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Odor Testing Services

Category Press Release
Publish Date 11/23/2021
Author Paul Cochrane
Title State and County Officials Investigate Mystery Odor in Los Angeles County
Introduction LA Testing provides laboratory services, sampling supplies and air monitoring instruments to detect and identify mystery odors and other airborne pollutants.

Huntington Beach, CA, November 23rd, 2021

Last month, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) and Public Works announced it was investigating odors in the City of Carson. It was reported that the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) notified Public Health of an odor event in Carson and advised that their investigation ruled out a point source or permitted business as the source of the mystery odor.

According to Public Health, air monitoring found very low levels of hydrogen sulfide in the air. At these low levels, the department declared the hydrogen sulfide does not have long-term health effects, but does cause nuisance odors that may cause short-term symptoms and impact quality of life. Public Health also warned that some residents may experience temporary symptoms such as headaches, nausea or eye, nose and throat irritation.

Hydrogen sulfide is a colorless and flammable gas. At high enough concentrations, it is an extremely hazardous gas which can cause shock, convulsions, inability to breathe, extremely rapid unconsciousness, coma, and death. It has a rotten egg smell and occurs naturally in crude petroleum, natural gas, and hot springs. It is also produced by the microbial breakdown of organic materials, including human and animal waste. Some of the industrial activities that can produce hydrogen sulfide include petroleum and natural gas drilling, refining, wastewater treatment, coke ovens, tanneries, and some types of paper mill processing.

“Mystery odor events can occur indoors or outdoors and can be a challenge to identify in some cases,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Huntington Beach facility. “Sewer gas is a common culprit, but it’s just one of countless possibilities. Quite often these odors are just a nuisance, but in some cases they could potentially be putting people at risk. Fortunately, advanced air testing can often provide the information needed to identify the root cause of a mystery odor so a strategy to eliminate or mitigate the odor can be put in place.”

In California, LA Testing offers a wide range of outdoor and indoor air quality (IAQ) tests to identify mystery odors. They also provide sampling supplies and carry monitoring instruments to measure various gases and other airborne pollutants.

To learn more about odor, air or other environmental testing services, please visit, email or call (800) 755-1794.

About LA Testing
LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash, and smoke damage, particulates, and other chemicals.  In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), CDC ELITE, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health, and other states.  LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Huntington Beach, San Leandro, San Diego, and Ontario.

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