Public Lab Wiki documentation



Odor Logging

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

"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

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"...

Online Odor Log 1.0

Based on the Odor Log 1.0 you can follow the same protocol (coordinate - decide - monitor) using the Online Odor Log v1.0 developed using the Free Open Source software Ushahidi for real time reporting, and share bad odor events in your area.

Visit the map and explore collected data at odorlog.com

Adding a launcher to your phone

You can also create an Android or iOS launcher for your mobile phone. Just visit the survey url and bookmark it using Chrome or Safari. Click on "add to home screen" or " create launcher". You'll get a new launcher on your phone so you'll be able to report an event in your area just with one click.

Documents

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.

Questions

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
What are health and environmental concerns for sewage smell in a home? @stevie 8 months ago 3
What are air quality indicators you should watch for around a landfill that indicate you should take a grab sample? @stevie 12 months ago 3
What are the health impacts of the Aluf Plastics Plant from air pollution? @stevie over 2 years ago 5
How do we keep the pressure and momentum high after a recent court ruling win? @stevie over 2 years ago 2
What are air testing labs or companies we can recommend to our town board that our community can trust? @stevie over 2 years ago 3
How can I start a project on environmental air quality around crop dusting areas @lubcarreon about 3 years ago 6
What tools or methods do you use to monitor odors? @Bronwen over 3 years ago 5
What is an easy-to-use phone app for public to record air quality issues? #air #app #tech @zengirl2 over 4 years ago 7
Training in odor identification? @sara over 4 years ago 1
Do you have resources on odor logs and odor reporting platforms? @gretchengehrke about 5 years ago 7

Activities


Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.

Research notes

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
What are health and environmental concerns for sewage smell in a home? @stevie 8 months ago 3
Logging Complex Odors @sarasage 9 months ago 5
What are air quality indicators you should watch for around a landfill that indicate you should take a grab sample? @stevie 12 months ago 3
Are you smelling odors in your community, and should you be concerned? @amocorro about 1 year ago 2
Seeking an Air Research Curation Fellow @bhamster about 1 year ago 0
Regist.ro @imvec over 1 year ago 0
Smells that Kill: How to Identify Odours @kgradow1 over 1 year ago 3
How to Keep a Pollution Log @kgradow1 almost 2 years ago 3
What are the health impacts of the Aluf Plastics Plant from air pollution? @stevie over 2 years ago 5
How do we keep the pressure and momentum high after a recent court ruling win? @stevie over 2 years ago 2
What are air testing labs or companies we can recommend to our town board that our community can trust? @stevie over 2 years ago 3
Residents are fighting back against plastics odors in this small NY town @stevie over 2 years ago 8
How can I start a project on environmental air quality around crop dusting areas @lubcarreon about 3 years ago 6
How to Describe Odors Using FIDO, illustrated by Sara Sage @joyofsoy about 3 years ago 1
How to Use a Transect, illustrated by Sara Sage @joyofsoy about 3 years ago 1
Novel Methods for Assessing Industrial Odors @joyofsoy about 3 years ago 0
Putting Odor Issues on the Map: Using citizen science to curb odors in the EU @joyofsoy about 2 years ago 0
Taking Action: Odors in Court @joyofsoy about 3 years ago 1
Are there any charts useful for describing the way pollutants smell? @stevie over 3 years ago 2
Building a case against Aluf Plastics -- polluting my town & I need help @michaelwma over 3 years ago 8
Has odor ever been used against an industry in court? @stevie over 3 years ago 4
Citizen log v1 @imvec almost 4 years ago 4
Website for public data @ottinger almost 4 years ago 1
Advice for real-time monitoring @ottinger almost 4 years ago 3