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The city of Rosarito's latest problem is being described as olores fetidos, or “malodorous aromas,” arising from the white sands of Popotla.

The area, according to a report in Tijuana's daily Frontera, lacks basic services such as potable water, lights, and drainage. More than 20 restaurants are in the immediate area, and it is an embarkation point for fishing boats.

Locals have reported strange skin conditions occurring in recent months, and the outbreak of the ailments is suspected to be a result of the lack of sanitation measures and contamination in the area, where aguas negras (untreated sewage) pass through pipes under the sand before being dumped into the ocean.

Health-department official Lourdes Sandoval reportedly arrived on the scene to ascertain what was causing the dermatitis among fishermen and residents. Though a full investigation will take place, according to Sandoval, it may be difficult to find a precise factor because the area is fraught with a variety of sanitation problems.

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