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Six-step procedure to track down the source or cause of odors or smells in or around buildings. Here we describe six areas of investigation that can help direct the inquiry as to the cause or source of an odor or smell in or around a building.
These articles explain how to diagnose, test, identify, and cure or remove a wide range of obnoxious or even toxic
odors in buildings, in building air, in building materials, or in the building water supply. We discuss odors from a variety of sources including
animals including pets, dogs, cats, or unwanted animals or dead animals, formaldehyde odors in buildings from building products or furnishings, plumbing drains, plastic or vinyl odors from building products, flue gases, indoor mold odors, oil tanks or oil spills, pesticides,
septic odors, sewer gases, and even abandoned chemicals at properties.
Our page top photo shows our local skunk rummaging on a nearby golf course. This is about as close as you want to be, especially if you see a skunk meandering in daylight. This skunk was found dead two days after this photo was taken, most likely due to rabies. .
We also provide a MASTER INDEX to this topic, or you can try the page top or bottom SEARCH BOX as a quick way to find information you need.
Six Step Process for Odor Cause or Source Detection
Take an Organized Approach to Finding & Curing an Indoor Chemical Odor
The photo at left shows steel chemical drums that we discovered on a residential property during a home inspection.
Not only did these steel drums raise a question of possible environmental contamination of this site, even worse,
they were uphill and close to a stream, raising a still more broad question of area contamination.
Hire an Inspector or Consultant vs Do-It-Yourself?
A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem such as this one. It is a frequent frustration to discuss with readers and clients the common experience of hiring a costly investigator or hygienist to help with a problem only to find that that expert does the easy part - conducting a few (sometimes unreliable) sample collections, sends them to a lab and gives you a report. Such tests alone, without a translation into sufficient diagnosis as to permit action, are of limited use.
How to Track Down & Remove Source of a Building Smell
Regardless of who is working on the odor source problem, several directions of investigation suggest themselves:
1. Try odor source tracking: try the
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors method to see if you can isolate the odor to a particular surface. It's cheap, easy, and can sometimes give dramatic results. When I refined and field tested this method, first suggested to me by Jeff May (Cambridge MA), the person we used as the "smeller" was in fact a pregnant woman whose sense of smell was reported to be particularly sensitive.
At left the author demonstrates a smell-patch test that can be used to track down odors to their source in buildings.
2. List building and building condition factors causing odors:
at ODOR DIAGNOSIS CHECKLIST, PROCEDURE we give a procedural checklist that can help track down the source of an odor by reviewing a laundry-list of types of odors, odor sources, and building and even weather conditions that can be diagnostic. Just as one example we've tracked certain odors to plastic windows or window screens that emitted smells principally after some time in direct sunlight.
If you suspect sunlight related odor emission note:
where is the offending room in the floor plan of your condominium, and how does that location relate to
interior or exterior walls
placement of elevators, air shafts, plumbing drains or utility shafts, chimneys
3. List & investigate building history, materials, location: in the odor checklist cited at item 2 we provide examples of building history that can point to a particular odor source. Add some more detailed considerations such as
building age, type, location,
building construction materials of both the structure and for apartment or multi-occupant buildings, construction and materials used in the individual unit (new carpeting, for example, or paints and sealants)
behavior of building mechanical systems: slow drains, poorly-operating heating or cooling equipment; The open plumbing vent line shown in our photo (left) might have been suspected by occurrence of sewage odors & sewer gas when plumbing fixtures were in use.
history of building owners, length of occupancy, and activities in the structure - for example were there occupants with particular hobbies or activities that used chemicals?
history of treatment for insect pests: cockroaches, termites, other - by whom, when, what chemical was applied where and by what method; on Long Island years ago an idiot pesticide applicator sprayed pesticide into the building wall cavities leading to a very costly problem. If, for example, a prior owner filled a closet with mothballs (Are mothballs an indoor air quality or health concern?) and left it shut for a long time - months or years - the odor could have penetrated surface materials and may linger there.
history of renovations in your condo, when, what, where, what materials
relate odor occurrences to weather, time of day, temperature, wind, equipment on or off
in multi-story buildings check for air & odor movement between building floors by elevators, stairwells, HVAC ducting, spaces over cathedral ceilings, pipe chases, etc.
