Terrible odor possibly identified in north Warren, but source is not

Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple Mark Tilton, left, and his stepdaughter, Sierra Angell, sit on the front steps of their Comstock Avenue NW home and talk about the terrible smell that has permeated the neighborhood for weeks.
The Warren Water Pollution Control Department thinks it knows what is causing the odor but is trying to identify the source.
Carolyn Angell described being nearly driven from her home at 415 Comstock Ave. NW after spending days smelling what seemed to be “a combination of rotten food, spoiled milk and something that had been dead for a couple weeks.
Besides the foul nature of the odor, Angell expressed concern that it may trigger her asthma and COPD.
Daquan Mansfield and Cynthia Ritchey, who with their two children live at 575 Belmont St. NW, described smelling something similar to rotten corn and gas in their basement for about a month.
“The smell comes and goes at different times of the day,” Mansfield said.
Warren Deputy Health Commissioner Robert Pinti said the health department received calls from about 10 different residents over the past two weeks.
“We believe it is dimethyl disulfide, which is a small molecule with a big odor.” Although department employees believe they know the cause of the big stink, Wilke said the goal now is to identify its source.
“We are tracking where we are getting complaints and going into the areas to determine whether they are the same odors and taking samples.” The department also has been going to local businesses to check their sewer discharges.
“As far as I know dimethyl disulfide is not harmful to humans, but it does not mean the foul smell is not a nuisance.” rsmith@tribtoday.com

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