Odour Nuisance: a New Methodology to Evaluate and Anticipate the Risk
Pottier, Billy
Artigue, Veronica
Tixier, Jérôme
Olivier, Sylvain
Chaignaud, Mathilde
Fanlo, Jean-Louis

How to Cite

Pottier B., Artigue V., Tixier J., Olivier S., Chaignaud M., Fanlo J.-L., 2022, Odour Nuisance: a New Methodology to Evaluate and Anticipate the Risk, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 95, 43-48.


Odour annoyance is the second most common source of complaints after noise in France. This leads to a direct impact on the quality of life of residents and an indirect impact on economic activities. This is why regulations require each emitting activity to take into account the annoyances it could generate (Grenelle II of the environment). It is clear that the forecasting of these impacts represents a strategic issue.
In this context, this article presents a new methodology to evaluate and predict the risk of odour nuisance on a territory but also the potential economic or social damage associated. The objective is to provide a planning tool to decision-makers, based on maps of the odour impact and the associated risk of nuisance of an existing or future site.
This work follows those conducted on the same theme by Popa (2013). The approach is based on the concept of risk to assess both the potential annoyance of a site and the vulnerability of populations or activities. The annoyance potential is calculated on the basis of the intensity and acceptability of the odour, two messages returned by our olfactory sense. These two parameters are intrinsically linked to the odour concentration. They are therefore calculated in each cell of the studied territory (200x200m) according to the odour concentrations obtained using a Gaussian dispersion software. The risk of odour nuisance is evaluated by combining the potential of annoyance thus calculated and the human vulnerability to odour, defined by the number of inhabitants in the cell. The risk of economic damage is obtained in a similar way, by combining the annoyance potential with the vulnerability of the activities present in each cell. The levels of annoyance potential and associated risks are defined using criticality matrices (Merad, 2004). The results have to be compared with the reports of a panel of residents around the site studied to assess the quality of the model.