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Salton Sea 'Rotten Egg' Smell Triggers Coachella Valley Odor Advisory

INDIO ( — An odor advisory was issued for the Coachella Valley on Sunday as elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide gas made the Salton Sea stink of rotten eggs.

Concentrations of hydrogen sulfide gas were detected Saturday evening at a monitoring station downwind of the Salton Sea, reaching more than 30 parts per billion, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

The reading was taken at the AQMD's Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuilla's reservation, at the north tip of the lake, about 25 miles southeast of Indio.

Winds were predicted to blow from the south or southeast, possibly carrying the stench up the Coachella Valley towards Indio and other desert cities.

The human nose is very discerning about very low levels of this particular gas, and its rotten egg odor can be detected by humans even at extremely low concentrations.

The state standard for outdoor levels of hydrogen sulfide is 30 parts per billion averaged over one hour, at which level some people may experience headaches, nausea, or respiratory and nasal irritation.

However, these symptoms are temporary and do not cause long-term health effects, according to the AQMD.

The gas is not expected to remain  above the state standard for long today.

The gas is associated with natural processes occurring in the Salton Sea, according to the AQMD. The advisory was to be in effect until midnight on Monday.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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