4. Use surface testing to confirm an odor source: best performed after we have some most-suspect surfaces in mind, it may be possible to collect and send a small physical sample to an appropriate test lab for confirmation of what we're looking at.
For example, at a home where I suspected amateur application of pesticide (chlordane), I cut a small sliver of wood that we sent to an independent test lab (my lab specializes in particle forensics not chemicals) who confirmed that the wood had indeed been soaked with pesticide.
5. Temporarily Contain odors & smell-related risks: if odors appear to originate in just a single room in a building, temporarily, try keeping the offending room's door shut and are minimizing exposure to risk.
Watch out: for odor desensitization: anyone who remains in an area where odor-producing substances are present, eventually becomes desensitized to the odors and can be thus fooled into thinking that the odor is not present or has been diminished. A good test is to consider how things "smell" to you or others on entering the condo just after you've spent hours or longer out in fresh air.
6. Remediation of odors or smells: don't do anything expensive or disruptive towards a "cure" before you have a reasonably confident idea of what the problem is..
At ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE we list many sources of odors & smells in buildings - the list itself may suggest some candidates for you that can help tracking down your own complaint.
I found your site and have found it full of helpful possible explanations for an intermittent odor experienced in our condo rental. ... After intuiting possible causes of the odor I was interested in what cures or remedies were suggested and could not find any. ... I haven't yet found any cures or remedies related to my suspicions. ... I would like to describe our situation and see if I can be directed to a source or information that suggest possible cures or remedies.
We rented a condo where we are now living in May 2014. Prior to signing a lease, I noticed an odor that was somewhat pungent but dissipated after being inside for awhile. I thought it was the previous occupant's belongings or poor choice of scented products that left a lingering odor.
The odor has never completely disappeared and is intermittent. We've invited neighbors to witness it with some success and other times it disappeared too quickly for one to "smell". We've complained to the owner and management but haven't found a source and no one takes responsibility to remedy. A contractor that claimed he can rid odors with a machine was summoned but wouldn't guarantee an outcome without figuring out a source. Here's what we've observed and what we've done to date:
Odor is pungent and most obvious upon opening front door and strongest in the foyer.
Holding our breath and walking into the unit past the foyer, the odor is not as strong unless the place has been closed up for a longer period of time, then it is everywhere.
HVAC, air filters, all plumbing, gas logs, washer, dryer vents etc have been checked.
Does not smell like gas, septic or mold. Pungent is our best adjective and on occasion can seem like a lingering body odor. I've painted with oil and latex numerous times and refinished furniture and it is not like those odors.
Have put out vinegar, washed surfaces, aired out daily with fans, open windows and running the HVAC fan.
Have left for an hour or two and upon our return it can be as strong as before airing out. OR we recently left for 7 days and it was hardly noticeable upon our return.
The condo is about 1500 square feet. Building contains flats with a total of 24 units. Believe there's concrete between the floors with HVAC ducts and sprinkler system between our ceiling and the units above and below. The building was built in 2008. We believe the unit was empty for several years until it sold. The owner said she just thought it was new building smell and she lived in it for a couple years.
The hallways do smell of concrete but is different than what we are experiencing.
No other resident has complained.
Unit is on 2nd floor with one unit above, one unit below and garage below that.
There is a wood product floor and carpet. The foyer is the wood product, think it's wood flooring that's glued down to the concrete. Other materials are painted Sheetrock and wood trim, cabinetry, tile, plastic shower floor.
The building has had some gutter issues with rain leaks in other areas I've heard about.
The occupant above keeps a dog indoors and has had complaints about her trash and her doggie pads, but that's not the odor we have experienced.
I've kept a log on and off and think higher humidity/rain does impact the intensity.
I thought the test your site has with paper towels and aluminum foil was interesting but even if that does isolate it to our foyer floor for example, and it could be speculated where the location is, what are the possible remedies? How does one identify the odor itself?
Thanks for guidance you can suggest. - S.B. 10/3/2014
Reply: find & remove the odor source
There are no trivial or external "odor cures" that are valid, such as generic sprays or ozone. Rather, the proper approach is to find the cause or source of the odor and remove that source by cleaning, sealing, or if necessary removing contaminated or outgassing materials, or where odors are traced to a mechanical system such as a leaky plumbing vent, fixing that problem.
