Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 18:13:00 +0000
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: wdwatt**At_Symbol_Here**COMCAST.NET
Subject: Re: Odor

< div style='font-family: Arial; font-size: 12pt; color: #000000'>

a coll eague of mine at Chrysler did the same thing - after repeated visits t o investigate an IAQ problem, he found a moldy orange in a woman's desk.

Bill Watt

From: "Alan Hall" <ahalltoxic**At_Symbol_Here**MSN.COM>
To: DCHAS- L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Sent: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 1:49:56 PM
Su bject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Odor

Since it is a microbiology laboratory, have you considered any of the biological organisms that contribute to the problem of "Athlete's foot" (some are odoriferous fungi) that might be bein g grown/incubated?  Could there be some cultures of such in there?  Certainly, many "moldy" odors are actually from biological organisms.  Could it in fact be that "dirty socks" are actually dirty socks (as in someone's overlooked gym bag)?
I'm reminded of a case at a maj or IBM facility a friend of mine investigated some years ago of "sick build ing syndrome" in an office area that turned out to be a "lost" mouldy orang e buried beneath paperwork in a worker's lower desk drawer (after an expens ive IH evaluation of multiple worker odor complaints had already been done) . 
Just a thought.
Alan H. Hall, M. D.
Medical Toxicologist.

Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 10:57:04 +0000
From: patty.olinger**At_Symbol_Here**EMORY.EDU
S ubject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Odor
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU

Hi Rachel,  Obv iously from the responses you=E2=80=99ve received there could be several po ssibilities.  Dry traps are usually a good one to start with.  If you (and your facilities and research staff) have exhausted all possibilit ies there is also something called "dirty sock syndrome=".  Google it and you will see many reference and discussions.  Here is a link with an explanation.


http://www.foxservice .com/austin/knowledge_base.asp?ID=1291219433792&_perPg=40&view =articles&_category=Residential%3A%3AAir%20Conditioning%20%26%20Hea ting%20&_filterField=Categories


We recently had an i ssue that people described as dirty socks, sewer gas, etc. After several mo nths found the odor by reviewing the floor plan of the building and fo llowing the pipes in the walls.  We found a couple of uncapped pipes t hat were no longer in use.


Good luck,





Patty Olinger, RBP

Director EHSO

Emory University

1762 Clifton Rd., Suite 1200

M.S. 0940-001-1AB

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-5690 office

404-727-9778 fax



How are we doing?  Please ta ke a minute to complete our survey:  http://www.sur


TEAMWORK...Our Path to Excellence




"Harrington, Rachel" <rachel.harrington**At_Symbol_Here**ROSALINDFRA NKLIN.EDU> wrote:

We have a strong "dirty socks=" odor present in one of our micro labs.  It=E2=80=99s a pretty typical lab using media and cultures, etc.  and we are systematically removing eve rything and deconning but this odor is persisting.  I know I have smel t this chemical before, maybe back in my undergraduate days, but it is real ly a sickening odor.  Any ideas?  Any help is greatly appreciated .  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, I L  60064

847-578-3420 wor k

224-622-4244 mob ile

847-775-6548 fax



This e-mail message (including any attachments) is for the sole use of
the intended recipient(s) and m ay contain confidential and privileged
information. If the reader of thi s message is not the intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that an y dissemination, distribution
or copying of this message (including any attachments) is strictly

If you have received this me ssage in error, please contact
the sender by reply e-mail message and de stroy all copies of the
original message (including attachments).

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.