Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

Community Odor Exposure and its Association with Stress and Respiratory Symptoms

Poster Number

28

Document Type

Poster

Status

Graduate Student - Masters

Abstract Category

Environmental and Occupational Health

Keywords

Odor, Respiratory, Stress, Community, Industry

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Odors from industrial facilities are typically characterized as nuisances, however researchers are increasingly studying the potential adverse health effects of community odor exposure. Chronic low-level odor exposure to non-toxic compounds can lead to irritation and physical symptoms.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this review is to examine whether there is an association between odor exposure and respiratory symptoms or stress in communities that are located near industrial facilities.

METHODS: Using the Navigation Guide systematic review methodology, risk of bias and quality of evidence was assessed for each study. These measures were used to evaluate the overall strength of evidence for an association.

RESULTS: Six studies met the inclusion criteria and were rated from “low” to “high” for risk of bias and “low” to “moderate” for quality of evidence. Overall, the body of evidence had “limited” strength due to imprecision and because bias and confounding could not be completely ruled out.

CONCLUSIONS: There is limited evidence to support an association between industrial odor exposure and respiratory symptoms or stress. More rigorously designed odor assessment studies are needed before a recommendation can be made regarding industrial odor exposure.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Community Odor Exposure and its Association with Stress and Respiratory Symptoms

BACKGROUND: Odors from industrial facilities are typically characterized as nuisances, however researchers are increasingly studying the potential adverse health effects of community odor exposure. Chronic low-level odor exposure to non-toxic compounds can lead to irritation and physical symptoms.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this review is to examine whether there is an association between odor exposure and respiratory symptoms or stress in communities that are located near industrial facilities.

METHODS: Using the Navigation Guide systematic review methodology, risk of bias and quality of evidence was assessed for each study. These measures were used to evaluate the overall strength of evidence for an association.

RESULTS: Six studies met the inclusion criteria and were rated from “low” to “high” for risk of bias and “low” to “moderate” for quality of evidence. Overall, the body of evidence had “limited” strength due to imprecision and because bias and confounding could not be completely ruled out.

CONCLUSIONS: There is limited evidence to support an association between industrial odor exposure and respiratory symptoms or stress. More rigorously designed odor assessment studies are needed before a recommendation can be made regarding industrial odor exposure.