Odour pollution has been consistently ignored by Governments when considering their environmental policies. This is despite it being the second most common subject of public complaints across Europe. Odour pollution is not just an unpleasant nuisance but also associated with headaches, stress and respiratory problems. Perhaps more worryingly odour is an indicator of larger environmental problems such as poor sanitation and excessive levels of chemical pollution.
The lack of regulation from authorities around odour pollution is largely due to it being difficult to reliably measure and the potential solutions being costly to implement. In addition, industrial stakeholders rely on the issue of poor data and inadequate monitoring techniques to oppose any new initiatives to tackle the problems. Some efforts have been made to regulate odours throughout Europe, however in the absence of standardised levels, definitions and criteria, efforts are severely hampered.
Mapping for Change is working with partners across Europe and beyond on the Decentralised Network for Odour Sensing, Empowerment and Sustainability (D-NOSES) project. D-NOSES will change the way in which odour pollution is currently addressed at all levels of government. The project will share expert scientific knowledge in odour detection and measurement with the public to build an evidence base. The results will inform future plans to reduce odour pollution, develop a standardised set of regulations and influence policy at a local, national and European level.
Mapping for Change will bring its expertise in community engagement, citizen science and participatory mapping to the consortium. Together we will put odour pollution on the map and ultimately on the global agenda. D-NOSES will empower the communities blighted by odour pollution to drive change by supporting them to gather evidence of the problem. Once the problems have been identified, we will work with them and other stakeholders to design potential solutions.
This is a three-year, three million Euro, project funded by Horizon 2020, the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Grant agreement number 789315. The consortium is coordinated by Ibercivis and comprises: Ideas for Change, ECSA, ISWA, AMIGO, MIO-ESCDE, Polimi, University of Kassel, APEA, Envirometrics, Ecotec, Municipality of San Joao da Madeira, Municipality of Sophia, LIPOR.
Is your neighbourhood is affected by odour pollution? If you are in the UK and would like to find out more about getting involved, please contact us with a brief description including the location and the scale of the problem.
In 2009, Mapping for Change supported communities across London to measure and map local air quality. Use of a ‘citizen science’ approach meant local residents in seven locations were able to collect data, then see the real results of their monitoring activities, and subsequently embark on a campaign to see the serious results addressed.
Love Lambeth Air provided local people with the materials and support required to collect measurements for nitrogen dioxide across a number of streets in Lambeth, providing a detailed picture of air quality in their local area.