Types of odor control solutions to consider:
This is a small but very important segment of odor control. Anions (negatively charged particles) have the ability to attract ions (positively charged particles). Odor molecules are either ions or ride on ions so there is a natural positive to negative attraction that occurs. Odor molecules cling to the surface of the anion until an ion exchange takes place which results in the odor molecule giving up an atom of oxygen or nitrogen. This results in a total elimination of the odor.
Pros: Not required to come in contact with the odor source in order to work. Odor free. Anions last a long time (months).
Cons: Do not work instantly, may take one to 48 hours to work.
Examples: Earth Care Odor Remover Bags.
Enzymes, Bacteria & Biodegradation
This covers the largest and most popular segments of odor control products on the market. Many of these products work well to rid odors. They work by providing enzymes, bacteria or some means of biodegradation applied to an odor source to consume odor causing agents. They come in liquids or sprays. Some require mixing a concentrated solution, some come in an aerosol can and can be sprayed directly. Apply directly to various odor sources to remove odors such as an area where a dead carcass had been, urine areas, skunk spray areas, etc.
Pros: Some work very fast to rid an odor. Enzyme class products can be very effective in absorbing odors.
Cons: Must come in direct contact with source in order to work. Does not last long in use. If airborne odors are eliminated and the source is not dealt with odors reappear creating non revenue call backs. May require frequent spraying over a period of about two or more weeks to be effective.
Examples: Bac-Azap, Nilodor, Odor Pro
These products use a pleasant fragrance to cover up or over power a foul odor. These are typically used in bathrooms because they are fast and can have a pleasant smell.
Pros: Work immediately to provide a more pleasant aroma. If the fragrance outlast the foul odor they are very effective.
Cons: Do not rid odors, they simply cover them up. Can be annoying to people with fragrance or chemical sensitivities. Not long lasting unless a periodic spraying occurs.
Examples: Purge dual odor eliminator, Aire-mate, T.O.C., Time Mist
Extreme caution should be utilized when operating ozone generation equipment and users should be well trained. It is recommended that PMP’s using this type of equipment read EPA report in http://www.epa.gov/appcdwww/iemb/ozone.htm and California Air Resources Board study http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/nr053106.htm prior to considering this type of equipment.
Pros: Can be effective on certain odors.
Cons: Does not have a broad range of odor control. No personnel can be present when running. Has health hazards associated with equipment. Can cause damage to carpeting, drapes and paint.
Examples: See manufactures in California Air Resources Board study http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/nr053106.htm for approved equipment.
While other types of odor control are available such as Oxidizers they were not mentioned due to the narrow band of odor elimination, the toxic nature of such solutions and the limited use to the PMP. Air Purifiers equipped with HEPA filters are also available which require capital expenditure. Some do a good job which are used in the flood restoration business; again consult the California Air Resources Board study for a recommended list of equipment.