Some Coachella Valley residents may smell the stench of rotting eggs in the air Monday for the second consecutive day due to elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide wafting from the Salton Sea, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
The SCAQMD extended an odor advisory through Tuesday morning after detecting hydrogen sulfide concentrations at 239 parts per billion — exceeding the state standard of 30 parts per billion — on Sunday morning immediately downwind from the Salton Sea, in a sparsely populated area.
“Over the past week, hydrogen sulfide concentrations have been elevated when winds are blowing out of the south, especially during the morning hours,” the SCAQMD said in a statement released Sunday.
Elevated levels of the gas near the lake are relatively common and are a product of natural processes in the water. There is increased potential for the foul-smelling odors as winds shift, especially during the summer in the early morning and late afternoon, or as thunderstorms occur over the southwestern U.S. deserts, according to the SCAQMD.
The levels detected on Sunday can cause headaches and nausea, but there are no long-term health risks associated with those symptoms, agency officials said.
Southerly winds expected to pick up during the daylight hours Monday and Tuesday could increase the intensity of the odor, the SCAQMD warned.
The district monitors hydrogen sulfide at two locations in the southeastern Coachella Valley — one near the Salton Sea shoreline and the other in Mecca.
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