Compound
Click on highlighted
name for MSDS
sheet
Odor
Threshold
(ppm)
Characteristic Odor
Produced by Bacteria
Risk factor
Also see
See disease tables
Acetaldehyde [8]
0.067
Pungent, fruity
human colonic bacteria -
Helicobacter pylori
rectal cancer, gastroduodenal
diseases. Hazardous in case of skin
contact (irritant). Repeated or
prolonged exposure to the substance
can produce target organs damage.
Acetic Acid [17]
1.02
Vinegar
obligate aerobes
oxidized to carbon dioxide. Very
hazardous in case of skin contact
(irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of
ingestion, of inhalation. Hazardous in
case of skin contact (corrosive,
permeator), of eye contact
(corrosive). Mutagenic for
mammalian somatic cells.
Mutagenic for bacteria and/or yeast.
Allyl mercaptan [8]
0.0001
Disagreeable, garlic
Produced Through Septicity
Facultative anaerobic bacteria, growing in
sewage
Facultative-bacteria.pdf
Inhalation may cause nausea
because of offensive odor. Contact
with eyes or skin causes slight
irritation. Ingestion may cause
vomiting.
Ammonia [8]
0.0072
Pungent, irritating
Produced Through Septicity
Facultative anaerobic bacteria, growing in sewage
chemoautotrophic bacteria
Facultative-bacteria.pdf
surface and groundwater pollution,
ocean dead zones and boosting
global warming. Ammonia is very
alkaline and reacts corrosively with
all body tissues.
Amyl mercaptan [8]
0.0003
Unpleasant, putrid
  A poison by ingestion, inhalation,
and skin contact. A mild eye irritant.
When heated to decomposition it
emits toxic vapors of SOx.
Benzyl mercaptan
[8]
0.0002
Unpleasant, strong
Produced Through Septicity
Facultative anaerobic bacteria, growing in sewage
Facultative-bacteria.pdf
Harmful in contact with the skin and
if swallowed. Lachrymator  (tear gas).
Danger of cumulative effects.
Butylamine [8]
0.080
Sour, ammonia
Bacteroides fragilis, Clostridium perfringens
Harmful by inhalation, ingestion and
through skin contact. Very
destructive of mucous membranes.
Causes severe burns. Incompatible
with oxidizing agents, aluminium,
copper, copper alloys, acids.
Butyric Acid [17]
0.0003
Vinegar
obligate anaerobic
Causes damage to the following
organs: lungs, the nervous system,
mucous membranes. Very hazardous
in case of skin contact (irritant), of
ingestion.
Carbon Disulfide [
17]
0.00077
Decayed cabbage
facultatively chemolitho-autotrophic
Extremely hazardous in case of skin
contact (irritant), of eye contact
(irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation.
The substance is toxic to kidneys,
the nervous system, liver.
Repeated or prolonged exposure to
the substance can produce target
organs damage. Repeated or
prolonged
inhalation of vapors may lead to
chronic respiratory irritation.
Chlorine [8]
0.080
Pungent,
suffocating
  Corrosive and irritating to the eyes,
skin and mucous membranes.
Inhalation may result in chemical
pneumonitis and pulmonary edema.
Dibutylamine [8]
0.016
Fishy
Escherichia coli, Proteus morganii, Klebsiella
pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Only one
of the 32 anaerobic intestinal bacterial species, i.e.,
Peptococcus asaccharolyticus
Very hazardous in case of ingestion.
Hazardous in case of skin contact
(irritant, permeator), of inhalation.
Corrosive to skin and eyes on
contact. Severe over-exposure can
result in death.
Diisopropyamine
[8]
0.13
Fishy
  Very hazardous in case of skin
contact (irritant), of eye contact
(irritant), of ingestion. Hazardous in
case of inhalation. The substance
may be toxic to lungs, mucous
membranes, upper respiratory tract,
skin, eyes. Repeated or prolonged
exposure to the substance can
produce target organs damage.
Dimethylamine [10]
0.34
Putrid, fishy
Escherichia coli, Proteus morganii, Klebsiella
pneumonia and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Only one
of the 32 anaerobic intestinal bacterial species, i.e.,
Peptococcus asaccharolyticus
Corrosive and irritating to the eyes.
Mild concentrations can cause
conjunctivitis. Corrosive and
irritating to the skin and all living
tissue. Toxic level exposure to
dermal tissue causes severe burns.
Severe destruction of tissue may
result from prolonged exposure.
Corrosive and irritating to the upper
and lower respiratory tract. High
level concentrations are extremely
destructive to the airway and could
result in chemical pneumonitis and
pulmonary edema. Inhalation may
also cause shortness of breath,
headache, nausea and vomiting.
Severe destruction of tissues will
result from prolonged exposure.
Inhalation may have fatal
consequences as a result of spasm,
inflammation, and edema of the
larynx and bronchi.
Dimethyl sulfide [8]
.0.00 !
Decayed cabbage
Produced Through Septicity
Facultative anaerobic bacteria,
growing in sewage
Proteobacteria,
Facultative-bacteria.pdf
respiratory tract irritation, skin
irritation, eye irritation. irritation,
difficulty breathing, lung congestion,
Eyes-irritation (possibly severe).
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach
pain, bluish skin color, lung
congestion,
Dimethyl disulflde [
17]
0.0000026
Decayed cabbage
