Hello, I know I haven’t written in awhile. Just trying to work as much as I can when things are going well. I am having a serious air quality issue in my house that is probably easily rectified. It’s been tomato season here at our house and we have a garden. A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I noticed a sickly sweet smell emanating from my parents’ room. They take all of their meals back there, because they don’t like to be around us with all of my air-quality requirements due to allergies and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS).
Something is rotting back there (and I don’t mean in the State of Denmark). Now I’m having trouble breathing out on the sun porch where my wife, my 10-month-old daughter, and I sleep. It doesn’t smell when I’m out there, but with the concentration of the smell in my house, I’m sure whatever “died in there” in the sink or my mom’s purse (where she often socks away tomatoes and probably forgets them) is getting into the vents. We do have a few vents on this enclosed sun porch, so we get that benefit of HVAC but also a lot of fresh air that seeps through the sliding doors. We also cheaply insulated it a few years ago from excess sun, heat and/or cold by putting tinting on the glass and wooden doors to block the heat/cold from getting in.
The stench has only gotten stronger, though, and now it smells like death.
Some of my symptoms from the odor (and probably now slight mold) from this mystery source are:
- muscle pain
- itchy abdomen
- eruptions on skin of abdomen
- slight nausea
- slight headache
- heart palpitations
- waking up breathless
My daughter’s symptoms:
- eruptions on skin
- excessive fussiness
- disturbed sleep
My wife’s symptoms:
- very fragile back prone to injury
- digestive distress and excessive bowel movements
It is surprising that such significant mold can come from improperly stored food. It is an abundant source of food for them, and moisture. Some people (like my mom about 25% of the time) forget about produce or store it in weird places without remembering to go through and check if it’s gone bad. This can make you end up with a serious strain on your immune system, especially if you genetically can’t process aldehydes and mold toxins very well, like myself. This is to say nothing of what it does to you when you eat it.
All we have to do is look thoroughly for the offender, but my reluctant roommates refuse to make any real effort. What they do instead is deny it or try to explain it away as something I did. It would be one thing if this was just part of the process of solving the issue, but it’s always the default. My Dad smelled it this afternoon just walking in the door, which is ironic, because being in the kitchen (way far away from the master bedroom where it’s originating) I get noseblind enough to not smell it. This morning is a different story, however, as I can smell it right now as I’m writing. The plan is to get as much fresh air as possible and try to quarterback this thing through my wife. I’d also like to get her and my daughter out and about as much as possible while my parents hopefully deal with the situation.
Anyway, yesterday when my Dad came in and agreed it was “the stinky” up in here, he wrongly guessed that it was “sewer” gas coming up through a drain of an unused basin (we are on septic). He claimed (probably correctly) that unused drains need to be “fed” water to keep that noxious stuff down. I had originally suggested it might be their sink that was the origin, because they use a bathroom sink without a garbage disposal to wash all of their dishes. I have had friends who’ve done the same thing and run into real trouble with food getting clogged and really nasty smells emanating for months. My suggestion: Always have a disposal in a sink where dishes are being washed. Those little traps simply do not cut it. I believe this could be my culprit, if not a tomato rotting in a switched-out purse of my mom’s.
So it’s 6 in the morning, and after having my daughter wake up screaming several times, I’m up for the day. I couldn’t go back to sleep, because of bad heart palpitations lying in bed. I need prayer for the source of the smell to be found and for it to hopefully clear out quickly. Also for nasty conflicts not to erupt. It can get pretty unpleasant around here, because people like to make a big “stink” about things. I’ve had problems with produce before here, which made it impossible for me to be in the house for like months once, it got so bad. The ensuing conflicts, even months after we had addressed the problem and moved back in, have just been soul-shattering at times.
The moral: You really don’t want to mess with rotten tomatoes or potatoes. After having this easily avoidable but also common problem in this house several times before, the co-occupants refuse to take the necessary steps to avoid the problem again. I’m left to my own faculties to survive, because the toxins these things produce just tear me down so I can’t even function—all the while, they are simply mildly annoyed with an unpleasant smell. I need to function to work and feed my family. It isn’t rocket science or even moderately difficult to figure out something as simple as rotten produce. Yet the problem exists and persists, and people like me all over the world suffer, all because of selfish individual perspective and subjective considerations of priority.
And as always, if you know of an EMF-free, chem-free, and mold-free refuge for me and my family while I await remediation of and deliverance from this stench, please drop me a line.