A Review of The Science and Technology of Odor Measurement, December 30, 2005

(2005) A Review of The Science and Technology of Odor Measurement, December 30, 2005. Natural Resources, Department of


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Odors remain at the top of air pollution complaints to regulators and government bodies around the U.S. and internationally. Ambient air holds a mixture of chemicals from everyday activities of industrial and commercial enterprises. A person’s olfactory sense, the sense of smell, gives a person the ability to detect the presence of some chemicals in the ambient air. Not all chemicals are odorants, but when they are, a person may be able to detect their presence. Therefore, an odor perceived by a person’s olfactory sense can be an early warning or may simply be a marker for the presence of air emissions from a facility. For whatever reason, it is a person’s sense of smell that can lead to a complaint. When facility odors affect air quality and cause citizen complaints, an investigation of those odors may require that specific odorants be measured and that odorous air be measured using standardized scientific methods. Point emission sources, area emission sources, and volume emission sources can be sampled and the samples sent to an odor laboratory for testing of odor parameters, such as odor concentration, odor intensity, odor persistence, and odor characterization. Odor can also be measured and quantified directly in the ambient air, at the property line and in the community, using standard field olfactometry practices, e.g. odor intensity referencing scales and field olfactometers.

Item Type: Departmental Report
Keywords: Air Quality, Odor, Air Emission, Olfactory meter
Subjects: Natural resources and environment
Natural resources and environment > Airquality
ID Code: 34888
Deposited By: Margaret Barr
Deposited On: 21 Dec 2020 19:37
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2020 19:37
URI: https://publications.iowa.gov/id/eprint/34888