Life On Earth
Human Sniffers - China's Low-Tech Solution to Hazardous Gases
China ha gone through a great deal of rapid urbanization in the recent years. A negative effect of that is the construction of factories, which emit a lot of environmentally unfriendly and just plain offensive fumes. Their solution to that is quite simple - human sniffers.
These sniffers specialize in various areas, whether it's sewage plants, landfill or a stockyard. The process is quite simple, with the sniffer being given 3 samples of air - one from the area in question and two of clean air. After the sniffer sniffs all three samples, the potentially hazardous sample is diluted over and over again until the sniffer can't tell the difference between it and the clean samples. The amount of times the sample has to be diluted is then used as a measure of how bad the air polution is where the foul sample came from.
Humans are used instead of technology because nothing can identify an odor offensive to humans better than another human. Besides, humans are something that China has a lot of and with the world's economies feeling the effects of the recent crisis, it's much better to give a living breathing human being a job than using a machine. The sniffers have to go through about 8 sets of 3 samples a day. It may not be the cleanest job, but getting paid just for sniffing foul odors is something that anyone unemployed should jump at.
By Denis Ivanov.
Source: Channel News Asia
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