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Hydrogen sulfide: The chemical being blamed for the rotten egg smell in South Carolina

Even with the EPA involved, there likely won't be a solution to the rotten odor in South Carolina that's been linked to the New Indy Containerboard paper mill.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is joining South Carolina officials in ordering the New Indy Containerboard paper mill to clean up its odor or face federal action. 

The paper mill is being blamed for stinking up several counties in the Carolinas. While the EPA joining the battle has many people optimistic the smell will go away, it probably won't be the fix everyone is looking for. 

Even with the EPA getting involved, the stink in Catawba could be sticking around for a while. 

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That rotten egg smell is blamed on a chemical called Hydrogen Sulfide. It's a pretty heavy gas, meaning it sticks low to the ground. It even tends to build up in underground areas, such as a basement or cellar. 

RELATED: Verify: Yes, Hydrogen Sulfide can cause physical irritation

That means the stench could linger in your house. 

And it's not a great chemical to have around, even if it didn't stink. Hydrogen Sulfide can bother your sinuses and cause problems for people with asthma.

Upgrading your home's air filter system can help but there's no real way to get rid of the smell permanently, at least for now. 

RELATED: Nearly a week after state slams Catawba paper mill, federal action is next for New Indy

Contact Ben Thompson at bthompson@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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