The possibility that chemical vapors and gases encountered in industry may produce significant effects on olfactory acuity has long been considered. Certain compounds, the most notable being hydrogen sulfide, are known to produce olfactory fatigue of a temporary nature. Relatively few studies of chronic effect have been published.1-3Perhaps part of the scarcity of studies is explained by the difficulties encountered in obtaining objective measurements of the sense of smell. Proetz4 described in 1941 an olfactory test utilizing serial dilutions of phenol in liquid petrolatum (Mineral Oil). Fordyce5 recently evaluated this method of testing and found it adaptable to industrial environments, having a satisfactory degree of reproducibility under field testing conditions.Utilizing Proetz's general approach, an investigation of olfactory acuity in a significantly large group of industrial workers was undertaken by the author. Five hundred subjects were drawn from the population of a petrochemical plant in
JOYNER RE. Effect of Cigarette Smoking on Olfactory Acuity. Arch Otolaryngol. 1964;80(5):576–579. doi:10.1001/archotol.1964.00750040590013
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