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Name: Christina S Holler
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Question:
Why can a 2-3 minute exposure to hydrogen sulfide wipe out your sense of smell? What if any, part of the olfactory system is being affected?



Replies:
Olfactory receptors, like virtually all nervous system receptors, can become habituated to any strong stimulus and stop responding. Gasoline will also deaden the sense of smell temporarily. I'd guess, though I'm not certain, that these chemicals may affect several different types of olfactory receptors, thus wiping out much of your sense of smell. This all occurs at the receptor level, I believe.

Ethan Allen



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