ARB Research Seminar

This page updated September 6, 2019

Environmental Odors: Best practices for monitoring methods, handling complaints, and human health risk assessment

Photo of Mel Suffet, Ph.D

Mel Suffet, Ph.D

Photo of Scott Braithwaite, Ph.D

Scott Braithwaite, Ph.D

Mel Suffet , Ph.D, Scott Braithwaite Ph.D

September 09, 2019
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA

Research Project


Air quality management districts (AQMDs) receive thousands of odor complaints from the public. Verification of the pollutants responsible for these odors and their sources remains a challenge. Thus, the objectives of this project were to review the methods for determining which pollutants may be responsible for odor complaints from a variety of air pollution sources and to identify their possible health impacts and monitoring methods. The results of this review are summarized in a white paper submitted to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The speakers today will discuss their findings and views on the best practices for monitoring methods, handling complaints, and conducting human health risk assessments related to environmental odor

Speaker Biography

Mel Suffet is a distinguished professor at UCLA. His teaching includes fate and analysis of odorous and toxic chemical in the air and water environments. His major areas of air pollution research include: odor nuisance evaluation in urban areas and specific industrial sites (e.g., compost, landfills, wastewater treatment plants, sludge drying operations), development of an odor-monitoring system using odor panels, and development of analytical chemistry systems using GC-MS and GC-sensory methods to determine the components of nuisance odors.

Scott Braithwaite recently completed his doctorate at UCLA in environmental science and engineering. His prior degrees include a Masters in Environmental Health from Harvard and a Bachelors in Chemistry from Brigham Young University. During his 20 years of professional experience, he has contributed to exposure, risk, and alternatives assessments for U.S. EPA, DuPont, Clorox and DTSC.

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