Jamie Morton is the NZ Herald's science reporter.

Scientists clear the air at Rotorua

Hot Pools in Rotorua. Photo / APN
Hot Pools in Rotorua. Photo / APN

Living amid Rotorua's notorious rotten-egg pong might be hard on the nose, but it won't slow your mind.

A new study by US and Kiwi researchers follows separate findings last year which showed the low levels of hydrogen sulphide gas in the city's environment did not further harm asthma sufferers.

"The key thing we found is there is no evidence of a harmful effect," said co-author Professor Michael Bates, of the University of California at Berkeley. More than 1600 residents aged 18-65 were surveyed.

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick said the findings were a relief.

"There has always been that long bow drawn between the deleterious effect of the hydrogen sulphide and living in Rotorua, so this good news."

A 2009 Italian study found a link between hydrogen sulphide and male sexual arousal, suggesting Rotorua's stench could benefit men's sexual performance.

- NZ Herald

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