When the smell becomes annoying. or crime


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On Wednesday 20 April, at the headquarters of the National Research Council in Rome, “The Harassment of Smells”, a popular scientific text written by experts in the sector at the national level, will be presented. The article published by ETS offers readers a different view of the relationship between environment and health

Presentation of the text “Nolfactory Harassment – Studies, Methods, and Tools for Monitoring” issued by ETS.

The publication is part of the Cisas (International Center for Advanced Studies on the Environment, Ecosystem and Human Health) project to address a complex problem in the context of environment and health. The event can also be followed in the stream upon registration (https://www.eventbrite.it/e/biglietti-presentato-volume-molestie-olfattive-313240941087). The event will be attended by: Council President Maria Chiara Carosa. Head of the Higher Institute of Health (Case), Silvio Brusaferro and Director of the Division of Earth System Sciences and Environmental Technologies at CNR, Fabio Trincardi. The event will continue with the intervention of the authors of the different chapters. The results will be entrusted to Alessandro Prati, Director General of the Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA).
The text, in 12 chapters, was written by experts at the national level to give an overview of the problem and edited by Paolo Bonasoni and Sara Moraca of the Institute of Atmospheric and Climate Sciences (Isac) at CNR, Stefania Gilardoni of the ‘Institute of Polar Sciences (ISP) at CNR, Pierluigi Barbieri of the University of Trieste, Gianluigi de Gennaro of Bari Aldo Moro University, Vincenzo Infantino of the Regional Agency for Environmental Protection in Sicily (Arba).

“Smell harassment is a complex problem, given the diversity of sources that emit foul-smelling substances into the atmosphere and into the water that are harmful to humans and the environment,” CNR President Maria Chiara Carrozza commented. “Despite the great efforts of national and international legislation and commitment in this difficult issue, specific rules that define, for example, the limit values ​​of hourly concentrations of some important odorous compounds, such as non-methane hydrocarbons, hydrogen sulfide and benzene, have yet to be adopted.” The latter is listed as an important carcinogen according to IARC, the International Agency for Research on Cancer.”

“This volume, unique in its kind, brings together the world of research and the world of disciplines to present the latest developments and implementation in the field, as well as with operational references in the region,” says Paolo Bonasoni, Cnr-Isac, who organized the book published as part of the NOSE project. Network for Odor Sensitivity which saw the collaboration of leading experts in the sector who have been studying the complex aspects of olfactory harassment for years and doing their best to improve them. Knowledge in order to enhance methods and tools for appropriately interfering with odor emissions and those who produce them.

“The smell of air is widely recognized as a fundamental environmental parameter in determining quality of life, with significant impacts on many activities such as tourism, waste cycle management, etc.,” recalls Gianluigi de Gennaro who edited the first chapter with his colleagues. from Barry University. “In recent years, the creation of plants capable of releasing an olfactory quagmire in urban areas, has led to a proliferation in the release of irritating odorous substances, leading to increased concern about ‘olfactory pollution’ often characterized by the unpredictability of the disturbance, through its persistence with The passage of time and the impossibility of self-defense, which leads to tension, anxiety, inconvenience and protests in public opinion due to the greater interest in protecting the environment and health.”

As evidenced by the chapter on “Perception of olfactory nuisances and their effects on population health” edited by Fabio Sibella and Silvia Ruggeri with colleagues Cnr-Irib and the Regional Health Authority (Asp) in Palermo: “The emission of foul-smelling volatile compounds is common in many agricultural activities and industrial facilities. and waste disposal and/or recovery plants, and one of the environmental impacts that in the past 20 years has attracted the most attention is the scientific community.” Although not all unpleasant odors are associated with toxicological risks, the low acceptance of olfactory nuisance, which negatively affects the quality of life of the persons concerned, is in fact consistent with the definition of “damage to health” issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). Indeed, “assessment of odor emissions constitutes a strategic component of environmental monitoring,” Gaetano Setemo, ACE, and Domenico Cipriano, Rse, write in Chapter 2, “which is why the effort at regional, national and European level is significant to come up with a regulation for these emissions” .

There is also talk of “methodologies and techniques for sampling odorous substances”, in the contribution edited by Pierluigi Barbieri and Silvia Lisin of the University of Trieste, Alessandro Battaglia, Labservice and Giampiero Barbieri, Arco Solutions, noting among the characterization methods, as well as Signal collection, quantitative sensory methods and chemical characterization of compounds or mixtures in the air sampled by specific systems, instrument systems that allow monitoring at a high time frequency called electronic noses (e-noses) and IOMS (machine odor monitoring systems). In other words, the legislation defines a method for the objective determination of odor concentration using human odor-assisted dynamic olfactometry, thus providing a common measurement basis in all EU countries. The olfactory and chemical properties of olfactory nuisances are described in the central chapters edited by Magda Pratoli of Arpa Puglia and Jolanda Palmisani of Barry University and colleagues.

Emphasize Silvia Trini Castelli and Tony Christian Landy, Cnr-Isac, Gianni Tinarelli, Arianet, who add: “Numerical modeling is an essential tool to support tracing the origin of olfactory nuisances and assessing the impact on populations.”
Involving residents in environmental issues, known as citizen science, is preferred to odor monitoring nowadays through the use of digital technology with the development of smartphone applications, including Odortel by Arpa Puglia, OdorNet by Arpa Marche, NOSE by Cnr, and Arpa Cecilia, as described by Myriam Celino of Arpa Marche and colleagues. Particular attention has been paid to the problem of olfactory miasma in Sicily and the application of NOSE to the region, write Anna Abetta and Paolo Bonasoni, with colleagues from Arpa Sicilia, Cnr-Isac, and Inkode.

The concluding chapter aims at environmental citizenship, participation, and collective awareness, which thanks to web applications also made it easier for citizens to report damage felt in an area, making the information collected for use by environmental agencies more usable and immediate. . from the region. As Sarah Moraca, Cnr-Isac, and Giuseppina Nanè, of the Committee to End Poisons write, “Citizens play a central role in uniting science and democratic politics given projects that are part of environmental citizenship, i.e. the responsible and environmentally friendly behavior of citizens who act and participate as agents of change towards solving and preventing environmental problems, achieving sustainability and developing a healthy relationship with nature.”

Rome, April 15, 2022

The Commission

from: Cnr-Isac, Cnr-Isp, Iss, Units, Uniba, Arpa Sicilia, Arpa Puglia, Arpa Marche
what: Presentation titled “Olfactory Harassment”, a well-known scholarly text published by ETS
to get information: Paolo Bonasoni, Cnr-Isac, p.bonasoni@isac.cnr.it;
Stefania Petraccone, Director of Knowledge Transfer, Bari Aldo Moro University, Center of Excellence for Innovation and Creativity, stefania.petraccone@uniba.it

press office:
Emmanuel Guerini
Cnr Press Office – Rome

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Marco Verazoli
06 4993 3383

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