The County of Los Angeles Public Works and Public Health departments, and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), are addressing and monitoring reports of odors in the vicinity of Dominguez Channel in Carson, West Carson and neighboring communities.
Los Angeles County Public Health and South Coast AQMD have continued to monitor air quality since the event began on Oct. 7 and found elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide in the air in communities in the vicinity of the channel. The source of this gas and related odor is believed to be the natural decay of organic material (vegetation and marine life) at the bottom and sides of the Dominguez Channel. The odor is sufficiently pervasive to be considered a public nuisance to residents and those working and recreating nearby.
Two solutions reduce the odor, and restore the channel to a healthy estuary.
hat are currently being implemented are:
• Neutralize the odor: Maintenance crews are spraying a natural, water-based and biodegradable deodorizer in the channel to neutralize the odor within the channel.
• Aerate the water: Similar to a fish aquarium, a bubbler system will be used to inject millions of tiny oxygen bubbles into the water to increase the levels of dissolved O2 in the channel and prevent the production of additional hydrogen sulfide gas.
Until the odor event subsides, the County’s Department of Public Health recommends preventing outdoor odors from entering homes and businesses by keeping doors and windows closed as much as possible while odors are present and running HVAC units to filter the air.
The County’s Department of Public Health recommends taking the following actions to lessen your exposure and any symptoms experienced and to protect the community’s and that of family members and pets:
• If symptoms feel life threatening, seek immediate medical care.
• If symptoms are persistent, worrisome, or worsening, seek medical attention. Relocate to another area until odors go away. For assistance, call 2-1-1.
• Avoid prolonged outdoor activities between the hours of 9 p.m. through 8 a.m. and whenever odors are strong to reduce exposure.
• Keep doors and windows closed as much as possible to prevent outdoor odors from entering your residence or business. Air out the home/business when odors are not present.
• If residents have a central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, contact an air conditioning specialist, if needed, to determine if the air filters in the system may be replaced with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) or MERV-rated filters with activated charcoal (carbon) to improve the air quality inside. If you notice odors are stronger or symptoms are worse in the late evening or early morning hours (9 p.m. to 7 a.m.), try running your central HVAC system throughout the night. Temporarily relocating may be best if this does not help.
• Keep pets indoors. If any of the following conditions are present in your pets, contact local veterinarian: difficulty breathing, vomiting, lethargy, or nausea.
People experiencing persistent, worrisome, or worsening symptoms from the odors are encouraged to contact their health care providers, especially if they have any chronic health conditions. People should also ensure that they have adequate supplies of their medications, especially if they have heart or lung conditions. In addition, Public Health recommends temporarily leaving the area where odors are present to alleviate health impacts.
To make an odor complaint, report it online with South Coast Air Quality Management District at www.aqmd.gov/home/air-quality/complaints, or call (800) 288-7664.