House making him sick

TinaNovember 30, 2001

I have a friend that everytime he goes into his home it makes him sick..He gets headaches that are way beyond normal and when he eats he stomach makes loud girggling noises. When he stays at someone elses house he is fine. We have tried cleaning carpets, looking for mold in attic, carbon monixide detection and just about everything you can think of...Has this happened to anyone else before? Are we missing something??? This does not happen to me when I am there...any suggestions? thanks

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What about mold or other microorganisms (sp) in the walls? I saw this on Dateline once and it made the inhabitants of the home very ill.


    Bookmark   November 30, 2001 at 1:45PM
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How terrible.

Since it only affects him and not you, and considering his symptoms, could he be allergic to something in the home? Possibly something like carpeting? or a cleaning substance? or maybe a paint or other building material that was used there. Does he have houseplants? Does he feel worse in any particular part of the house? Possibly it could even be something growing outside.

Some smells give me migraines (things like cleaning supplies, fragrances, hairsprays).

Has he tried taking an allergy medication before entering the home? If that doesn't work, perhaps he could try an Exedrin Migraine tablet to see if it helps.

Hope he finds the answer and can soon enjoy his home.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2001 at 12:19AM
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Depending on the weather, pick a DRY day, and either #1) Turn up the heat really high and shut all doors and windows, or #2) Open up all doors and windows and let the breeze blow for a good long while.
I agree with Skye, it could be a number of things. Watch those cleaning products!!! Use only natural substances to clean, baking soda, bleach, etc. This is all you really need anyways.

Are the carpets or anything else that has been installed new? Any glue used to hold materials in/down? "Baking" the house may help with this.

Finally, check for Radon if you haven't already. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2001 at 1:32PM
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my children and i are constantly sick,runny nose,cough,flu like symptoms.we live in south carolina in a house at least 25 years old.Hurricane hugo hit here and i'm wondering if that has affected the whole situation. I'VE had moisture control come in, there putting up a barrier soon. I'm hoping this will help.I've seen black mold on my vents in certain rooms around the house. Is there any way I can detect mold and mildew exactly where it is?

    Bookmark   December 11, 2001 at 12:33AM
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Some houses were insulated using material that contained formaldyhide, many people are allergic to the fumes from this material, perhaps this is your friends problem.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 10:27AM
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A poorly designed heating and air conditioning system can cause many problems - including the mold. I invested $100 and had a home energy audit on my heating and air conditioning system. There is a company is my area that checks all systems, measures air flow, and so forth. My return air system was so undersized that dirt and hot air from the attic was being pulled into my supply ductwork. The contractor who built my house did not properly seal the ductwork and there were gaping holes in the ductwork.
Many heating/cooling units are oversized with leaky ductwork and undersized return air systems. Your friend needs a serious check of his heating and air system to find the source of the problems.

It's difficult to find a competent person to diagnose problems. In Little Rock, there is a contractor that does a call in show from 11-12 am on Saturdays (KARN 920) on home problems. Royce and Joe have helped many consumers solve their problems.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2001 at 4:35PM
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you may also consider radon. The syptoms are about right THere are companies taht specialize in diagnosing this problem. It may not affect you if you are not in the house for long priods of time.


    Bookmark   December 23, 2001 at 4:13PM
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A defective heater can cause headaches and illness due to Carbon Dioxide poisoning. You will also find dark stains around the heater vents if the heater is malfunctioning. It is very dangerous and in the winter when the house is not well ventilated it can kill you. He needs to get his heater checked by an expert right away.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2001 at 3:58AM
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Ditto having furnace checked.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2001 at 3:59PM
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Sounds like mold is a link to a helpful website

Here is a link that might be useful: UVtronics

    Bookmark   April 29, 2002 at 3:05PM
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Have you met his wife????

    Bookmark   May 6, 2002 at 6:34PM
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Any possibility of Anxiety Disorder???

    Bookmark   May 26, 2002 at 8:38PM
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Radon is not the problem. Radon can only give you lung cancer. Many people that have radon removal systems installed will claim they feel better. A radon removal system removes the soil gasses that contain the radon but they also remove mold, mildew, allergens, contaminents and moisture. This is the reason so many people connect the removal of radon to feeling better.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 2:08PM
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Is he staying at a cute females house. Heck I might get sick in my house too for the right nurse ;)

3m has some furnace and a/c filters that work along the line or somewhat similar to HEPA filters. 'Filtrete' Pleated paper filters that many people with allergies swear by.
Around $15 for most sizes, last 3 months. Might try one of those.
There's also some charcoal pre filters, that will remove some gasses and odors. Cheap to try - need to run air thru filters 24 hours or so before the benefits start. But that doesn't fix the source of the problem.

Of course some real HEPA filtering might work for him to clean the air ... but they're an ongoing cost.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 7:26PM
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Since it is just him, I'd suspect allergies or that he is more sensitive to something like mold than others.

Years ago I installed vinyl tiles in a bathroom. For months afterwards I could not leave the window closed in that room and had to leave the vent fan on constantly. My DH never had a problem with it and neither did any visitors. Ten minutes exposure gave me severe headaches, sinus problems, and stomach aches.

Carpet, plywood or OSB made with formaldehyde glues, vinyl and some paints have the same effect on me now as do some cleaning products and fragrances. And it is very individual - DH will not notice anything when I am smelling something that is making me very ill.

Buildings are full of all sorts of chemicals being let off by the building products and other things. If this is a new house or has new flooring or cabinets, that could be the problem. It could be mold - some people are more sensitive than others. As was suggested, cleaning materials can be a major problem, also pesticides.

Your friend should research "Multiple Chemical Sensitivity" - this is an increasing problem for a lot of people though for many years doctors have been skeptical.

Here is a link that might be useful: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndrome

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 8:55PM
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Anxiety disorders? I had to laugh at that one.

What about the WATER?

What is your water source? Are their old pipes in the house? Is it well water? I lived in a home for a brief time that had well water and I had a LOT of digestive problems when I lived there, but thought it was food allergies. As soon as I moved out, my symptoms went away, and now I realize it was the water, or the water softener itself.

Stomach gurgling to me does not sound like mold allergies. I have bad mold allergies, but those symptoms are headache, itching and sneezing, not stomach related.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 2:53AM
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Have the house tested for mold, it can live in the walls. Dust mites can live in mattresses and increase the weight double the original and make someone allergic have horrible reactions. Get the water tested, especially if it's a well. New carpet can have all sorts of allergans, cleaning agents have nasty ingredients.

First thing I'd do is have the person having the reaction tested for what he's allergic to. My son nearly died from the dust mite test and they had to give him a medication to stop the reaction from the test. That let us know where to begin to fix the house. We took the carpet out of his room, stuffed animals and books, got a new mattress encased in an allergic cover, same with pillows and he was much better.

Allergies and reactions are real, not in someone's head.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 11:34AM
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