Interesting.. I'm ex-IBM and had the exact "moldy orange" experience listed below here at NC State. Only different is the desk was in a complex lab area. These can certainly be tough to pinpoint. Some of these can be quite a task to pinpoint. Dry traps, wet insulation, etc ... A number of years ago we blew theatrical smoke into the waste line vent pipe on the roof of our chemistry building after a frustrating run of fugitive odors and had facilities personnel moving through labs in the building to spot emissions. We found more that one area with compromised waste drain plumbing. Kenneth Kretchman, CSP, CIH Director, Environmental Health and Safety NC State University Raleigh, NC 27695-8007 919-515-6860 (p) 919-515-6307 (f) ken_kretchman**At_Symbol_Here**ncsu.edu >>> Alan Hall
7/27/2011 1:49 PM >>> Rachel, 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 being 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 major IBM facility a friend of mine investigated some years ago of "sick building syndrome" in an office area that turned out to be a "lost" mouldy orange buried beneath paperwork in a worker's lower desk drawer (after an expensive IH evaluation of multiple worker odor complaints had already been done). Just a thought. Alan Alan H. Hall, M.D. Medical Toxicologist. Date: Wed, 27 Jul 2011 10:57:04 +0000 From: patty.olinger**At_Symbol_Here**EMORY.EDU Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Odor To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU Hi Rachel, Obviously from the responses you’ve received there could be several possibilities. Dry traps are usually a good one to start with. If you (and your facilities and research staff) have exhausted all possibilities 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%20Heating%20&_filterField=Categories We recently had an issue that people described as dirty socks, sewer gas, etc. After several months found the odor by reviewing the floor plan of the building and following the pipes in the walls. We found a couple of uncapped pipes that were no longer in use. Good luck, Patty 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 www.ehso.emory.edu How are we doing? Please take a minute to complete our survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MRVTPBV TEAMWORK...Our Path to Excellence "Harrington, Rachel" wrote: We have a strong “dirty socks” odor present in one of our micro labs. It’s 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 chemical before, maybe back in my undergraduate days, but it is really a sickening odor. Any ideas? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you! Rachel E. Harrington, MPH, CHMM Director- Office of Environmental, Health and Safety Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science 3333 Green Bay Road North Chicago, IL 60064 847-578-3420 work 224-622-4244 mobile 847-775-6548 fax LIFE IN DISCOVERY This e-mail message (including any attachments) is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this message (including any attachments) is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please contact the sender by reply e-mail message and destroy all copies of the original message (including attachments).
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