Residents Say Foul Smell Lingering in California City for 2 Weeks Is Making Them Sick

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The Dominguez Channel in Carson, California, as seen from Carson St. Getty Images

The smell is being caused by a nearby channel, officials said.

Residents of a California city are complaining about a horrible smell that they said has been affecting them for two weeks, and some say it has made them sick, CBS Los Angeles reported. The city said the smell is being caused by Dominguez Channel, a waterway that runs through the city.

"Fortunately, for me, I've been only having to deal with nonstop headaches and bouts of nausea and dizziness," Anna Meni, who has lived in Carson for 42 years, recently told CBS Los Angeles.

Mark Pestrella, the director of Los Angeles County Public Works, told CBS LA that hydrogen sulfide is causing the odor. They believe the foul-smelling chemical was created by rotting plants and other materials in the channel, and believe a recent fire in the city has released ethanol into the channel, making the smell worse.

Officials have put an odor neutralizer in the area and said it should take up to five days for there to be a difference. The county is giving residents around $180 for hotel rooms, and promising reimbursement for air filters, according to reports.

Residents called for more action outside of City Hall last week.

“[Hotel] rooms are being identified as we speak. Right now I can tell you that there are 40 rooms that the city has already locked in for our residents who would like to leave the city because they can't tolerate the smell anymore," Mayor Lulu Davis-Holmes said, according to CBS Los Angeles.

The mayor also criticized county health officials for their slow response to the issue.

"It's been proven that the Black and brown communities are not responded to in an expeditious manner. I can say that once I called our supervisor, the ball started rolling," she said, according to CBS Los Angeles.

Other leaders have been asking for a state of emergency to be declared in response to the situation but it’s not clear if that will happen.

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