JUN 07, 2017 6:42 AM PDT

The Smell of Smog


In terms of wine and flowers, it can be said that "the nose knows." Now there's another area in which the sense of smell is making an impact. China, known for it's choking smog, is conducting research into air pollutants by having researchers smell air samples. Being able to determine the source of pollution is key to improving air quality.

Local officials in some of China's most heavily polluted areas are relying on the human sense of smell to identify the sources of pollution. While there are more advanced techniques, like spectrometry and chemical analysis, the smog sniffers usually get it right. Because winds can shift and weather patterns can change, having human sniffers speeds up the process as well. Samples can be collected and categorized, with reports going to area environmental monitoring agencies in a matter of days. There is a small risk to the sniffers of respiratory issues, but not much more than just living in an area that is heavily polluted.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
NOV 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Detect Origin of Fast Radio Burst in Milky Way
NOV 07, 2020
Scientists Detect Origin of Fast Radio Burst in Milky Way
Scientists have identified a burst of cosmic radio waves- intense flashes of radio emission that last just a few millise ...
MAR 03, 2021
Plants & Animals
Can Arctic Bearded Seals Compete with Human Noise?
MAR 03, 2021
Can Arctic Bearded Seals Compete with Human Noise?
Vocal communication is a primary key to survival for many species, including the Arctic Ocean's bearded seals. Accor ...
APR 01, 2021
Health & Medicine
Flavanol-rich Foods Protect Heart from Stress
APR 01, 2021
Flavanol-rich Foods Protect Heart from Stress
Drinking hot cocoa is comforting on cold winter nights, and new research from the University of Birmingham shows that it ...
APR 17, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Dent in Earth's Magnetic Field Caused by Buried Ancient World
APR 17, 2021
Dent in Earth's Magnetic Field Caused by Buried Ancient World
Researchers from Arizona State University have suggested that two giant blobs of rock cupping the Earth's core are l ...
MAY 23, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Why Do Some Stars Vanish from Space?
MAY 23, 2021
Why Do Some Stars Vanish from Space?
Current theories suggest that stars undergo changes on timescales of millions or billions of years, and that their end i ...
JUL 09, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Wearable Tech for...Plants?
JUL 09, 2021
Wearable Tech for...Plants?
Researchers have developed a "wearable" patch to detect the gaseous substances plants emit when diseased or stressed,
Loading Comments...