A Summary of Building Odor Diagnosis & Cure Strategies:
You can start tracking down the cause or source of an odor in one or more of several ways:
The smell patch test procedure we describe at SMELL PATCH TEST to FIND ODOR SOURCE and which you note you've reviewed is useful when an odor seems strongest in a particular room and we want to determine if it is emanating from a specific surface or material.
If we confirm that that's the case, then depending on what the surface or material is we can decide on an appropriate action such as clean, seal, remove, or in some cases, cut open (a wall or ceiling cavity for example) to investigate further for a buried odor source such as a dead animal, a chemical leak into a cavity, or wet insulation such as some UFFI formulations that may outgas when moist or wet.
Check for Odor Transport from Other Locations
You might also want to look at the heating and air conditioning systems and also possible air leaks between your unit and neighbors to see if air movement or air delivery are transporting odors from another location (neighbor's pet, spills, etc.) For example
See DUCT & AIR HANDLER ODORS
"Pungent" Odor Sources?
I'm uncertain what different people really are experiencing when they describe "pungent" odors since that term is often used to describe smells that are "sharp" or "penetrating" - but you might want to look also at CHEMICAL ODOR SOURCES that might have been left by use of a paint, cleaner, deodorant, spill, treatment, etc.
Keep an Odor Log to Identify Conditions or Equipment Operation that Relate to or Cause Smells
Keeping an odor log, some of which you've done in an incomplete form, can also help find an odor source that relates to weather, temperature, humidity, changes in building use, occupancy, or the operation of mechanical equipment - or other things that vary in or around a building.
Use either of the three files listed below to record various data that can help figure out the source of a mystery odor or smell - we recommend the first Odor Checklist Form listed below as it is the most detailed version. When using the Odor Checklist Form, also review our Checklist of Possible Causes/Sources of Odor or Smell Complaints that begins in this article, just below
ODOR EVENT LOG & CHECKLIST FORM printer-friendly PDF file to record odor observations such as time of day, weather, temperature, sunlight, & possible sources as an aid in finding the actual source of odors & smells in or around buildings
ODOR LOG EXCEL Spreadsheet to record your observations for further analysis for those who perfer to work with spreadsheets to enter odor observation data
ODOR LOG abbreviated form "short list" printer-friendly PDF file lists observations that can help track down an odor source.
To prepare yourself also review our home page for the diagnosis and cure of building odors found
at ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE where we outline the overall approach to finding and removing odors in or around buildings, and listing most odor sources
Removing Odors by Machine?
You cite a contractor who says he can remove odors by using a machine in your home.
Really? Without finding and curing the odor source you will not remove a smell from a building, though you might temporarily disguise it with a cover-up scent (not recommended). Worse, you might create a still more terrible and expensive odor problem in the building if you permit a mis-use of an ozone generator (by overdosing the building and oxidizing some of its contents). See OZONE MOLD / ODOR TREATMENT WARNINGS
At "More Reading" below you'll find additional odor diagnosis and odor cure articles listed by topics or by common odor problem sources or types.
Finding Odor Cure articles at InspectApedia.com
By using the search box found near the top right (in the light blue area) or at the end of each InspectApedia article you can also find information that you did not see in the recommended links found at Continue reading where we provide an INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES that includes live links to the entire topic.
Articles that describe cures for odors are referred to by just about any odor-related article or page you land-on at InspectApedia but can also befound by searching InspectApedia as I've described.
Try the search box below or CONTACT US by email if you cannot find the answer you need at InspectApedia.
We tried the obvious, now how can we track down the source of a smell in our home?
I have a 4 year old brick home, on basement, 1 story. I have smelled a faint odor in one area of the home which is around the master bedroom, master bath, and hallway leading to that area.
The smell tends to be stronger in the hallway area which is on the other side of the wall from the bathroom.
My husband does not smell it and thinks I am crazy. Some days is it stronger than others but I can't figure out why.
The smell is not in the basement, and not in the attic.
We replaced the toilet wax ring, with no results.
We put a vent cap on the roof vent of the toilet so that wind would not blow the gases back inside, with no results.
How can I track down the smell?
My only other ideas are that the roof has leaked and the wall has molded, or there is a problem with the bathroom fan leaking in foul air. Or a dead animal stuck somewhere in the wall.
A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem or source of an odor.
