Odor and irritation thresholds for ammonia: A comparison between static and dynamic olfactometry

M.A.M. Smeets, P.J. Bulsing, S. van Rooden, R. Steinmann, J.A. de Ru, N.W.M. Ogink, C. van Thriel, P.H. Dalton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Odor and lateralization (irritation) thresholds (LTs) for ammonia vapor were measured using static and dynamic olfactometry. The purpose of the study was to explore the test-retest reliability and comparability of dynamic olfactometry methodology, generally used to determine odor thresholds following European Committee for Standardization guidelines in the context of odor regulations to outside emissions, with static olfactometry. Within a 2-week period, odor and LTs for ammonia were obtained twice for each method for 24 females. No significant differences between methods were found: mean odor detection thresholds (ODTs) were 2.6 parts per million (ppm) for either method (P = 0.96), and mean LTs were 31.7 and 60.9 ppm for the static and dynamic method, respectively (P = 0.07). Test-retest reliability was higher for the dynamic than for the static method (r = 0.61 vs. 0.14 for ODTs and r = 0.86 vs. 0.45 for LTs). The choice of optimal method for any application, however, depends not only on psychometric factors but also on practical factors such as physicochemical properties of the compound, availability of equipment and expertise, task efficiency, and costs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-20
JournalChemical Senses
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • occupational-exposure limits
  • temporal integration
  • allergic rhinitis
  • sensitivity
  • chemicals
  • air
  • performance
  • irritants
  • workers
  • humans

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