While we still don't know what caused the mysterious foul odor that extended as far as Katy, which some in Channelview are describing as burnt plastic and others say smells like raw sewage, authorities say the smell is not dangerous.
Even though officials say the smell is not believed to be harmful, the community wants answers.
"I woke up this morning and was like, 'God,' you know?," asks Patricia Doucet. "I went and checked the bathroom and everything, just like raw sewage."
Doucet says the odor makes breathing difficult and that Monday morning isn't the first time she's smelled it.
The smell moved west along Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 59, eventually moving into downtown. By Monday afternoon, social media erupted as hundreds of people throughout the Houston area sought answers.
"What are are we breathing in?," asks Robert Munoz. "How long this could be something that's getting into our bodies, how long do we have to live? It's something to think about everyday."
"I've got breathing problems and it cuts my breath, it really does," adds Doucet. "It cuts my breath, to where you have to (she takes deep breath), you know and I'm like, 'Okay.' I'd like them to check on that."
The City of Houston said the following in a statement, "While initial reports indicated that the smell originated from a chemical plant, the source has yet to be definitively determined."
Houston-area complained of a pungent odor pushing through the Houston area. The odor has a sulfur-like smell. The City of Houston released the following statement about the odor:
Air quality monitors do not indicate the presence of hazardous chemicals. However, Houstonians may want to avoid travelling through the affected until the smell has dissipated.
Residents should stay informed by:
• tuning their radios to 88.7FM or 740AM
• watching local television stations
• Monitoring official Social Media Channels like Twitter or Facebook
LyondellBasell corporate communications released the following statement on Monday afternoon:
On Monday, Feb. 13, at approximately 9:00 am, a steam and oil leak was discovered at LyondellBasell’s Channelview facility located at 2502 Sheldon Road in Channelview, Texas. The leak came from a piece of equipment used for temperature control and resulted in the release of circulating oil. The oil has been contained and there is no offsite migration of material related to this event. As part of our standard response protocol, we initiated air monitoring shortly after the event took place. The monitoring shows no issue of concern for the community and that air quality is within all regulatory and safety standards.
Separately, we understand there are reports of an odor around downtown Houston. At this time, we are unable to confirm that the events are connected