Clinicians, public health officials and scientists often experience difficulty interpreting odor-associated symptoms. CTEH®’s approach to interpretation includes an understanding of the intrinsic toxicology of the agent(s) involved and evaluating exposure parameters (i.e. concentration, frequency, and duration). Depending upon exposure, a variety of pathophysiological mechanisms may be invoked to explain or refute odor-associated health symptoms. CTEH® PhD Toxicologists, Certified Industrial Hygienists, Physicians, Professional Engineers, and Environmental Scientists form a core scientific group to address allegations of toxic odor and harmful smells. CTEH® scientists identify the potential source(s) of odors and chemical(s) responsible for odor complaints using chemical detection equipment able to identify unknown chemicals. Dose response data and air dispersion modeling are then used to determine if the odor represents a nuisance or potential health effects.
Odor detection may not indicate an odor nuisance depending on the odor strength. CTEH® personnel utilize the Nasal Ranger® dilution technology to quantify odor strength to verify mitigation methods, create credible, defensible evidence, monitor compliance, investigate odor control effectiveness, and verify odor complaints. When possible, CTEH® personnel implement air monitoring strategies to quantify the presence or absence of odor-causing chemicals and assist with developing solutions.