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Mysterious, pungent smell reported in Carson near Dominguez Channel


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    CARSON (KCAL, KCBS) — Residents and people near the Dominguez channel in Carson are reporting a pungent smell currently wafting out of it.

“For lack of a better word, rotten eggs,” Tiffany Davis said.

Davis and her four-year-old son C.J. live right behind the channel. They tell CBS2 reporter Nicole Comstock the smell started rising in the air on Monday. It’s gotten worse each day.

“We have children. I’m pregnant myself, so we don’t know if it’s safe for us to be breathing in,” Davis said.

City of Carson Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes said Los Angeles County has not given her an answer on whether or not the odor is harmful to breathe in. As a result, she started asking other experts.

“The odor is believed, after I spoke to a couple of people to be hydrogen sulfide and hydrogen sulfide, if you’re exposed to it for a long length of time, could be harmful,” Davis-Holmes said.

Hydrogen sulfide is highly toxic and is often produced in industries like oil and gas refining. But it also can develop naturally in sewers and is known to cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, which half a dozen people have reported to our newsroom.

South Coast Air Quality Management District told Comstock they’ve received more than 200 complaints about the smell. The company said its investigation is ongoing.

Meanwhile, the LA County Sheriffs Department says LA County public works found that natural processes involving algae may be occurring in the Dominguez channel. The waters were tested and no toxins were found.

Davis-Holmes said the city council plans to launch an investigation and may consider a class-action lawsuit.

AQMD is encouraging residents to continue filing reports with them to assist their investigation.

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