Published: Sep 05, 2013 12:24 PM EDT

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Officials are blaming a noxious odor that's settled over Tampa and the eastern portion of Hillsborough County on pesticides sprayed on strawberry fields.
    
Tampa Fire Rescue and the Hillsborough County Health Department issued alerts Thursday morning, letting residents know that smell comes from a pesticide called Paladin. It contains dimethyl disulfide, which the Environmental Protection Agency has deemed the compound safe.
    
But that didn't stop people from holding their breath as they went about their business on Thursday.
    
Ted Campbell, who directs the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, told the Tampa Tribune (http://bit.ly/1cKliqT ) it's the first year Paladin is being widely used by strawberry farmers. He says it's highly effective, but stinky.
    
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Information from: The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, http://www.tampatrib.com

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