What’s That Smell? Environmental Odors Affecting Your Health

Environmantal Odor

As we go through our daily lives, we face many factors that pose risks to our health. It includes the environmental elements that produce toxic odors. You may smell a variety of chemicals in the air that can cause temporary symptoms such as nausea and headache. But what’s more alarming are the environmental odors that can cause more serious effects when inhaled. 

Some risks are unavoidable, but there are also those that we can fully avoid when we make informed choices, and indoor air quality is one of them. Let’s dive deeper into odors and how they can affect your health. 


What are Environmental Odors?

In recent studies, scientists have found out that indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor. 

To put it simply, odors are what you smell from the environment. It can be due to a single or the mix of chemicals around you. Smelling these chemicals doesn’t necessarily indicate the level of exposure you get or its effects on your health. 

Environmental odors come from various sources including the following:

  • Human Activities: Cleaning chemicals and other types of chemicals, fire, garbage, compost, diesel exhaust in vehicles, and many more. 
  • Animals: Confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).
  • Nature: Fire, Garden, Moist soil.
  • Industries: Oil refineries, landfills, paper mills, wastewater treatment plants. 

Are all odors toxic?

Keep in mind that not everything you smell is toxic. If you smell something that doesn’t feel good to your senses, here are some facts about it:

  • First thing to note is that not all chemicals are toxic. It will help to determine which type of chemical you’re smelling.
  • Toxicity of an odor depends on 3 factors: the amount of concentration in the air, the frequency of how often you breathe the air, and the duration you spent breathing it.
    If you get high results in these 3 factors, the odor can become toxic and can cause adverse effects on your health.
  • If you are quite sensitive to environmental odors, you may react to a low concentration of a substance in the air. The length of exposure to a specific smell is important whether you are sensitive or not. 

You may check more information on toxic substances in the Toxic Substances Portal


Can Odors Affect Your Health?

Chemicals, especially those that trigger unpleasant odors, may cause various levels of health effects. In most cases, symptoms commonly go away quickly when the presence of the odor stops.

However, the smell isn’t exactly a reliable technique to determine the level of risk. The odor of some chemicals is not noticeable and does not give a warning but the effect can be big. 

What health effects or symptoms you may encounter?

The effects of environmental odors on your health may vary from none, mild discomfort, to more serious cases. 

Smelling some chemicals that possess strong odors may result in nose, eye, throat, or lung irritation. Some may cause coughing, wheezing, or a certain level of breathing issue. 

On top of it, other cases report getting headaches, dizziness, or nausea. Long exposure to chemicals with strong odors can also affect your mood and stress level and can even cause anxiety. 


Improving the Odor and Air Quality in Your Home

If there’s too little outdoor air entering your place, pollutants can accumulate and the odor from the chemicals can stay longer than expected, posing health and comfort problems to everyone in the room. 

To improve the indoor air quality and the odor in an enclosed area, one alternative you have is to install an air filtration system or air purifiers. These technologies help capture air pollutants and produce better air quality and smell. 

When it comes to indoor air quality, Buoyant can help you with our reliable products and services. Contact us and let’s create healthier indoor air together.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *