Queen's Quarterly

Queen's Quarterly
Queen's Quarterly

How to Measure Smell

by Christy Spackman

Spring 2020 - How to Measure Smell

In the early hours of the spill, the only useful detection devices were people’s noses. No other tests existed to measure MCHM in drinking water. No potential spill protocol even existed despite the fact that Freedom Industries’ storage tanks were visibly next to the river. The contamination of the drinking water supply of more than 300,000 people had transformed an entire population into what the managing director of the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation board called a “toxicity experiment.”

 

Revised Bio:

Christy Spackman is Assistant Professor, jointly appointed between the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering at Arizona State University. Her research examines industrial efforts to manage sensory experiences of smell and taste in the food supply. She is lead director for ASU's 2020 Art | Science festival, "Emerge: Eating at the Edges."