The Standard EN 16841:2016 on ambient odour measurement has been finally ratified

EN 16841 ratified norm on ambient odour measurement   The definitive text of the Standard EN 16841 is finally available in the official language versions (English, French and German) and it has been distributed to the CEN/CENELEC members. That means that although it might take a while for the EN standard to be available for purchase in any CEN member website, the process has already started. 

   This European Standard is based on field inspections and it describes two methods for direct assessment of odours in ambient air making direct use of the effect of odorants on the human sense of smell. This European Standard EN 16841 is divided in two parts, the EN 16841-1:2016 that describes a grid method which uses direct assessment of ambient air by panel members to characterize odour exposure in a defined assessment area and the EN 16841-2:2016 that describes a plume method for determining the extent of the downwind odour plume of a source.

   The EN16841-1:2016 describes a grid method for the determination of the level of odour exposure in ambient air. This part provides a set of instructions for the measurement of ambient odour exposure within a defined assessment area, using qualified human panel members, over a period of time representative of the meteorological conditions of that location, and hence determine the distribution of the frequency of exposure to odours within the assessment area. This is the culmination of the work initiated in Germany during the eighties.

  This EN16841-2:2016 describes the plume method for determining the extent of recognizable odours from a specific source using direct observation in the field by human panel members under specific meteorological conditions.

   The plume method involves the determination of the presence or absence (YES/NO) of recognizable odours in and around the plume originating from a specific odorant emission source. This measurement is made for a specific emission situation and under specific meteorological conditions and the extent of the plume is assessed as the transition of absence to presence of recognizable odour. This standard is also the result of the work on plume measurements made in Belgium in the nineties.

   The latest date by which the EN 16841 has to be implemented at national level by publication of an identical national standard or by endorsement will be the 31st of May 2017.

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Carlos Nietzsche Diaz Jimenez's Avatar

Carlos Nietzsche Diaz Jimenez

Carlos is the editor-chief of 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

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