Leeds & West Yorkshire

'Acrid' Leeds smell investigated by Environment Agency

Villagers living near Leeds have been reassured they are not breathing in dangerous substances, after weeks of living with a strong smell in the air.

Leeds City Council has received complaints from people in areas north of the city.

Amanda Green, from Bardsey, has described it as an "overpowering, acrid smell of gas".

The Environment Agency is investigating the source of the smell, but has said it is harmless.

The odour was first reported in late August.

Maureen Ather, who lives in Bardsey, said: "This last month my asthma's been horrendous. I've used a steroid inhaler which normally I use in six weeks, I've used it in three because I haven't been able to breathe.

"Last night it rained and the smell of gas was overpowering."

'Rotten egg smell'

The Environment Agency has visited two companies that could be the source of the smell, and is working with them to help them reduce the odours.

Claire Russell, of the agency, said: "We have no reason to believe the odours are dangerous."

One of the firms, Nutramulch Yorkshire Ltd, based in Otley, has recently spread compost on some agricultural land in the area.

Managing director Rob Lewis said: "The material we've been spreading has been wetter than usual.

"It is giving off hydrogen sulphide, the rotten egg smell, which can smell very similar to gas."

He added: "It's absolutely non-dangerous, the compost we are producing is a direct replacement to oil-based fertilisers for the farmers, but unfortunately the more environmentally friendly things are, the smellier they are."

The identity of the other company has not been revealed.

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