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Salton Sea – Odor Sets New Record


Last updated 9/24/2015 at 2:24pm

Stationary air monitors northwest of the Salton Sea, in Mecca and the Torres-Martinez Reservation, have recorded elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide for the last nine days, said spokesman for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Sam Atwood.

The odor has been detected in Palm Springs and Indio due to monsoonal winds blowing out of the south. Although it is not unusual to have wind-driven odors blow off the dying sea in late summer, they don’t occur for that many days in a row, Atwood said.

Wednesday September. 9, saw the highest reading so far with 183 parts per billion averaged over one hour, more than six times the state standard of 30 parts per billion.

At 30 parts per billion, people can experience headaches and nausea. “People should be assured … our noses are extremely sensitive and can smell these very low concentrations, but it’s not something that’s going to damage your health in the long term,” Atwood explained.

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