Nosy: Thai officials hire 167 people to smell bad stuff and report on it

Photo: Edward Musiak/Flickr

Thailand’s pollution control division has just hired 167 people to be “Smell Assessors” on a panel tasked with telling them exactly what stinks, which smells may be dangerous, and which are just annoying.

The professional assessors will analyze various odors and report to the Pollution Control Department (PCD) on what’s causing the smells and how to control them.

Jatuporn Buruspat, the PCD director-general, said that the hiring of the new assessors to an existing panel is related the the high number of grievances made about the smells from several factories and fear about what pollution those smells might be causing or related to, reported Bangkok Post.

Bad and strange smells make up 40 percent of complaints received by the PCD.

The panel was formed in 2010 by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The assessors are responsible for reporting on smells from 23 kinds of factories.

Panel members rely on learned smell assessment to determine how concentrated certain odors are. These professionals need to pass tests and be registered with the PCD or a similar agency.

The majority of the new panelists, 100 of the 167, are already PCD officials, others come from official or environmental offices, a few from universities and a few others from private companies.

The members will need to analyze samples collected at suspected areas of pollution. Each smell sample needs to be smelled by six assessors who get THB600 per sniff. They can smell no more than three samples, said Jatuporn

Last year’s assessors put their noses to the source of more than 30 smell complaints. Panel members will also get special training on smells from farms where animals are raised.

 

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