Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 23:41:12 -0400
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Cat Conley <conversecat**At_Symbol_Here**HOTMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Odor
In-Reply-To: <5E66C3A6359EA847A62F0DA23CE6D2410859D55D**At_Symbol_Here**UHSEVS.UHS.local>

Hi Rachel,
If you end up eliminating all of your chemical / biological options and are still having a problem, there's an HVAC condition  called "dirty sock syndrome" where certain parts of a building will smell l ike dirty socks sometimes. We dealt with that issue for awhile and it was p retty frustrating because there doesn't seem to be a "one size fits all" se t of causes and solutions (because that would, of course, make life way too easy!) and it wasn't an odor that was always present. It was very hard to track down - there was no real pattern to when it would smell and when it wouldn't. We had tried eliminating all of the usual suspects from our af fected space (non-lab area) - cleaned the carpet and upholstery, checked the relative humidity levels and other parameters of the indoor air quality and they were all fine, made sure none of the traps were dry, etc. and we still had issues. We found out about dirty sock syndrome, look ed online at various websites for suggestions, and ended up thorou ghly cleaning the coils on our HVAC equipment as a quarterly PM. Apparently one of the causes of DSS is bacteria growth on heat pump and AC coils. Cle aning the coils regularly has helped quite a lot - we have only had one or two complaints since we started the PM schedule a few summers ago. You can google around and find lots of websites about dirty sock syndrome. Each one kind of has its own take on things but it might give you some ideas for places to start if you're stuck like we we re.
Good luck!
Cat Conley, CHMM
Asst. Dir. of EHS, Chemical and Industrial Hygiene
Roger Williams University

Date: Tue, 26 Jul 2011 14:44:35 -0500
From: rachel.harrington**At_Symbol_Here**ROSALIND FRANKLIN.EDU
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Odor
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU

We have a strong =93dirty socks=94 odor present in one of our micro labs.  It=92s a pretty typical lab using media and cultures, etc.  and we are systematically removing everything and deconning but this odor is persisting.  I know I have smelt this che mical before, maybe back in my undergraduate days, but it is really a s ickening odor.  Any ideas?  Any help is greatly appreciated.& nbsp; Thank you!


Rachel E. Harrin gton, MPH, CHMM

Director- Office of Environmental, Health and Safety

Rosalind Frankli n University of Medicine and Science

3333 Green Bay R oad

North Chicago, IL  60064

847-578-3420 wor k

224-622-4244 mob ile

847-775-6548 fax



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