Residents said the brown film began appearing mostly on vinyl siding last week. Cleaning agents including bleach, soap and detergent won't get it out, they say. "It's a damage to quality of life, and you don't what you're breathing, either," said Laura Bostic, who has been scrubbing her stained white Center Street home to no avail since last Wednesday.Interestingly, none of the reports I've read about the brown mystery substance say definitively that people have seen it airborne (although in contacting the Domino Sugar Company about fumes, it seems people presume it's an airborne emission).
Well, one of my roommates and a friend saw a great brown haze in the air down in the precise area involved on the Sunday of Mardi Gras weekend while driving around. It was quite noticeable, and quite high up in the air that afternoon - and it stretched for miles over Arabi, the 9th Ward, and down to the river around the refinery/smelting plant/Chalmette Battlefield.
We snapped some photos of it - mainly because it looked so eerie, adding a further sense of dread to some of the Katrina-devastated tracts. I will post some soon.
ADDED: Here are the photos courtesy of Ian F: