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    afghanhound101's Avatar
    afghanhound101 Posts: 30, Reputation: 1
    Junior Member

    Jul 6, 2006, 06:10 PM
    Feeling sick at home
    Ever since my family and I moved into our new home, we've been feeling sick. We all suffer from a host of symptoms including headaches, respiratory and sinus problems, nauseousness, especially in the morning, chest pain, mental confusion, which is the most worrisome especially at this young age, and the list goes on. When I leave my house, some of the symptoms, such as sinus and headaches, go away instantly.
    I'd really appreciate everyone's input and help.
    dchandler's Avatar
    dchandler Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jul 6, 2006, 06:32 PM
    Have your utility/electric company come out and do a carbon dioxide reading on your home... may be a leak and could be lethal. Another concern could be that your home was a former meth house. The fumes from cooking meth are lethal and linger in the structure that it was made in.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,298, Reputation: 5646

    Jul 6, 2006, 07:40 PM
    Actually it is a carbon MONOXIDE reading. Please check this out!!
    Thomas1970's Avatar
    Thomas1970 Posts: 856, Reputation: 131
    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2006, 03:18 AM
    Hi. All the symptoms you've presented can be classic signs of an indoor mold infestation. I particularly suspect this, given that you mentioned mental confusion. Carbon monoxide, though a possibility, typically leads to drowsiness. The symptoms of carbon monoxide are often much more subtle and can creep up slowly and unexpectedly.
    Definitely check for carbon monoxide, but check the house for mold as well. Check the basement thoroughly, around window sills, under carpeting if possible. In some cases, it is often necessary to have someone come in and check between the walls. Most indoor molds will simply make you quite chronically ill for the duration of exposure in sensitive people, though there is a rare toxic black variety, most often found growing in cellars, that can in some cases be potentially lethal relatively quickly and with minimal exposure. Most often though, these cases have involved inadvertent direct inhalation. From the symptoms you've expressed, if it is in fact mold, far more common varieties definitely come to mind.
    One additional thing to test for as well is radon. Though again, this is generally more insidious and quite readily unnoticed. It is typically a cancer causing agent and extremely unlikely to cause the overt ongoing symptoms you present. Always good to have a home checked for this though.
    I do hope you find the cause soon. Please keep us updated and I hope you feel better soon. :)
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,298, Reputation: 5646

    Jul 7, 2006, 09:15 AM
    Also, it might help to know what area in the world you live in and the age of the home. Have you lived in the area (city) long? Just wondering about farmland, if so, got to take into consideration certain pesticides.

    Thomas mentioned mold, and I suspect he is probably on point with this. There are many types of molds that can cause this.
    afghanhound101's Avatar
    afghanhound101 Posts: 30, Reputation: 1
    Junior Member

    Jul 19, 2006, 05:24 PM
    Thanks for all the responses and sorry for taking so long to respond. I've been away for the past 2 weeks.
    I installed a combined carbon monoxide/natural gas alarm few months ago and so far it hasn't detected anything. Is it possible that my alarm isn't detecting it even though it's present? Maybe it's present in very small amounts?
    I didn't know exposure to mold could be this serious. If it is in fact mold that's causing all these problems, should I call an inspector and what kind exactly?
    The town house I'm living in right now is about 12 years old and located in the suburbs.
    Thanks again for your suggestions
    Thomas1970's Avatar
    Thomas1970 Posts: 856, Reputation: 131
    Senior Member

    Jul 19, 2006, 06:15 PM
    Hi Afghanhound,
    Glad to hear you have a CO detector in the house. I suppose it is possible depending on the placement of the detector and the layout of the house, though I think those devices are generally pretty sensitive. I have a smoke detector installed in the hall outside my bathroom which is so sensitive I set it off every time I open the door after taking a hot shower. The steam alone is enough to set it off, and frankly, it drives me nuts.
    If you are curious as to mold being a possible cause, you would need to enlist the services of a Certified Mold Inspector. You shold be able to find one in your phone book, probably under Contractors, I would assume. Though mold is generally a problem in older houses, or more humid regions, many newer suburban housing developments are often built over filled in wetlands, as well as old farm land, due to a relative lack or further residential zoning. This could be a factor in a house of the age you describe. High clay content in the soil could contribute to poor drainage. As well, if you live in a lower lying area. I am currently in an older house, stone basement, at the bottom of a very steep hill. Mold is a very big problem here, and though I haven't encountered any serious problems as a direct result, it can in many instances make people quite chronically ill. It really depends on the type of mold, as there are many that can infiltrate the house.
    Thanks for responding. Please keep us updated if possible. I'll let you know if I can think of any other possible causes. Take care. :)
    afghanhound101's Avatar
    afghanhound101 Posts: 30, Reputation: 1
    Junior Member