It is an error for someone to assume that because they do not personally smell an odor that it is not present. Individual sense of smell varies widely among individuals. However on occasion there are medical or other sources of perceived odors that only the affected person will experience. Therefore in some cases it may be appropriate to also check in with a physician. But it makes sense to look for the obvious: an actual source of odors or smells in the building.
Reader Question: confusing odors in home
I am in England, UK and cannot afford to pay for advice. If you can give me any help with my situation I'd be grateful:
I am experiencing an overpowering 'electrical burning' odour in my bathroom. There is no obvious problem with the electrics. Electrics switched off and room ventilated/flushed out but smell continues. The bath is old cast iron, with damaged enamel and a lead waste pipe. I have used limescale removing chemicals (some weeks ago) and bleach (two days ago). There is no blockage in the drain. There is green algae/weed growing outside at the end of the lead pipe as it hangs over and empties into the storm water (not foul water) drain system. Advice asap most appreciated. Currently waiting emergency plumber on household insurance. - A.G. 3/4/2014
I'd like to help Amanda but I have to say that from your description you need someone on-site.
Your description of odor includes
Electrical burning - which comes typically from overheated electrical wiring, fixtures, switches, is dangerous, risking a fire, so means that the offending circuit should be shut off
Damaged enameled cast iron fixtures (not normally an odor source)
Lead waste pipe - lead itself is not normally an odor source but old piping, especially lead, may be leaking - but would not normally make an electrical odour
Limescale chemical removers used - often an odor source but not one typically described as burning electrical
Algae or "weed" on a pipe exterior - suggests a plumbing leak
A drain pipe emptying into a storm drain - in most jurisdictions it is improper and even illegal to empty a building plumbing drain into the storm system
And of course there could be a different odor source that has not yet been realised. Some help in identifying the odor and its source, perhaps by asking for assistance from others or from your plumber is what's needed along with a visual inspection for safety and sanitary concerns in your home. It may help to try the six simple odor diagnostic steps in the article above on this page, or to try our more detailed ODOR DIAGNOSIS CHECKLIST, PROCEDURE.
Question: labs for sewage contamination in New York
(Apr 14, 2014) Worried said:
Can you suggest laboratories in the New York City area where it would be possible to send samples to find out if the substance leaking down my bathroom's exposed steam pipes is human waste? It's happened on two occasions in the past month. It smells strongly of urine, mixed with something chemically, and my building manager is doing nothing about it. I need to find out what in the world this horrible liquid is!
When I screen a building for sewage waste I use a sterile swab kit and mail it to a test lab who can screen for bacteria and pathogens found in sewage. (Search InspectApedia.com for SEWAGE PATHOGENS). Most biological labs are equipped to perform the test as are many water test labs. Call someone close to you, ask what procedures they want you to use, be sure to use sterile swabs not something that could otherwise confound the test results, and collect one or more representative samples. Keep us posted.
Question: "BO" smell in our building but not from people
(July 23, 2014) Jaime said:
Does anybody have any idea what may be causing an odor in our building that smells like body odor but not coming from humans. It is located on the first floor of the building and comes and goes. It seems to pop up every few weeks or so. We have replaced carpets, wall coverings, check A/C vents and much more.
Of course I can't know by e-text what a smell is nor its source, but it's worth noting that some BO like smells are traced to mold contamination. There's a famous "dirty socks" smell from some fungi. Look for leaks into or onto mold-friendly materials like drywall, paper, insulation, cloth.
Try keeping an odor log that helps correlate odor observation with time, weather, equipment use, etc.
In the full Odor Diagnosis ARTICLE INDEX found at More Reading above see ODOR DIAGNOSIS EVENT LOG & CHECKLIST
Question: sewer smell comes and goes
(Oct 28, 2014) Tom said:
Been noticing a sewer smell in very specific areas of my house. Could be gone for days and then it comes back to varying degrees. Original plumber looked it. Have checked everything for dry traps. I did notice a slow draining bathtub that I am now putting drano in. That got me wondering if there is something "smelly" I can put in the bathtub drain to see if that same smells appears elsewhere in the house? That way I will at least know that that drain system is, in some way, responsible for the smell. Any recommendation? Cheap purfume?
(Nov 5, 2014) TOM said:
Followup to Oct. 28th post. Found an uncapped stink pipe that had been cut during a renovation 5 years ago. Just started smelling recently.
