Public Lab Wiki documentation


"The most accessible and sophisticated environmental monitoring equipment is made available to most humans in the forms of noses, eyes, tongues, ears and skin". Sara Sage.

This page collects resources to keep track of bad odor events for further investigating their origin and their potential effects on people. The presence of bad odor events usually means the presence of hydrogen sulfide, methane and other dangerous gases. Keeping track of them and investigating their origin is important for health and safety.

Odor Log 1.0

You can use the Odor Log 1.0 to keep track of the events just using paper, pen and your nose. Use these steps as guidance:

  • Download a printable log
  • Coordinate with some neighbours to simultaneously track the bad odor events in different points of your neighbourhood/town.
  • Decide the length of the monitoring. Take at least a 2 week long record if the events are on a daily basis. If events are for example, once a week, consider taking a longer log.
  • Note on the log every day even if there's no bad odor event.
  • Take a picture of every page of your log pages or scan them.
  • Then send the files with the results to your local authorities, perhaps with carbon copies to some newspapers and the EPA or the environmental authority in your state or country. Doing this, a record of your public complaint will be kept in several entities and mail servers.

Using the Odor Log 1.0 you can go from an undefined "there are lots of bad odor events in my area" to a documented "we've counted xxxx number of bad odor events located in A, B, C, and D places"...


Documents and manuals about odor detection, identification and monitoring can be found on many sites on the web. Please feel free to add your findings.


Title Author Updated Likes
What is an easy-to-use phone app for public to record air quality issues? #air #app #tech @Zengirl2 12 days ago
Training in odor identification? @Sara 4 months ago
Do you have resources on odor logs and odor reporting platforms? @gretchengehrke 9 months ago

Ask a question  or help answer future questions


Purpose Category Status Author Time Difficulty Replications
Community-level Odor Mapping Site - - @sarasage - - 0 replications: Try it »
Odor Log 1.0 - - @imvec - - 0 replications: Try it »

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Research notes

Title Author Updated Likes
Community-level Odor Mapping Site @sarasage 9 days ago
What is an easy-to-use phone app for public to record air quality issues? #air #app #tech @Zengirl2 12 days ago
Odor Log 1.0 @imvec 22 days ago
List of electronic nose projects @imvec about 1 month ago
Registro de olores @imvec about 2 months ago
Training in odor identification? @Sara 4 months ago
"...when the hydrogen sulfide concentration reaches approximately 15 ppm, the human nose becomes desensitized" @warren over 6 years ago

landfill air-quality air waste landfills odor method oil-and-gas smell odor-logging