Pinchin Odour Lab Completes International Study 2007

Environmental Laboratory Services

See also Pinchin Odour Lab Completes International Study - 2010

November 14, 2007

The odour lab at Pinchin Environmental participated in the 2007 Interlaboratory Olfactometery Comparison, a study evaluating the repeatability and accuracy of odour analysis results from olfactometry laboratories around the world. The study, administered by OLFAtec in Germany, occurs every two years. This year’s study drew 71 participant labs from 18 countries in Europe, North America, Australia, South America, and Asia. Pinchin was the only Canadian laboratory to participate in the study.

Odour analysis by olfactometry uses trained odour assessors who determine the odour concentration of air samples taken from a source or at a point of reception (receptor). These assessors, or panellists, are independent members of the local community who have no stake in the outcome of the analysis.

Odour panels conducted at Pinchin follow the olfactometry standards published by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN). Assessors require regular screening to ensure they are within a defined odour sensitivity range.

To monitor assessor sensitivity, Pinchin follows the European Standard EN 13725:2003 “Air quality – Determination of odour concentration by dynamic olfactometry”, which specifies a sensitivity range much smaller than the normal population to ensure constant results from sample to sample, and from day to day. Pinchin’s regular assessor screening goes above and beyond the quality control practices required by the Province of Ontario.

The 2007 Interlaboratory study evaluated the repeatability and accuracy of odour analysis results, as defined in the European Standard, when evaluating n-butanol samples. Standard samples were sent to all participants. All of the analyses were conducted blind, meaning the test administrator and panellists had no prior knowledge of the expected results, and were done with a neutral third party observer present. Nine n-butanol samples of different but unknown concentrations were evaluated by five panellists and results were sent to OLFAtec for comparison with the European Standard and the other participant laboratories’ results. Pinchin’s results for n-butanol analysis met both the repeatability and accuracy requirements of the European Standard. Of the 71 labs to participate, only 12 labs met these criteria. Pinchin was included in this elite group.

The Pinchin odour lab was established in 2000 to meet client needs in environmental odour analysis. Beginning with clients in Southern Ontario, the lab now has a Canadian client base stretching from New Brunswick to British Columbia, as well as clients in the United States and Great Britain.

Pinchin’s odour laboratory and Head Office is conveniently located in Mississauga near Pearson International Airport. The olfactometer and panellist staging rooms are dedicated odour free zones supplied by a filtered air supply and kept under positive pressure to improve ventilation and minimize ambient odour infiltration. This state-of-the-art laboratory meets the European Standard’s requirements for odour lab conditions.

Contacting Pinchin Enviromental 

For further information on the Pinchin Odour Lab and odour analysis, please contact us by phone or email via our Odour Laboratory Contact page.