Chemical Leakage Stench Leaves People with Headache near Oxford


Residents living in the northern Mississippi community have been facing rotten-eggs like stench produced by chemicals, which is causing them headaches.

CenterPoint Solutions, the company located outside Oxford in Harmontown community, combines an odorant known as ethyl mercaptan in to natural gas. The location contains soil mixed with the undiluted odorants left by a chemical spill, according to Oxford Eagle.

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The additives such as ethyl mercaptan are added to natural gas, which is odorless and colorless as well, to leave the gas with a stench like rotten eggs. When ethyl mercaptan gets contaminated with the natural gas, the odorant gets diminished extremely. But, the stench becomes potent, after being exposed in the open air.

A resident, Mike Sanders living near the Harmontown site of the company, told that the smell began since October’s second week, while workers of CenterPoint were bringing 55 gallon drums containing ethyl mercaptan to the location for refilling tanks. Sanders said that the stench grew unbearable after they left the site.

Sanders said in a statement that, “When you smell a gas leak in your community; you smell it diluted to parts per million. Out here, this is the pure stuff, pure ethyl mercaptan.”

However, Sanders believes that the stench might have produced by a spill the pipes of ethyl mercaptan.

Jody McDougal, ‎manager at CenterPoint Energy in Oxford, said that, “We were attempting to deliver some odorant to the site and transfer it to the tank. Some spilled on the ground, contaminating the soil and causing that concentrated smell.”

Head of Public Relations for CenterPoint Energy Inc., Alicia Dixon said that the safety practices are priorities for the company. She reported that a filter over the pipeline was also being changed. She said that, “We’ve ordered a biodegradable enzyme designed to eat the odorant.”