ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (WFLA) — Child’s Park residents say they are thankful researchers have stepped in to help them learn what’s caused an unpleasant smell in the neighborhood.
“The smell is so strong and at times people can’t come outside,” said Jabaar Edmond, a Child’s Park resident.
Emond also serves as the Child’s Park Neighborhood Association President and is heavily involved in an air quality research study.
The study is being conducted by researchers at the University of South Florida and Eckerd College. For over a year, the higher-ed institutions have performed air quality testing in the neighborhood.
Preliminary results of the investigations were recently presented to Child’s Park residents.
Researchers say testing indicates residents have been smelling Hydrogen Sulfide, which is a colorless gas known for having a rotten egg odor.
“The smell is definitely there, it varies by day, the intensity of that and varies in what part of the neighborhood you are,” said Dr. Polina Maciejczyk, a Chemist at Eckerd College.
According to the researchers, Hydrogen Sulfide measured twice as high in Child’s Park than in the nearby neighborhood, Disston Heights. Levels of the chemical also exceeded minimum odor thresholds and were higher than some health benchmarks.
“Exposure to this particular level of this chemical might create some sort of health effect,” Maciejczyk said. “It could be exacerbation of asthma, it could be cough, it could be irritation of eyes.”
Researchers are using three different types of air quality sensors for the study, which isn’t complete yet.
Child’s Park residents tell 8 On Your Side they want to get a better understanding of what’s causing the problem.
“Clean air means everything to me and the residents of Child’s Park.. because it’s a part of the quality of life,” Edmond shared.