A New Standard to Measure Odours in Europe, the new EN 16841

 EN16841 1  The 26th of February 2015 a CEN enquiry was finally launched on two projects related with the determination of odours. The Working Group 27 of the Technical Comittee 264 of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) had the task of developing this Standard and looks like the final draft is ready.

   This European Standard will describe two methods for direct assessment of odours in ambient air and will supplement the dynamic olfactometry method described in EN 13725 which is generally only suitable for measurement of odour emissions at the source, as the practical lower detection limit is typically ≥10 ouE/m3 (according to the Final draft) and cannot be applied directly to determine odour exposure in the field.


   The methods for measuring odour presented in this European Standard will make direct use of the effect of odorants on the human sense of smell. The norm will involve the use of qualified human panel members in the field to directly assess the presence of recognizable odours in ambient air, and will provide data that can be used to characterize odour exposure in a defined assessment area.

   This European Standard EN 16841 will be divided in two parts:

  •    The EN 16841-1 will describe a grid method which uses direct assessment of ambient air by panel members to characterize odour exposure in a defined assessment area.
  •    The EN 16841-2 will describe a plume method for determining the extent of the downwind odour plume of a source.

 The ballot closes on the 26th of June 2015 and after compiling all the comments of the different national standardization institutions the European Standard will be ready for approval, probably next year. We will keep you posted on this.

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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