’ve smoked a pack of cigarettes,” Holzhauer said. “And I’m a non-smoker of 20 years.”

The pile sits in a city yard and is estimated to be about 20 feet tall and the length of a football field. It is comprised of reclaimed pavement that is sent to plants to be recycled into hot asphalt mix.

Residents have long called the mound an eyesore, and also complained of the material dispersing into swimming pools and onto porches.

Now, many of those residents are increasingly concerned about their health.

“I don’t have any pre-existing lung problems, but I came down with one of the worst illnesses I’ve had in my life,” Holzhauer’s son, Brandon, said. “I was coughing up blood.”

In 2014, the LA City Council voted to cover the pile with a tarp and stop new deliveries of crushed pavement.

But residents say the cover blows off when the Santa Ana winds pick up.

“Every time the Santa Ana winds blow, the cover comes off,” Lake Balboa resident James Brown said.

The city told CBS2’s Craig Herrera it is planning to reduce the size of the pile.

But Holzhauer and other residents are urging the city to remove the giant pile altogether.

“It’s still there,” Holzhauer said. “It’s still on all of our porches and we can’t get rid of it.”

Comments

One Comment

  1. There is a petition for this, as many people in the area, including children at Stagg Elementary School, are suffering ill effects from the unhealthful conditions. Please sign, thanks.

    https://www.change.org/p/stakeholders-of-lake-balboa-and-all-concerned-in-the-area-please-help-us-remove-this-blight/w?source_location=petition_nav

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Los Angeles

KNX 1070 Newsradio
Play.It
Follow Us On Twitter

Listen Live