Housing Effects of Carson Public Nuisance
Carson’s Rotten Smell Is Causing Negative Health and Housing Effects
Lately, several news outlets have been reporting the foul smell that has been lingering in Carson, California, and residents have been suffering with the stench daily. Described as a “stench of death” and a “rotten egg smell,” authorities say that the pungent odor comes from decomposing vegetation in the Dominguez Channel, which emits hydrogen sulfide gas.
Unfortunately, the gas is not just unpleasant in terms of smell. It is also making many residents feel physically ill and making home life more unpleasant for them. If you live in Carson and are suffering through the effects of this obnoxious odor, which the Carson City Council recently declared a public nuisance, it is important to understand the potential issues this problem can create and what you can do.
What Is a Public Nuisance?
According to California law, a public nuisance is one that affects an entire neighborhood, community or group of individuals at the same time. It also specifies that the nuisance may or may not affect all involved people at the same level. A nuisance is considered anything that can injure health. It can be something that inhibits a person’s free use of their own property, an unlawful obstruction of passage or something that is offensive to the senses. Those are just a few examples, and the law is not limited only to them. Illegal drug sales and other activities can also be considered nuisances.
What Are the Risks of Hydrogen Sulfide Gas?
According to OSHA, hydrogen sulfide is a flammable, colorless and hazardous gas that is characterized by a rotten egg smell. It can be produced by the bacterial breakdown of animal waste, human waste and organic materials. The effects the gas has on people or pets depend on the length and level of exposure.
As OSHA notes, repeated exposure can cause health issues at lower levels that people were previously able to tolerate. This emphasizes how unpleasant long-term exposure can be for people. Home is supposed to be an enjoyable place where people can feel safe and comfortable. With the obnoxious odor making people feel ill continually at home, life can feel more unpleasant for homeowners and renters in the city.
Potential Symptoms of Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Exposure
There are several symptoms a person may experience. These are some of the most common potential symptoms:
- New or persistent cough
- Itchy eyes, nose or throat
- Shortness of breath
- Burning or inflamed eyes
- Weight loss
- Digestive issues
Although these are several common potential symptoms, there may be others that some people experience. Asthmatics may experience more breathing difficulties.
Housing Effects of the Carson Odor
Health experts recommend closing all doors and windows whenever the air smells bad and staying indoors. The health department recommends calling air conditioning or HVAC professionals to inquire about filter choices or upgrades. Additionally, health experts recommend that people who own pets keep them indoors while the public nuisance is ongoing. Because people have been told to stay indoors, many cannot enjoy their properties and get the fresh air or sunshine they need without traveling to a different area. The odor may be confining people to their homes, and they may still feel ill indoors.
The odorous nuisance in the city is costing residents more money at a time when many people are on a tighter budget. For example, if you need to purchase a new air filtration system, take your sick pet to the vet or take your child to the hospital for repeat asthma attacks, the odor is likely costing you time and money. People who experience severe health effects may feel the need to move to a different city, which can also be costly.
Odors and other nuisances can have negative effects beyond causing psychological distress and physical illness. They can also damage real property. For example, consider the effects of the famous Porter Ranch gas leak. Starting in 2015, the Porter Ranch gas leak caused thousands of people to become ill and forced them to move when it lingered. To make matters worse for people who were already distressed, the gas leak contributed to decreased property values and led to residents losing equity in their homes.
A lingering odor may also affect personal property. Even with good air filters, some people may notice that their belongings in their home are permeated with the odor, making life indoors more unpleasant as well. Tough odors can be difficult and expensive to remove from furniture, curtains and other belongings. Since officials do not know when the odor will be remediated, it is hard for Carson’s residents to know what to do.
What You Can Do
If the odor is causing health problems or costing you money, our attorneys may be able to help. Our team has helped people through similar nuisance situations, such as the Porter Ranch gas leak. JT Legal Group has handled many cases for personal injuries, including health damages and property damages. We understand the complexities of all types of damages and work diligently to study the housing effects of lingering nuisances on Southern California communities and neighborhoods. To learn more about your rights and how to proceed during this difficult time in Carson, please contact us.
We offer free consultations with experienced, licensed California personal injury lawyers. For your free consultation, please call 1-888-LAW-3111.