Had to open up a wall to find it. I think pouring cheap perfume in a drain would have lead me there if I had not found it the first time.
Thanks for the follow-up Tom. Indeed tracking down an open vent in a building cavity is a challenge - use of odorants is a fine approach to at least home in on the general area or room(s). That narrowing down followed by some strategic cuts where we hope or think vent piping runs will usually pay off.
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
 ASTM E2600 - 08 Standard Practice for Assessment of Vapor Intrusion into Structures on Property Involved in Real Estate Transactions is available from the ASTM at astm.org/Standards/E2600.htm
"This practice is intended for use on a voluntary basis by parties who wish to conduct a VIA on a parcel of real estate, or more specifically conduct a screening evaluation to determine whether or not there is potential for a VIC, and if so, identify alternatives for further investigation."
The standard goes on to emphasize the uncertainty in testing any site for gases and vapor intrusion.
 EMS Testing Laboratories (a nationwide chain in the U.S.) - see http://www.emsl.com
 Chinese Drywall information hosted by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, and supported by the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and HUD, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - http://www.cpsc.gov/info/drywall/index.html
 Chinese Drywall information from the Florida state department of Environmental Protection -
 Executive Summary, Chinese Drywall Hazards, published by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, and supported by the US CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and HUD, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - original source: http://www.cpsc.gov/info/drywall/execsum0410.pdf
 Brett C. Singer, Beverly K. Coleman, Hugo Destaillats, Alfred T. Hodgson, Melissa M. Lunden, Charles J. Weschler, William W Nazaroff, "Indoor secondary pollutants from cleaning product and air freshener use in the presence of ozone", Atmospheric Environment, Volume 40, Issue 35, November 2006, Pages 6696–6710
This study investigated the formation of secondary pollutants resulting from household product use in the presence of ozone. Experiments were conducted in a 50-m3 chamber simulating a residential room. The chamber was operated at conditions relevant to US residences in polluted areas during warm-weather seasons: an air exchange rate of 1.0 h−1 and an inlet ozone concentration of approximately 120 ppb, when included. Three products were used in separate experiments. An orange oil-based degreaser and a pine oil-based general-purpose cleaner were used for surface cleaning applications. A plug-in scented-oil airfreshener (AFR) was operated for several days. Cleaning products were applied realistically with quantities scaled to simulate residential use rates. Concentrations of organic gases and secondary organic aerosol from the terpene-containing consumer products were measured with and without ozone introduction. In the absence of reactive chemicals, the chamber ozone level was approximately 60 ppb. Ozone was substantially consumed following cleaning product use, mainly by homogeneous reaction. For the AFR, ozone consumption was weaker and heterogeneous reaction with sorbed AFR-constituent VOCs was of similar magnitude to homogeneous reaction with continuously emitted constituents. Formaldehyde generation resulted from product use with ozone present, increasing indoor levels by the order of 10 ppb. Cleaning product use in the presence of ozone generated substantial fine particle concentrations (more than 100 μg m−3) in some experiments. Ozone consumption and elevated hydroxyl radical concentrations persisted for 10–12 h following brief cleaning events, indicating that secondary pollutant production can persist for extended periods.
Indoor air chemistry;
Secondary organic aerosol;
 Xiaoyu Liu,*† Mark Mason, Kenneth Krebs, and Leslie Sparks, "Full-Scale Chamber Investigation and Simulation of Air Freshener Emissions in the Presence of Ozone:, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2004, 38 (10), pp 2802–2812
Publication Date (Web): April 9, 2004,
Abstract: Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from one electrical plug-in type of pine-scented air freshener and their reactions with O3 were investigated in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indoor air research large chamber facility. Ozone was generated from a device marketed as an ozone generator air cleaner. Ozone and oxides of nitrogen concentrations and chamber conditions such as temperature, relative humidity, pressure, and air exchange rate were controlled and/or monitored. VOC emissions and some of the reaction products were identified and quantified. Source emission models were developed to predict the time/concentration profiles of the major VOCs (limonene, α-pinene, β-pinene, 3-carene, camphene, benzyl propionate, benzyl alcohol, bornyl acetate, isobornyl acetate, and benzaldehyde) emitted by the air freshener. Gas-phase reactions of VOCs from the air freshener with O3 were simulated by a photochemical kinetics simulation system using VOC reaction mechanisms and rate constants adopted from the literature. The concentration−time predictions were in good agreement with the data for O3 and VOCs emitted from the air freshener and with some of the primary reaction products. Systematic differences between the predictions and the experimental results were found for some species. Poor understanding of secondary reactions and heterogeneous chemistry in the chamber is the likely cause of these differences. The method has the potential to provide data to predict the impact of O3/VOC interactions on indoor air quality.
