AIHce Indianapolis



PDC 604
Strategies for Managing Odor Annoyance in the Workplace

introductory | .67 CM Point/ 4 Contact Hours/ 0.5 CEU/COC Point | Sunday | 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Limit: 50

Nonelectronic HandoutsNew

Indoor Environmental Quality, Toxicology

While many odorant materials generally exhibit characteristically low acute toxicity, many of these compounds in their neat form are primary or sensory irritants. In addition, the response to odors is highly individualized and unpredictable both in terms of odor character as well as the concentration at which the odor becomes objectionable. Typically 20%–30% of a working population exposed to a particular odor will define the odor as objectionable. Individual responses to odors can vary over several orders of magnitude of concentration. This diversity of responses as well as the complexity of the odorant sources is prohibitive toward establishing a discrete exposure guideline. Over time, sensory and cognitive physiology and experience in conducting employee surveys have enabled the development of a basic risk prediction model which assists in the mitigating odor annoyance risks. Using the example model employed for perfume mixtures this PDC will explore risk management and communication strategies for handling odor compliants in the workplace.

Expeirence in occupational toxicology, IH and risk assessment

Upon completion, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe the basic toxicological principles behind irritation and the role that odor can play in development of symptoms and strategies to recognize the difference.
  • Understand the basic research and the role cognitive responses play in human responses to odorants in the workplace.
  • Formulate a strategy for assessing odorants in the workplace and respond to complaints.


  • Basic toxicology and physiology of irritation
  • The sense of smell
  • Cognitive connection between odor and irritation complaints in the workplace
  • Basic approaches to prevention and control of odor annoyance issues

Transfer of Knowledge:
Instructors will evaluate participants understanding of the materials presented based on:

  • Workshops

Important PDC dates:

  • May 18 — E-handout download instructions are e-mailed.
  • June 1  — Contact the AIHA if you have not received your e-handout e-mail.
  • June 1  — AIHce 2012 online communities for collaborative learning open.
  • June 15-17 — AIHce 2012 PDCs are presented. Participants must bring a printed or electronic copy of their PDC handout.
  • August 31 — AIHce 2012 online communities for collaborative learning close.
  • August 27 Educational transcripts updated and available for download