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Mystery Odor Causes Evacuation of Major Florida Airport


EMSL Analytical provides odor identification services to help identify and resolve mystery odor complaints. 
Cinnaminson, NJ, July 13th, 2012

In May, more than 1,000 people were evacuated from Terminal 2 at the Fort Lauderdale airport.  The evacuation was caused after a strong odor was detected near the security checkpoint.  Three Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees and two travelers were overcome by the fumes and taken to a nearby hospital. 

Part of the terminal remained evacuated for approximately 2 hours as local fire departments and the Department of Homeland Security responded to the scene.  People evacuated from the area stated that the odor had a gas-like smell, but by the time hazardous materials teams were able to sample the air nothing out of the ordinary was found.  The incident caused a number of departing flights to be delayed.

Mystery odors issues, like what occurred at the Fort Lauderdale airport, happen on a much more frequent basis than many people believe.  They can be caused by a wide range of sources that can occur both within a building or infiltrate a structure from an outside source. 
As in this case, if air samples cannot be taken quickly enough the mystery odor may dissipate to such a low level as to be inconclusive or undetectable.  One way to overcome this in places that have recurring mystery odors is to have sampling equipment on hand and staff trained to quickly take an air sample.
One of the nation’s foremost testing laboratories for analyzing mystery odor samples is EMSL Analytical, Inc.  Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical stated, “Mystery odors are at times easily identified.  More often than not it can be a real challenge to pinpoint and frequently requires air sampling to determine its source and to be able to rectify the problem.  Air sampling will identify what is in the air as some odors may not be hazardous to people’s health, but others can cause everything from short to long term health concerns.”
EMSL recently sponsored an educational video about mystery odors that can be seen at:
To learn more about air testing for mystery odors or other indoor air quality (IAQ) and environmental concerns, please visit, call (800)220-3675 or email .
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental and materials testing services and products to professionals and the general public.  The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies. 


 mystery odors
 odor identification
 air samples
 air testing

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