Dynamic olfactometry and potential sample toxicity. guidelines for a safe occupational health approach

Enrico Davoli, Ettore Zuccato, Giancarlo Bianchi, Marinella Palmiotto, Massimiliano Il Grande, Simone Bonati, Andrea N. Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study reported in this paper examined occupational exposure to potential toxic compounds (PTC) for employees working in dynamic olfactometry, following EN 13725:2003 standard procedures. Potential exposure pathways is limited to inhalation of chemicals in air, through the olfactometer, and for this study it was assumed that no chemical transformations or abatements are induced during the dilution steps or by the different sample lines components. Since the possibility of the dilution apparatus malfunctioning cannot be detected in real time, the exposure scenario assessment was based on an upper bound estimate of exposure, using published values of PTC present in emissions of different activities. The non-carcinogenic toxicity assessment was based on short term, acute toxicity effects, while for carcinogenic effects, EPA slope factors were used. The dose was based on individual PTC maximum concentration observed multiplied by the forced inspiratory nasal volumes and corrected by the average number of sample presentations. Different risk scenarios have been calculated for different sample type, both for carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic PTC. Since samples are presented to assessors in an ascending concentration series, i.e. with a lower and lower dilution factor, assessors' exposure is limited to acceptable levels by defining a minimum dilution value, based on specific sample type potential risk, as a guideline for the olfactometric laboratory standard procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalChemical Engineering Transactions
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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