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Open AccessArticle

Sniffin’ Sticks and Olfactometer-Based Odor Thresholds for n-Butanol: Correspondence and Validity for Indoor Air Scenarios

1
MSH Medical School Hamburg, University of Applied Sciences and Medical University, Am Kaiserkai 1, D-20457 Hamburg, Germany
2
Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors at TU Dortmund University, Ardeystr. 67, D-44139 Dortmund, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2020, 11(5), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11050472
Received: 3 April 2020 / Revised: 30 April 2020 / Accepted: 4 May 2020 / Published: 7 May 2020
Threshold assessments for the reference odorant n-butanol are an integral part of various research, clinical, and environmental sensory testing procedures. However, the practical significance of a high or low threshold for n-butanol beyond a particular testing environment and procedure are often unclear. Therefore, this study aimed to determine between-method correlations and to investigate the association between the n-butanol threshold and perceptual/behavioral odor effects in natural breathing scenarios in 35 healthy adults. The thresholds for n-butanol derived from the Sniffin’ Sticks test and determined by the ascending limit dynamic dilution olfactometry procedure were significantly correlated (∣r∣ = 0.47). However, only the thresholds determined by olfactometry were significantly correlated to the odor detection of n-butanol in an exposure lab. Moreover, participants with a higher sensitivity for n-butanol in the olfactometer-based assessment rated ammonia, during a 75 min exposure, to be more unpleasant and showed better performance in a simultaneous 3-back task than participants with lower sensitivity. The results of this study suggest that beyond the strict parameters of a certain psychophysical procedure, the threshold for n-butanol can be a meaningful indicator of odor detection and effects in some cases. View Full-Text
Keywords: odor threshold; olfactometry; Sniffin’ Sticks; chemosensory perception; validity assessment odor threshold; olfactometry; Sniffin’ Sticks; chemosensory perception; validity assessment
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Pacharra, M.; Kleinbeck, S.; Schäper, M.; Hucke, C.I.; van Thriel, C. Sniffin’ Sticks and Olfactometer-Based Odor Thresholds for n-Butanol: Correspondence and Validity for Indoor Air Scenarios. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 472.

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