Mystery Odor Not Dangerous: Health Officials

Tests of the mysterious odor in North County determined that it is not dangerous.

Whatever it was, it won’t kill us.

County agencies determined that the mysterious odor dealt in San Diego’s North Coast does not pose a health risk.

The odor is still a mystery though, despite scrupulous testing by the San Diego Air Pollution Control District (APCD).

Residents in the North County area reported the strange smell Wednesday afternoon to emergency officials. They complained of an obnoxious, sweet smell that resembled lighter fluid, kerosene, petroleum or a fabric softener.

“We tested samples taken from different areas where the odor could be smelled, said Bob Kard, director of APDC in a statement. “The tests – which measured ambient air levels of 56 hydrocarbons and 48 different types of toxic air contaminants — showed only normal, low, background levels.”

“In other words, the results were very good news. Nonetheless, we know the odors were out there and bothering people.”

The next step in riding the area of the terrible smell will be to plot the complaints and wind information. Kard hopes finding the origin of the smell will bring the APCD one step closer to eliminating it.

The odor has mostly dissipated as of Thursday afternoon – so tracking down the smell may be futile, Kard said.

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