Elaborated Odor Test for Extended Exposure



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46th International Conference on Environmental Systems


Concerns were raised when incidental exposure to a proprietary bonding material revealed the material had an irritating odor. The NASA-STD-6001B document describes a supplemental test method option for programs to evaluate materials with odor concerns (Test 6, Odor Assessment). In addition to the supplemental standard odor assessment with less than 10 seconds of exposure, the NASA White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) Materials Flight Acceptance Testing section was requested to perform an odor test with an extended duration to evaluate effects of an extended exposure and to more closely simulate realistic exposure scenarios. With approval from the NASA Johnson Space Center Industrial Hygienist, WSTF developed a 15-minute odor test method. WSTF performed this extended-duration odor test to evaluate the odor and physical effects of the bonding material configured between two aluminum plates after the safety of the gas was verified via toxicity analysis per NASA-STD 6001B Test 7, Determination of Offgassed Products. During extended-duration testing, odor panel members were arranged near the test material in a small room with the air handlers and doors closed to minimize dilution. The odor panel members wafted gas toward them and recorded their individual assessments of odor and physical effects at various intervals during the 15-minute exposure and posttest. A posttest interview was conducted to obtain further information. Testing was effective in providing data for comparison and selection of an optimal offgassing and odor containment configuration. The developed test method for extended exposure is proposed as a useful tool for further evaluating materials with identified odors of concern if continued use of the material is anticipated.


United States
NASA White Sands Test Facility
ICES205: Advanced Life Support Sensor and Control Technology
Vienna, Austria
Vanessa D. Buchanan, Jacobs Engineering Team, USA
Emily J. Henry, Jacobs Engineering Team, USA
Dion J. Mast, Jacobs Engineering Team, USA
Susana A. Harper, NASA White Sands Test Facility, USA
Harold D. Beeson, NASA White Sands Test Facility, USA
Alma S. Tapia, NASA Johnson Space Center, USA
The 46th International Conference on Environmental Systems was held in Vienna, Austria, USA on 10 July 2016 through 14 July 2016.


Odor Testing, Test 6, exposure, WSTF