REC’s staff test sensitivity to odour with sniff testing


Odour Monitoring in the form of Sniff Testing

REC’s Air Quality Consultants are becoming involved in an increasing number of developments requiring Odour Assessments. Over the past year this has included odours from a bitumen production facility, a cattery, a fish and chip shop, a livestock market, a boutique hotel, a chicken production facility and Walkers Crisps, as well as an abattoir and incinerator. Due to the complexity of odour and subjective nature of its assessment, “sniff testing” is the most common form of odour monitoring. This is undertaken by REC in accordance with the Environment Agency’s H4 Guidance and consists of carrying out a series of field odour surveys at several points around the source of odour and sensitive receptors to determine the potential for nuisance.

Odour Training

In order to establish their smell sensitivity, six members of staff attended an odour training and acuity testing session at Scientific Analysis Laboratories (SAL). The individuals were asked to sniff the air coming from a device called an olfactometer, which released an increasing concentration of odour, and to indicate when the odour was detected. The tests were carried out in accordance with the requirements of BS EN 13725:2003 and the results will be taken into account when staff are assigned to jobs that involve odour. This will help ensure the robustness of the Odour Assessment reports prepared by REC’s Air Quality Consultants.