From: Mark Pichaj <mark.pichaj**At_Symbol_Here**BIOLA.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] odor question
Date: September 19, 2012 6:53:20 PM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <61B8FFF7416572438CADB5DF16826AA6062213A7**At_Symbol_Here**>

Friends=97This is not a trivial issue. I have heard of a faculty member who had a lot of old books and manuscripts who had a similar problem, and was in an enclosed office without much outside air. It turned out that mold was a culprit, which can cause a severe allergic reaction.


Mark Adolf Pichaj =95 Assistant Professor =95 Department of Chemistry, Physics & Engineering =95 Bradley 2 =95 x4866
BIOLA UNIVERSITY =95 13800 Biola Avenue =95 La Mirada, Calif. 90639 =95 562-903-4866 =95 mark.pichaj**At_Symbol_Here**

On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 1:35 PM, Timothy Hauser <Timothy.Hauser**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

I've had chemical odor complaints localized in office areas at several locations. The occupant would insist that it was caused by some chemical contamination or air flow issue from lab areas… Upon investigation it was caused by uncapped marker pens and once even by a moldy orange!


Timothy M. Hauser, CHMM
Manager, Environmental, Health & Safety

Promega Corporation
2800 Woods Hollow Road, Madison WI 53711 USA
Timothy.Hauser**At_Symbol_Here** | Direct (608) 298-4807 | Cell: (262) 844-1665 | Fax: (608) 277-2677

From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Garrow, Walter
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 3:23 PM

Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] odor question

This may sound strange, but some of the men's urinal deodorant blocks have similar chemicals.

From: Dan Herrick [mailto:herrickdan**At_Symbol_Here**HOTMAIL.COM]
Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 10:07 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] odor question

Greetings all,

We are investigating an Indoor Air Quality issue in an infrequently used faculty office which is full of books, papers, a computer server, etc. The odor is mothballs, and we cannot locate the source. (Believe me, we've been trying!) We've done a lot of work already, investigating, ruling things out, etc. My question to this list is:

Has anyone had an odor issue where a mothball odor was caused by something other than mothballs?

I am aware that the chemical which causes the distinctive odor in mothballs is either naphthalene (older products) or 1,4-Dichlorobenzene (newer products). This faculty member is not doing any chemistry but rather investigates materials and their mechanical properties.

All thoughts are appreciated.

Thank you,



Daniel C. Herrick

EHS Coordinator, MIT

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Laboratory for Manufacturing & Productivity (LMP)

Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE)

Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

email herrickd**At_Symbol_Here**

phone 617-253-2338

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

77 Massachusetts Avenue, Room 3-056

Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

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.