Question: Are you smelling odors in your community, and should you be concerned?

by amocorro | May 13, 2021 20:36 | #26577

Other questions related to this environmental concern: How can someone get started learning about local air quality concerns where they live? How can they figure out the sources of the odors? Does this cost a lot of money to do?


The local industries are required to report the chemicals they give off to the EPA. Some paperwork might give an idea of the chemical. Dealing with the EPA is not my strong suit, but there are others at public lab who can help with that. With a little chemistry, getting an idea of the probable chemicals should be possible. There are several special notes. Some chemicals, like hydrogen sulfide ( the rotten egg smell), kill your sense of smell when they get to toxic levels. And toxic levels are not that high. So be careful. Another word of warning. The sense of smell can vary from person to person. So if only one person finds a weird smell, they will probably call you a crack pot and ignore it. It is a good idea to have multiple persons find the source. Now the good note. The nose is more sensitive than many gas chromatograph detectors (GCs). While at some point in time, testing will have to be done, it will usually be expensive. In our area, the local waste water dept usually tests air. Try to get local waste water/government involved, if possible. Some times, they will do testing of a few samples for free. Can't hurt.

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A further note. Wait until the source is identified to get the waste water/testing done.

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