Residents of several Orange County, California cities are complaining about a strange, mysterious odor in the air -- and local municipal agencies seem to be pointing fingers at each other as to the cause of the bad smell.
The odor is affecting cities like Orange, Anaheim Hills, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, according to Patrick Chandler, spokesperson for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
We have received many reports of a strong odor traveling through the city. The smell has traveled throughout many OC cities. We have made notifications to the proper authorities for follow up. At this time we do not know where the odor is originating from.— Huntington Beach FD (@HBFD_PIO) August 17, 2018
Residents are reporting smells similar to petroleum, paint thinner or butane in the air.
Capt. Tony Bommarito, a public information officer for Orange County Fire, told ABC News that a recent vector control spray for mosquitoes was "not the cause of the odor."
“The OC Vector Control did a targeted spray in a small area with a backpack sprayer," Bommarito said. "It was completely odorless and it’s not the cause of the odor that people have been reporting.”
A spokesperson for the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District concurred, saying “the spray is odorless.”
Regarding the chemical smell, you could also report to AQMD at 1-800-288-7664. If you begin to experience any abnormal symptoms, please call 911 to report a medical emergency.— Costa Mesa FD (@CMFD_PIO) August 17, 2018
The ongoing investigation is now being handled by South Coast Air Quality Management, officials said.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article included the wrong title for Capt. Bommarito and incorrectly quoted him. We regret the error.