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Using Human Panels for Subjective Evaluation of Emissions from Indoor Activities and Materials: Principles and State of Technology


This report addresses the topic of sensory evaluation of indoor air through the use of human subjects. It begins by discussing the chemical senses involved in such evaluation, specifically the senses of smell (olfaction) and chemical sensory irritation (common chemical sense, CCS, now called chemesthesis). An analysis of similarities and differences between these two sensory modalities regarding key measurements and issues follows. Later, the report discusses the quantification of sensory reactions to indoor pollutants, including aspects related to subjects, exposure techniques, sensory methodology, quality assurance, and data evaluation. An Appendix presents the results of a survey of opinion regarding a tentative protocol for sensory evaluation of emissions from indoor activities and materials, based on the responses of 16 out of the 25 indoor air researchers initially contacted to fill out the questionnaire.

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