Air Quality Officials Investigating Widespread Sulfur Odors

By Staff Reports

(Victorville)-—For most of the day today on Monday there were reports that calls were coming in to 911 dispatches all over Southern California about a strong sulfur odor in the air.  Did you smell it?

Air Quality Management Districts in all areas, including the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District and inspectors from South Coast and Imperial County air districts are investigating possible causes of the widespread sulfur odors.

While the odors appear to be most concentrated in the Riverside/San Bernardino Valley areas, as well as areas of Los Angeles County, the MDAQMD has received calls reporting a foul, rotten egg/sulfur odor from High Desert residents, particularly those living closest to the Cajon Pass.

Fish kills, algae blooms and other biological conditions in lakes can cause strong odors, as can other naturally occurring events. Unconfirmed reports indicate current odors may be caused by a fish die off at the Salton Sea combined with strong winds that may have pushed the smell into the area. The Salton Sea is located approximately 35 miles southeast of Palm Springs.

While odors from these types of natural events are a nuisance, they pose no threat to human health.

The MDAQMD and nearby air districts will continue to investigate the source of the odors and update information as it becomes available online at

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