SCAQMD Issues Odor Advisory due to Elevated Hydrogen Sulfide Levels Near Salton Sea
Thursday 18 September 2014 01:45:00 PM
Location: Salton Sea Beach
Categorie: Bad air Quality Conditions
SOUTH COAST AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT DISTRICT
SCAQMD Issues Odor Advisory due to Elevated Hydrogen Sulfide Levels
Near Salton Sea
This advisory is in effect today and will expire at Midnight, September 18, 2014.
If conditions warrant, SCAQMD will update this information.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued an odor advisory today for the
Coachella Valley due to elevated levels of a gas that smells like rotten eggs. That gas –
hydrogen sulfide – is associated with natural processes occurring in the Salton Sea.
Hourly average concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) peaked last night at 46 parts per
billion for one hour immediately downwind of the Salton Sea – at a monitor close to the shore, in
an area with little population. The levels then quickly dropped to the normal range. The monitor
in Mecca, a more populated community further downwind, did not exceed the state standard of
30 parts per billion. High H2S levels are not expected today, but if winds from the southeast do
occur, areas in the Coachella Valley may briefly experience the odors.
The state standard for outdoor levels of hydrogen sulfide is 30 parts per billion averaged over
one hour. At that level, most individuals can smell the odor and some may experience symptoms
such as headaches and nausea. However, the symptoms associated with this level of exposure
are temporary and do not cause any long-term health effects. Humans can detect hydrogen
sulfide odors at extremely low concentrations, down to a few parts per billion.
SCAQMD monitors hydrogen sulfide at two locations in the southeastern Coachella Valley –
one very close to the Salton Sea and the other in the community of Mecca. There is potential for
Salton Sea odors to occur as the winds shift, especially in the late summer months in the early
morning and evening, or as thunderstorms occur in the southwestern U.S. deserts
More information on Hydrogen Sulfide can be found at the following link:
SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los
Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
SCAQMD Advisory updates can be found at the following link:
To subscribe to air quality alerts, advisories and forecasts by email, go to AirAlerts.org
Legislative & Public Affairs
South Coast Air Quality Management District