WILMINGTON (CBSLA) - The stench of hydrogen sulfide coming from the Dominguez Channel, which has plagued Carson residents for weeks, now appears to be moving into other communities, even after the city and county officials declared a state of emergency over the issue.
Some Wilmington residents said the noxious odor has also creeped into their neighborhoods.
Officials have said that the stench is caused by decaying organic material in the channel.
"When it first started happening, it was like headaches. It was just really bad, you would lose your appetite," said Wilmington resident Alan Sevilla.
Angel Magana, who also lives in Wilmington, is worried about health consequences that can't been seen.
"The biggest concern is what it's doing to my health inside," Magana said.
Many people in the Carson area, and now outside the area, said they've been getting headaches and nausea since the smell started last month. Authorities said the hydrogen sulfide gas that's being emitted from the channel is not currently at dangerous levels.
"I even put my mask on inside my house sometimes just to avoid the smell," Sevilla said.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recommends that residents in affected communities reduce their outdoor exposure when the odors are strong. They are strongest between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.
San Pedro residents like Ruben Rodriguez said the odor has also drifted into their community.
"You get the stench. I work graveyard shift, so when I get off work at 4:30 in the morning, it is really, really potent. It's bad," Rodriguez said and added that he and his fiancé try to stay inside as much as possible. "We kinda keep everything locked up, you know. We have our AC and we run it."
In a zoom town hall meeting meeting on Wednesday evening, water and air quality authorities said they were looking into the possibility that chemicals from local refineries, chemical plants and other facilities may be partially to blame after the 4.3 magnitude earthquake near Carson last month, which may have disrupted lines.
Meanwhile, LA County Department of Public Works said they were able to reduce the smell by spraying biodegradable deoderizer in the channel.
"It's helped a little bit, but it's just terrible," Sevilla said. "It smells like dirty turtle water, that's my best way of explaining it. Just, basically, get rid of the smell."
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