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Salton Sea –Odor Advisory


Last updated 9/8/2015 at 11:52am

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued an odor advisory for Mecca and the Coachella Valley Monday evening after recording results of higher-than-usual levels of hydrogen sulphide being emitted by the Salton Sea.

Regional air quality officials say to expect the smell of rotten eggs if winds shift and begin blowing out of the southeast, as they may carry the odor to more valley communities.

South Coast Air Quality Management District installed two air monitors near the Salton Sea after the smell of decaying material, during a 2012 thunderstorm, drifted almost 150 miles across southern California.

Although the gas is part of “natural processes” occurring in the Salton Sea, state standards suggest hourly average concentrations of hydrogen sulfide outdoors should not exceed 30 parts per billion. Levels in Mecca, hit an hourly average concentration of 55 parts per billion Monday and 35 parts per billion close to the Salton Sea.

Some people could experience headaches and nausea at 30 parts per billion, however the symptoms would be temporary and no long-term health effects would be expected, according to SCAQMD officials.

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