    Jul 29, 2006, 10:45 AM
    Sorry again for the long delay. I've been pretty busy with full-time work; got to save up for the upcoming term:) . Fortunately, we haven't had to worry about the air and most of the other problems I wrote about because we're staying at a friend's house. However, I had to stay at home the other day because a bell repairman was coming in to repair our phone line. I waited for him for about 3 hours. While I was watching TV, I noticed that I couldn't take in a full breath of air. My chest felt strange; I can't explain exactly how it felt. It felt kind of tight and my ribs refused to expand. My eyes and nosed got irritated and my nose felt congested. Could it be that there is too much dust floating around in the air? Most of our house is carpeted. Does exposure to mold cause symptoms to appear that quickly?
    dchandler mentioned that these symptoms could be due to carbon dioxide poisoning/exposure. Is this possible and what should I do about it?
    Also, what exactly should I be looking for when I'm inspecting those areas for mold, and is it possible for mold to be hidden or undetectable?
    A few days ago I called a mold inspection company about their rates. It would cost me approximately 500 bucks to an inspection:eek:
    Sorry for all the questions but I've got to get to the bottom of this.
    Thanks and take care
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,298, Reputation: 5646

    Jul 29, 2006, 01:54 PM
    I am also wondering if this house was previously used as a meth lab. The effects of meth will linger for eternity in a house.

    I am not sure how to go about finding out, but the symptoms you continue to suffer from make me curious.
    Thomas1970's Avatar
    Thomas1970 Posts: 856, Reputation: 131
    Senior Member

    Jul 30, 2006, 03:46 AM
    Hi Afghanhound,
    I'm sorry to hear that you've had to move out of your house, but I'm glad you are with friends, and living someplace safer and far healthier for the time being. I'm beginning to wonder if it is definitively mold as well, given the severity of your reaction upon returning home. Mold can be pretty nasty, but it does tend largely to be more of a chronic problem. That is a very serious reaction for only three hours in the house, even for someone very sensitive. Given that you really didn't describe any real sinus involvement this time, it does seems likely it could be more gaseous in nature.
    Dust is a possibility, as mold still is, though that is a heck of a reaction to have to either. I'm still a bit wary of carbon monoxide, as this tends to be much more silent an epidemic; the symptoms tend to creep up on people largely unnoticed until fairly severe. Though it is still worth checking along with everything else. Mold would probably be evident as mossy to dark green growing in the corners of windows, damp areas of the bathroom, etc. It is possible for it to be hiding only in the walls, though this is unlikely in most newer homes, unless there are problems with the plumbing, particularly leaks.
    Meth production has unfortunately become quite an increasing problem in the recent decade or so, and the fumes are extremely noxious, lingering as J 9 said, almost infinitely. I'm really not sure who you would call to investigate this. Someone trained in the removal or clean-up of toxic substances.
    Sorry to hear a mold inspector would cost so much. I know they aren't cheap.
    It's really a bit hard to rule out anything at this point. I guess it's a process of elimination for now.
    I do tend to agree though, this may be more of a gas problem -- affecting primarily your lower respiratory system. Please do try not to return home for now, until the problem can be narrowed down a bit.
    Thank you so much for keeping us updated. I do hope you find the answer soon. We'll be here for support and any questions you might have. Take care. :)
    cromptondot's Avatar
    cromptondot Posts: 94, Reputation: 11
    Junior Member

    Jul 30, 2006, 09:01 PM
    Call your local health department. They should have someone to help you for little or no cost,especially with children in the house..

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