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KDHE says source of smell poses minimal risk

Published on -10/5/2012, 10:30 AM

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SALINA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas health officials say they've identified a likely cause of a chemical smell that Salina residents complained about this week.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says in a release that the smell was likely from a chemical called mercaptan, which gas companies use in natural gas lines. KDHE says mercaptan was detected after its crews began testing the area Wednesday.

The Salina Journal reports (http://bit.ly/PEhsST ) that residents complained the odor was giving them headaches.

The health department says it's conducting more tests, but the spilled chemical poses minimal risk and cleanup is expected to be completed Friday. The source of the spill is under investigation.

KDHE is recommending that people keep their doors and windows closed and limit outdoor activity when there's a strong odor.

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