 RI Vanhegan, R.G. Mitchell, "Pseudomonas Infection Associated with Contamination of Wick-Type Air Freshener", British Medical Journal, 20 Sept. 1975, pp. 685 [copy on file as Air_Fresh_Study_BMJ75.pdf]
Though unproved, the bottles may have been directly implicated in
cross-infection and they should not be used in intensive care units and
similar places. The practice of topping-up existing bottles from a
stock solution should be discouraged since the resulting weakened
mixture may eventually support the growth of organisms. Since an
increase in the formaldehyde concentration proved irritant we
recommend the use of safe non-volatile disinfectants. The possibility
that organisms may develop resistance to formaldehyde solutions was
not further investigated.
 Mihalis Lazaridis (Editor), Ian Colbeck (Editor), Human Exposure to Pollutants via Dermal Absorption and Inhalation (Environmental Pollution), Springer; 1st Edition. edition (April 1, 2010), ISBN-10: 9048186625
Quoting: The human body is exposed to pollution on a daily basis via dermal exposure and inhalation. This book reviews the information necessary to address the steps in exposure assessment relevant to air pollution. The aim is to identify available information including data sources and models, and show that an integrated multi-route exposure model can be built, validated and used as part of an air quality management process. Many epidemiological studies have focused on inhalation exposure. Whilst this is appropriate for many substances, failure to consider the importance of exposure and uptake of material deposited on the skin may lead to an over/underestimation of the risk. Hence dermal exposure is also considered. Drinking water contamination by disinfection by-products is also discussed. Written by leading experts in the field, this book provides a comprehensive review of ambient particulate matter and will be of interest to graduate students, researchers and policymakers involved in air quality management, environmental health and related disciplines, as well as environmental consultants and ventilation engineers.
 Fifth Kingdom, Bryce Kendrick, ISBN13: 9781585100224, is available from the InspectAPedia online bookstore - we recommend the CD-ROM version of this book. This 3rd/edition is a compact but comprehensive encyclopedia of all things mycological. Every aspect of the fungi, from aflatoxin to zppspores, with an accessible blend of verve and wit. The 24 chapters are filled with up-to-date information of classification, yeast, lichens, spore dispersal, allergies, ecology, genetics, plant pathology, predatory fungi, biological control, mutualistic symbioses with animals and plants, fungi as food, food spoilage and mycotoxins.
 Troubleshooting Split System A/C or Heat Pump Noises, Fujitsu General America, Inc., 353 Route 46 West, Fairfield, NJ 07004, Tel: (888) 888-3424, Tel-Service hotline: (866) 952-8324, Email: email@example.com, Email service: firstname.lastname@example.org , retrieved 8/30/12, original source: http://www.fujitsugeneral.com/troubleshooting.htm [copy on file as Troubleshooting Fujitsu Ductless Mini-Splits.pdf]
 Thomas M. Riddick, "Controlling Taste, Odor and Color With Free Residual Chlorination", Journal (American Water Works Association)
Vol. 43, No. 7 (JULY 1951), pp. 545-552, American Water Works Association, Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41236445
 Douglas M. Baker, M.D., "Holiday Hazards", Pediatric Emergency Care, Vol. 1 No. 4, December 1985 Lippincott-Raven, retrieved 9/22/12
Abstract: Presented is a selective review of the toxicities of various plants, decorations, and miscellaneous items popularly used during the holiday season. Particularly hazardous agents include mistletoe, holly, bubble lights, fireplace flame colors, alkaline batteries, and mothballs. Specific questions regarding management of exposure to these items should be referred to regional poison control centers. Avoidance is the most effective treatment. ... [regarding mothballs, ... decontamination is advised for ingestions of greater than one half of a naphthalene mothball and more than two to three paradichlorobenzene mothballs ...]
