The Times-Picayune recently reported that foul odors that have been plaguing residents for several days has been linked to the refining of crude oil that contained high levels of sulfur compounds. Residents have been complaining that the odor has been causing symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, headaches and respiratory problems. On WWLTV News, Shell, along with IMTT, has issued a statement that they have been conducting testing and are working together to prevent future odors. The Louisiana Bucket Brigade has also been involved by deploying an emergency response team to go door to door to document the symptoms.
Shell’s statement also said that “all ambient air test results from the site and the community met EPA air quality standards.” Air testing at “safe” levels, does not necessarily mean that odors are out of control. Many types of sulfur compounds, such as hydrogen sulfide, have a very low odor threshold, and in small amounts can cause symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, headaches and respiratory problems. Residents have the right to the enjoyment of their homes and properties without experiencing ambient odors from a refinery.