EMSL Analytical, Inc.

Mystery Odor Sickens One and Leaves Health Officials Uncertain of the Cause

Source: EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical provides odor identification services to help identify and resolve mystery odor complaints.

Cinnaminson, NJ, November 12, 2012 -- Last month, a night time security guard became ill after being exposed to a mystery odor in Troy, New York.  The event happened at the Raddock Building and continued with foul odors the following day. Local firefighters and city and county officials investigated the mystery odor and it has been reported that it was first believed to be caused by issues related to carbon monoxide. 

Tests did not indicate carbon monoxide and officials then theorized that the mystery odors were perhaps being caused by cleaning chemicals. The leased building has been the scene of past complaints by the building’s occupants.

Mystery odors issues, like what occurred in Troy, happen on a much more frequent basis than many people believe. They can be the result of a wide range of sources that can originate from within a building or infiltrate it from an outside or underground source. 

Because mystery odors may rapidly dissipate, it can be hard to determine their makeup and possible source if air samples are not taken quickly.   One way to overcome this is to train personnel and have sampling equipment on hand to be able to quickly take air samples.  EMSL Analytical provides air sampling equipment and analysis for situations just like these.  EMSL is the nation’s premier mystery odor testing laboratory with facilities located across the United States and Canada.

“If air samples can be taken while the odor is still present its chemical makeup can be determined,” statedJoe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical. “This information can help determine the source of the mystery odor and help to ascertain if the odor is a nuisance or a real health concern for the building occupants. EMSL Analytical has the sampling equipment and expertise to resolve these types of mystery odor complaints.”

EMSL recently sponsored an educational video about mystery odors that can be seen at:


To learn more about testing for mystery odors or other indoor air quality (IAQ) and environmental concerns, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800)220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.

EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 


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