The city of Carson has been plagued by stench for almost a week.
“It smells like cooked, vomit, it’s just awful,” said Mayor Lola Davis Holmes.
“It’s a bit like an open sewer line, but it’s 10 times more,” added City Council member Cedric Hicks.
The smell appears to be coming from a flood channel called Dominguez Channel, which sits near 405 Freeway and Avalon Boulevard.
Residents began to notice the stench about a week ago, and initial views focused on a possible pipeline leak, perhaps from an oil refinery or waste management facility.
After an investigation by the Los Angeles County Fire Department, which determined that there was no immediate threat to life, investigators are turning to a natural cause.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the Public Works Department, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and Public Health found very low levels of hydrogen sulfide in the air near the channel.
At low levels, hydrogen sulfide does not have long-term health effects, but breathing can make people feel sick and irritate their eyes, throat and stomach.
Davis Holmes said the city wants to make stench a public nuisance, which could trigger government funding to help people displaced by the stench.
“The stench is too much. It’s too strong; and if you can’t sleep in your house, it’s not your fault.
“If it were any other community, I think a community that was not of color, I think we would have had a better response time … we should all work together to solve this problem. It will happen, “Holmes added.