Produced Through Septicity
Facultative anaerobic bacteria, growing in
sewage
Lactobacillus, Corynebacterium,
Pseudomonas,  Alcaligenes
Facultative-bacteria.pdf
potentially fatal if inhaled,
respiratory tract irritation, skin
irritation, eye irritation, cough,
nausea, headache, drowsiness,
dizziness, lung congestion
Diphenyl sulfide [8]
0.0001
Unpleasant
  Eye, skin and respiratory irritant.
Ethylamine [10]
0.95
Ammonia like
  harmful (if inhaled, on contact with
the skin, or swallowed), respiratory
tract burns, skin burns, eye burns,
mucous membrane burns, irritation
(possibly severe), difficulty breathing,
lung congestion
Ethyl mercaptan [8]
0.0003
Decayed cabbage
Produced Through Septicity
Facultative-bacteria.pdf
central nervous system depression,
irritation, cough, lack of sense of
taste, changes in body temperature,
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty
breathing, irregular heartbeat,
headache, drowsiness, dizziness, loss
of coordination, bluish skin color,
lung congestion, heart disorders,
kidney damage, liver damage, brain
damage, convulsions,
unconsciousness, coma
Hydrogen sulfide
[10]
0.0081
Rotten eggs
Produced Through Septicity
Facultative anaerobic bacteria, growing in sewage
220 E. coli strains
76 other types of bacteria
Facultative-bacteria.pdf
harmful if inhaled, respiratory tract
irritation, skin irritation, eye irritation,
blood damage, irritation, cough,
lack of sense of smell, sensitivity to
light, changes in blood pressure,
nausea, vomiting, difficulty
breathing, headache, drowsiness,
dizziness, disorientation,
hallucinations, pain in extremities,
tremors, visual disturbances,
suffocation, lung congestion,
internal bleeding, heart disorders,
nerve damage, brain damage,
convulsions, coma, death
Indole [8]
0.0001
Fecal, nauseating
Bacteroides,
Fusobacterium, Clostridium, Propionibacterium,
and Peptococcus. ----
E. coli, Klebsiella oxytoca, Citrobacter koseri,
Providencia stuartii, and Morganella morganii
Very hazardous, Inflammation of the
eye-redness, watering, and itching.
The substance is toxic to lungs,
mucous membranes.
Repeated or prolonged exposure to
the substance can produce target
organs damage.
Methylamine [10]
3.2
Putrid, fishy
  Harmful if inhaled. Eye contact may
lead to serious damage. Skin and
respiratory irritant. Very destructive of
mucous membranes.
Incompatible with oxidizing agents,
acids, alkalies, alkaline earth metals,
copper and its alloys, zinc and its
alloys.
Methyl mercaptan
[10]
0.0016
Rotten cabbage
  harmful if inhaled, respiratory tract
irritation, skin irritation, eye irritation,
central nervous system depression, --
irritation, nausea, vomiting,
wheezing, irregular heartbeat,
headache, symptoms of
drunkenness, bluish skin color,
suffocation, lung congestion, blood
disorders, kidney damage,
liver damage, convulsions, coma
Propanoic Acid [17]
0.0278
Vinegar
  Very hazardous in case of skin
contact (irritant), of eye contact
(irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation.
Slightly hazardous in case of skin
contact (corrosive, permeator). The
substance is toxic to lungs, mucous
membranes. Repeated or prolonged
exposure to the substance can
produce target organs damage.
Propyl mecaptan
[8]
0.0005
Unpleasant
  irritation, weakness, nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty
breathing, irregular heartbeat,
headache, drowsiness, dizziness, loss
of coordination, fever, bluish skin
color, lung congestion, kidney
damage, liver damage, convulsions,
unconsciousness, coma, irritation,
weakness, diarrhea, difficulty
breathing, headache, drowsiness,
dizziness, loss of coordination, bluish
skin color, coma
Pyridine [8]
0.66
Pungent, irritating
  skin irritation, eye irritation, central
nervous system, irritation, headache,
drowsiness, dizziness, loss of
coordination, nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea, stomach pain, loss of
appetite, dizziness, sleep
disturbances, emotional
disturbances, loss of coordination,
nerve damage
Skatole [8]
0.0001
Fecal, nauseating
Clostridium and Lactobacillus.
Skin, respiratory and eye irritant. May
be harmful by ingestion
Thiocresol [8]
0.0001
Skunky, irritating
Produced Through Septicity
Facultative anaerobic bacteria, growing in sewage
Facultative-bacteria.pdf
Harmful if swallowed, inhaled, or
absorbed through the skin. Causes
eye and skin irritation. Causes
digestive and respiratory tract
irritation. The toxicological
properties of this material have not
been fully investigated.
Target Organs: Respiratory system,
eyes, skin.
Triethyl amine [10]
0.48
Pungent, fishy
  Very hazardous in case of eye
contact (irritant). Hazardous in case
of skin contact (irritant), of inhalation.
The substance is toxic to kidneys,
liver. Repeated or prolonged
exposure to the substance can
produce target organs damage.
Trimethyl amine
[10]
0.00044
Pungent, fishy
  Harmful by inhalation or ingestion.
Corrosive. Very destructive of
mucous membranes. Lachrymator -
(tear gas). Causes burns.
ODOR COMPOUNDS FOUND IN SEWAGE SLUDGE BIOSOLIDS STUDY
Some of the Bacteria that Cause the Odors and Risk Factors

