The typical rotten egg smell, most persistent around the Dominguez Canal, has been haunting Carson’s residents for four weeks now. The local government has already declared a state of emergency, but residents are complaining that not much is being done.
“It’s not just the smell,” Anna Minnie says. “The smell will not cause you headaches, breathing problems, and rashes.” Other residents complain of nausea and loss of appetite.
According to the local government, the smell is caused by the decaying vegetation around the canal. This releases hydrogen sulfide, which is more common in wells and sewers. Gas (colorless) is formed from the process of decomposing organic matter containing sulfur, the result of which has the smell of rotten eggs and can be toxic.
However, Muntu David, the local health official, stresses that H2S levels are too low to cause permanent harm. In the meantime, serious work is underway on a solution, and the local authorities guarantee: the canal is ‘injected’ with oxygen and a type of deodorant is used to reduce the stench. Residents react decisively: “You might get rid of the smell of gas, but it’s still toxic.”
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