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Salton Sea - Rotten Egg Smell


Last updated 9/24/2015 at 2:22pm

High levels of hydrogen sulfide, producing the smell of rotten eggs, has provoked an odor alert from the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Hydrogen sulfide results from the bacterial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen gas, such as you would find in swamps and sewers. Calling the hydrogen sulfide emissions part of “natural processes” that occur in the Salton Sea, the AQMD warns that the gas could be spread by high winds today. Outdoor concentrations of hydrogen sulfide shouldn’t exceed 30 parts per billion. The levels are currently at 42 parts per billion downwind of the Salton Sea. At this level some people could experience nausea and headaches. The odor alert is in effect until midnight on Wednesday- or until further notice.

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