 Charles M. McGinley, P.E., Michael A. McGinley, MHS, Donna L. McGinley, " “Odor Basics”,
Understanding and Using Odor Testing", paper presentation, The 22nd Annual Hawaii Water Environment Association Conference.,
Honolulu, Hawaii: 6-7 June 2000, St. Croix Sensory Inc. / McGinley Associates, P.A.
13701 - 30th Street Circle North
Stillwater, MN 55082 U.S.A.
email@example.com, retrieved 9/22/12, original source http://www.fivesenses.com/Documents/Library/33%20
%20Odor%20Basics.pdf, [copy on file as Odor_Basics.pdf]
 Jon H. Ruth, "Odor Thresholds and Irritation Levels of Several Chemical Substances: A Review", American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal
Volume 47, Issue 3, 1986, retrievedf 9/22/12, Abstract: A collation of odor threshold data for approximately 450 chemical substances is presented. The range of odor thresholds reported in the literature is shown along with any reported threshold of irritation to humans. These data can assist the industrial hygienist in determining when an “odor” may be in excess of the Threshold Limit Value®, when an organic vapor respirator is not acceptable due to the lack of an odor warning at the end of a cartridge life, and where odors may not indicate a hazard due to extremely low odor thresholds which may be well below the respective TLVs.
 Edward Avila DO,
Paul Schraeder MD,
Ajit Belliappa MD,
Scott Faro MD, "Pica With Paradichlorobenzene Mothball Ingestion Associated With Toxic Leukoencephalopathy", Journal of Neuroimaging
Volume 16, Issue 1, pages 78–81, January 2006, retrieved 9/22/12,
Abstract: This is a case report of central nervous system toxicity associated with paradichlorobenzene (PDCB) ingestion. The patient had ingested mothballs composed of 99.99% PDCB for a period of 7 months. She was admitted for depression and had no neurologic symptoms. Later she developed an acute cerebellar syndrome followed by stupor and coma. An extensive workup was negative except for decreasing levels of PDCB in her serum. Imaging revealed a diffuse leukoencephalopathy. Her clinical picture was attributed to PDCB toxicity.
 Stone, David L. (David Louis), Stock, T. (Tim), "Mothballs: proper use and alternative controls for clothes moths", PNW 606-E, May 2008, Oregon State University. Extension Service
Washington State University. Extension
University of Idaho. Extension, May, 2008, retrieved 9/22/12, original source: http://scholarsarchive.library.oregonstate.edu/
xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/20800/pnw606-e.pdf?sequence=1, citation: http://hdl.handle.net/1957/20800, Abstract: In some homes, clothes moths can damage garments and other belongings. There are two common species of clothes moths in the Pacific Northwest: the webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) and the casemaking clothes moth (Tinea pellionella). The larvae, or immature form, of the moths are responsible for the damage done to personal belongings. [copy on file as Mothballs_Guide_PNW.pdf]
Citing the following 2 sources on mothball chemistry, use, hazards:
 Black, Judy. Fabric and Museum Pests. In
Mallis Handbook of Pest Control, 9th edition,
S.A. Hedges and D. Moreland, eds. GIE Media,
Cleveland, OH, 2004, pp. 581 –623.
[21 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Illness Associated with Exposure to Naphthalene
in Mothballs—Indiana. Morbidity and Mortality
Weekly Report, 1983, Vol. 32: 34–5.
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Kansas State University, department of plant pathology, extension plant pathology web page on wheat rust fungus: see http://www.oznet.ksu.edu/path-ext/factSheets/Wheat/Wheat%20Leaf%20Rust.asp
"A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home",
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency US EPA - includes basic advice for building owners, occupants, and mold cleanup operations. See http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.htm
US EPA - Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Building [ copy on file as /sickhouse/EPA_Mold_Remediation_in_Schools.pdf ] - US EPA
"A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home", U.S. Environmental Protection Agency US EPA - includes basic advice for building owners, occupants, and mold cleanup operations. See http://www.epa.gov/mold/moldguide.htm
"Disease Prevention in Home Vegetable Gardens,"
Department of Plant Microbiology and Pathology,
Department of Horticulture, University of Missouri Extension - extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G6202
US EPA: Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Building [ copy on file as /sickhouse/EPA_Mold_Remediation_in_Schools.pdf ] - US EPA
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
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Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
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