Jim Bynum, VP                                                                                                                                 Revised 3/31/2010
Help for Sewage Victims                                                                                                                        
Back

If you are sick from odors off a sludge site, you are not crazy or imagining health effects. The odorous
chemicals that are created by bacteria,in sludge can be deadly. The odors are caused by bacteria that
the sludge industry claims are not  there.

There is one study on odors that names the odorous chemicals found! There are also MSDS documents
which indicates how dangerous it is to your health to live around one of these sludge biosolids dump sites.

Quantifying the Emission Rate of Ammonia and Trimethyl Amine From Biosolids

For Bioset, Inc.    BioSurface Engineering Technologies, Inc.[BioSET]
November 30, 1999©
Bradley Striebig

For complete study
click here                                                                

Adapted table includes bacteria that produce odor and risk factors
Table !: Odorous Compounds Found in Sewage  and Wastewater Sludge Solids -- biosolids



























































































































































































The waste industry is having a little deadly fun at the public's expense. "William Toffey, who oversees
Philadelphia's waste program, swears biosolids' odors are safe. He is, in fact, a little giddy about
composted human waste. "Biosolids are fun," he said."

I would like to think Mr. Toffey was crazy or ignorant. However, the truth is the wastewater industry is
playing a little game to convince the public at large that anyone who complains about odor from a
farmland sludge disposal site is imagining their health problems. The NRC Committee on Toxicants and
Pathogens in Biosolids Applied to Land cited the following study, but it would appear no one bothered to
notice that almost all of the odorous chemical compounds Stiebig found in biosolids can be very deadly.
Now I know Mr. Toffey has access to MSDS documents outlining the health effects of the odorous
chemicals found in sludge biosolids. Yet:

In the paper
Biosolids Odorant Emissions as a Cause of Somatic Disease . Toffey said, as he quotes
other Water Environment Federation Public Relations sludge experts, "The biosolids-aligned experts and
their messages on behalf of the wastewater profession have been  consistent and clear -- biosolids does
not spread disease-causing organisms and its vaporous emission are not toxic chemicals (Chrostowski
and O’Dette 2002; Blaser 2003; O'Dette 2004).  Toffey said, " Experts to the wastewater profession have
not been able to dismiss the role of biosolids in triggering IEI and psychogenic illnesses.  Evidence
supports the third hypothesis, which is biosolids odors trigger somatic disease.
Fear and panic are at
play
, not biosolids directly."

Toffey is making fun of sludge victims who suffer somatic cell damage from pathogens and chemicals.
Somatic means "of the body", or
Somatic Cells from the body that compose the tissues, organs, and
parts of that individual other than the germ (sex) cells

Back to Odor Page