A new standard on an Annoyance Benchmark?

mapeado de molestias   Traditionally odour dose-response studies have been based on questionnaires, surveys, odour diaries, etc under the scope of some guidelines and standards (e.g VDI 3883). However, this methodology has serious limitations. For example, they lack precision on recording time and location stamp of an incident. That is why a group of experts from Spain have decided to work on a new methodology to map annoyance based on citizen science and other tools. Second meeting of this group that discusses about  linking an Odour Impact Critera to an Annoyance Benchmark took place last week. The idea behind is to work together with the Spanish Accreditation Body (UNE) to publish the first standard on this subject.

   Odour Impact Criteria (OIC) set in many parts of the world, are based on dose-response psychometric studies made in Germany and the Netherlands many years ago. Nowadays, with the use of smartphones it is possible to instantaneously record time and location of an odour perception. This is a better way to assess the impact and the only way to link odour with annoyance, that is why a group of experts has met to write the first standard on annoyance mapping.

   There are a few companies around that offer a service of mapping annoyance in Europe, USA and Canada. In addition, there are projects dealing with this subject such as the past omniscientist or the current DNOSES project. However, to date there is no methodology to collect information, to engage citizens or to evaluate odour impact in a community. There is a need for a new methodology to tune OIC when Frequency, Intensity, Duration, Offensiveness and Sensitivity (FIDOS) criteria are not enough. 

   Psychometry is a field of study concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement. The very much used percentile 98 for example, comes from some psychometric studies made over 30 years ago by Miedema et al. However, those studies were made by comparing the results of surveys with those of dispersion modelling. These studies need to be updated in terms of better olfactometric measurements, better dispersion models and a better tool to map annoyance. This group will work in developing the last part.

   The first web meeting of this group took place the 3rd of May and the second one was done last week. There is a virtual meeting planned on the 11th of July and a face-to-face meeting in Barcelona for the 18-19 of September hosted by the AMB.  At this stage, the group is collecting funds through the AMIGO and calling for experts to launch the work on this new standard.

   Stay tuned in our monthly newsletter for more info on the development of this standard.


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Carlos Nietzsche Diaz Jimenez's Avatar

Carlos Nietzsche Diaz Jimenez

Carlos is the editor-chief of olores.org and has been in the odour world since 2001. Since then, Carlos has attended over 90 conferences in odour management, both national and international and authored a few papers on the subject. He has also organized a few international meetings and courses. Carlos owns a small company named Ambiente et Odora (AEO). He spends his free time with his wife and his twins, Laura and Daniel, and of course, writing on olores.org.

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