Olf (unit)

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The olf is a unit used to measure the strength of a pollution source. It was introduced by Danish professor P. Ole Fanger; the name "olf" is derived from the Latin word olfactus, meaning "smelled".[1]

One olf is the sensory pollution strength from a standard person defined as an average adult working in an office or similar non-industrial workplace, sedentary and in thermal comfort, with a hygienic standard equivalent of 0.7 baths per day and whose skin has a total area of 1.8 square metres. It was defined to quantify the strength of pollution sources which can be perceived by humans.

The perceived air quality is measured in decipol.[1]

Examples of typical scent emissions[edit]

[citation needed]

Person/object Scent emission
Sitting person 1 olf
Heavy Smoker 25 olf
Athlete 30 olf
Marble 0.01 olf/m²
Linoleum 0.2 olf/m²
Synthetic fibre 0.4 olf/m²
Rubber gasket 0.6 olf/m²

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Fanger, P. O. (1987). "Introduction of the olf and the decipol Units to Quantify Air Pollution Perceived by Humans Indoors and Outdoors" (PDF). In Energy and Buildings 12 (1), pp. 1–6.