NAUGATUCK, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut governmental agencies are investigating what caused an ashlike substance on cars in multiple parts of the state Friday.

“Our team is looking into this,” said Chris Boyle, a spokesperson for the Connecticut Department of Public Health. “Our toxicologists are aware of this.”

News 8 received reports from viewers in Brookfield, Cromwell, Naugatuck and Prospect regarding a substance that appeared to be soot or ash covering their vehicles.

The substance is NOT related to toxic chemicals released following a train derailment in Ohio, according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

“DEEP has not seen any evidence of air quality impacts to Connecticut from this event, based on an analysis of forward wind trajectories from the site of the derailment,” a written statement from the agency reads. “We are aware of local reports from this morning regarding ‘sooty’ matter on parked cars and have not been able to determine any singular source, such as a forest fire, power plant, or transportation-related emissions, that would case this.”

So what is this?

Meteorologist Ashley Baylor took a couple of rainwater samples to Namco Pools in North Haven to test the pH. The pH of normal rainwater is around 5.6. The pH of acidic rain is 4.5 or lower. Both samples came back with a pH of 6.5 and 6.6 respectively, which means the theory of chemical contamination from the train derailment becomes less likely, a dust from a recent dust storm becomes more likely.

On Tuesday, there was a small dust storm in Oklahoma–winds around 80 MPH! The dust got up in the atmosphere, was carried here by the wind, and mixed with the rain that fell Friday morning. So that’s the culprit behind the dirty cars.

But what about the smell? A lot of people claimed the rain smelled different, almost like chlorine. Ryan Stauffer, a NASA scientist studying pollution and ozone, said it’s likely VOCs, volatile organic compounds. They’re around us all the time, but become more noticeable when temperatures are warmer–and it’s certainly been milder lately!