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Carpet offgassing?

PamNY2012-01-24 05:12:05 +0000 #1
I am having the strangest problem. I have some sort of respiratory reaction every time I visit my friend's apartment.

It's quite striking -- coughing, feeling almost short of breath -- and it goes away immediately when I leave. It never happens any other time, and I am completely sure the problem is in her building.

Her building had new, cheap hallway carpet installed some months ago, and I assumed that was the problem, but it's been months. It stopped happening for a while, but was back this weekend. My best guess is the weather was cooler, and she's had windows closed.

Has anyone heard of carpet offgassing last for months? There is nothing unusual in my friend's apartment, and she is a very good housekeeper.

I'd be interested in any suggestions as to what the issue might be. I don't normally have this sort of problem, though I did react to new upholstered furniture years ago.
pll2012-01-24 05:18:07 +0000 #2
Could she have mold somewhere?
jessmarimba2012-01-24 05:34:29 +0000 #3
Quote:

Originally Posted by PamNY

I am having the strangest problem. I have some sort of respiratory reaction every time I visit my friend's apartment.

It's quite striking -- coughing, feeling almost short of breath -- and it goes away immediately when I leave. It never happens any other time, and I am completely sure the problem is in her building.

Her building had new, cheap hallway carpet installed some months ago, and I assumed that was the problem, but it's been months. It stopped happening for a while, but was back this weekend. My best guess is the weather was cooler, and she's had windows closed.

Has anyone heard of carpet offgassing last for months? There is nothing unusual in my friend's apartment, and she is a very good housekeeper.

I'd be interested in any suggestions as to what the issue might be. I don't normally have this sort of problem, though I did react to new upholstered furniture years ago.

They redid our hallway at the office and it was terrible for at least 4 months. I don't know if it's actually the carpet or the padding and carpet mastic (that adhesive, if that's how it was installed, is pretty potent). I felt like I was suffocating and got a headache every time I walked through the hallway to our office.
PamNY2012-01-24 06:26:20 +0000 #4
The building certainly could have mold. It's an old building converted to condos, and they have many unexplained leaks.

Off to read about mold.
sookiesue2012-01-24 06:58:57 +0000 #5
Carpet offgassing can cause all sorts of health problems. I had to take a class several years ago that was being held in a new classroom with new carpet and it made me so sick I had to drop out and take the class during a different term in a different location!

When I bought a home with brand new carpet several years ago, I discovered a product that worked really well for me

www.afmsafecoat.com/products.php?page=5

The Carpet Seal worked wonders. You have to shampoo the carpet and then scrub the carpet seal into the fibers. I did this before we moved in and I never had any more negative effects from the new carpet.

There may be other products out there like this, this just happens to be the one that I found first. I would think that there would be several out there by now since offgassing is such a problem for so many people. There may be a product out there for use with new upholstery, too.

I know you can't very well clean and seal the hallway carpets in your friend's building, but if you know now that new carpet can cause this reaction for you, at least you can try to prevent it from happening in your own home in the future!
OakLeaf2012-01-24 07:14:02 +0000 #6
I'd suspect mold too. If it was building materials of any kind, I'd expect two things: (1) that your symptoms would get less pronounced over time as the concentration decreases, and (2) that you'd react in other buildings too.
Crankin2012-01-24 08:14:08 +0000 #7
Pam, didn't you have some type of allergic reaction last year to a food? Forgive me, if I am confusing you with someone else.

I have a mold allergy and also some food allergies (certain shellfish and peanuts). Sometimes just a smell walking through a store will set me off.

Sounds like mold to me.
PamNY2012-01-24 07:14:43 +0000 #8
No, I don't have food allergies.

The more I think about it, the more I think mold makes sense.

Crankin, what do you do about mold allergies? Do you tolerate it, or is it necessary to avoid completely?

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