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Mystery Solved? Expert Thinks He Knows What's Causing Avondale Odor

(CBS) -- There may be an explanation for the chemical odor plaguing some Avondale homes.

CBS 2's Jim Williams has this follow-up report.

Earlier this week, resident Sara Suh detailed the problems experienced by her family. A toxic-smelling odor has been seeping in for the past several days, forcing the family to open windows as the weather has gotten colder.

"It's been a nightmare," she said.

Others in the neighborhood have complained, too. At Suh's urging, several state and city departments have come here, but no one has been able to explain it.

Now, Dr. Kenneth Noll, an environmental engineering professor at IIT, may have the answer.

He blames epoxy, an adhesive, used in a recent sewer project in Suh's neighborhood.

"They worked on the sewer line. They put epoxy in the sewer line, and we know the epoxy has to have an evaporation component in it, or they couldn't put it on," he says.

Cooler temperatures, Dr. Noll says, have likely slowed evaporation, keeping the odor in the air.

"You could have it for a week. You could have it for ten days," he says.

Suh is hopeful this may be the end of her ordeal. "It may be a start. I still want to know what it is, how it can affect us long term," she says.

The Department of Water Management told us it is investigating the situation.



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