Sniff Testing

My job occasionally involves something a bit different. Last week I was having an odour acuity assessment, or if you prefer, a ‘sniff test’, to determine my sense of smell. I was having my nose calibrated. In a clinical room, a very small amount of n-butanol is released into one of two funnels (see photo below), at a known concentration, and you have to say which funnel the smell was coming from.

20170419_133112

If you get the first two attempts correct, then in the next round a smaller concentration is released. This continues for ten rounds until your nose is calibrated, to determine how sensitive your nose is.

Most people can detect n-butanol at a concentration between 20-80 parts per billion. My score was 8ppb, so either I have a very sensitive nose, or the machine wasn’t working correctly that day.

With this information, I can perform a ‘sniff test’ out in the field. If a developer wants to build a whole load of houses next to a sewage treatment works, someone has to go there and have a good sniff around the place. The results would then be used in context with my calibration results. This all adds to another string to my bow.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s