Fact Sheet

The Dunn Construction and Demolition Landfill is immediately adjacent to the Rensselaer City School District campus and near residential neighborhoods. Below is information about landfill gases that can affect people in the nearby community.

  • Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a gas that smells like rotten eggs.
  • H2S forms in construction and demolition landfills that contain wallboard (drywall, gypsum board).
  • Landfill gases can move from a landfill through soil into outdoor air as well as the indoor air of nearby buildings.
  • A landfill can continue to produce gases for more than 50 years after closing.
  • Short-term exposures to elevated levels of H2S in air can cause coughing, eye, nose and throat irritation, headache, nausea, and breathing problems.
  • These effects usually go away once the exposure ends.
  • Studies conducted over several months near landfills found that health complaints coincided with periods of elevated H2S levels. These complaints included eye, throat and lung irritation, nausea, headache, nasal blockage, sleep problems, weight loss, chest pain, and asthma aggravation.

Adapted from NYS Department of Health publication: Important Things to Know About Landfill Gas (