A Blog about living  in a poisoned home. 
Links at end of article
Email       Arydberg@yahoo.com
June 2017

When we looked first at the house everything seemed fine.   True there were electrical  odor emitters plugged in in most of the rooms but these seemed pretty mild.   It just made the house smell good.    

Also when the house was inspected he inspector pointed to a small circle on the cement walkway and said a hole had been drilled in the cement and insecticide had been pumped in for termites.    Well I guess we would not have any termite problems I thought.    

That was about 4 years ago.    Now we seem to fight more.   Sometimes I feel really bad but cannot describe the feeling.     Things seemed better when I slept on the porch.    Another problem is that we had no bugs.    No ants no mosquitoes and no spiders.    Also I was troubled by endless itching.    Every morning I would itch.    

June 20, 2017
This is when i began to search the internet for termite pesticides and how long they lasted.    What I found out was very troubling.    From 1950 to 1988 about 30 million homes were built with chlordane used as termite control.  Sometimes as much as 200 gallons of chlordane was poured into the ground around new houses.    The half life of chlordane is very long, more than 30 years so it is very possible that homes exist with a lot of built in pesticedes.    Finally in 1988 the use of Chlordane was banned as a termite control.     


June 25
Then I thought about ventilating the bed room.    The bathroom fan would ventilate it for us but t was too loud so  I took out the electrical switch and replaced it with a 600 watt incandescent lamp dimmer.    Then we opened the window at the opposite side of the room.     That really seemed to help and this lead me to think about other ventilation fans.

June 26
I ordered a chlordane test kit from Dr. Richard Cassidy at...
http://toxfree.net/index.php

   

June 27, 2017
The next fan I added was a window fan in the kitchen. It too blows out to act as an exhaust fan.  The fan runs 24 hours a day.  

June 30, 2017
Added exhaust fan to the cellar.    Our house has a walk out cellar with some windows.    I opened one window and fitted in a dual unit window fan backwards so it would exhaust the interior air.    The fan was set on low and has been on 24 hours a day.   A added benefit was a big reduction in humidity.   Once again it seemed that we both felt much better.    Of course the ventilation solution only works for the summer what will happen in the winter is still to be determined.   

July 5  I received the chlordane test kit.

July 8  We sealed up the house by closing all the windows and  turning off all the fans.   We then left for a 14 hour all day outing.   Upon returning I plugged in the pump and connected it to the supplied glass tube.    I let the pump run for 1 hour and 40 minutes.    The pump was then shut off , the tube removed and  the unit was re-packaged and mailed back to Dr. Cassidy.    

July 10  Replaced the bathroom vent fan with a dual 7 inch window fan.   Cost $24.    Now we have 4 window fans 2 upstairs and 2 downstairs running 24 hours a day.  

July 11    Found reference to wintertime treatment of homes.    They listed 2 methods either a vent fan with a heat exchanger or the use of activated carbon.    They claim the use of activated carbon would get rid of 99% of the chlordane.  

July 22    Received results back from Dr Cassidy.    The level measured was very low ( about 3 times the minimum detectable level) .    Clearly Chlordane is not the problem.     In my discussions with Dr Cassidy he mentioned using a air filter containing activated carbon.    This seemed like a good thing for use in the winter.       Dr Cassidy recommended a air filter made by IQAIR  in Switzerland and costs about $900.00.    

See: https://www.iqair.com/gc-series-air-purifiers.

August 3,     I started looking at kits to test for pesticide residues in food.    Found one and ordered 3 test kits at about $10 each.    


August 11   I selected a clean container filled it with a clean rag and distilled water and wiped several places in the corners of the bedroom and the hall.    I then used the kit to test for pesticide residues.    All three test came out negative.    


August 13,   Called a industrial hygienist and had a conversion about mold.    He pointed out that our practice of closing up the house for 3 months while we vacationed in Mexico was conductive  to the growth of mold.    That made sense as when I look back it seems sometimes the problem goes away and then it comes back.    We also have a variety of mushrooms that seem to grow in our back lawn.    I began thinking of using lime to reduce the acid PH that comes from all the oak trees in our back yard.     Also  I began to look for a mold indoor test kit.    



August 20,    I ordered the IQAIR  air filter from Amazon.   The cost  was  $900.    Upon arrival it seems like a first class unit and we have been using it when the windows are closed.    


Sept 23    
My first mold kit was a disaster.   I purchased it from Lows,   Followed the instructions sent the samples back and got the  results.     The results listed 5 or 6 types of mold and marked all of them "present".     
 

My next mold kit was from a site called " My Mold Detective"    It seems better than the last kit.   For about $70 I got a air pump unit together with 4 sample cans.    One outside sample was required as well as inside samples.   I exposed 3 sample cans for 5 minutes with the pump pumping air through the  cans     Then I used a sticky tape strip to lift samples from a surface in the living room.    I  mailed the whole thing off.    The fees brought the total cost to $145.00.   
 

Oct 5
Results were received.   Both the first floor  and basements samples were high enough to mandate some type of mold remediation.     I am mostly concerned about the upstairs.    Does this mean that something  has to be done or is it downstairs mold that finds it's way upstairs.   We try to keep the door to the basement shut but are not always successful.    Generally what this means is to remove all sheet rock and perhaps the insulation.     Not a simple fix.     

Oct 18     I ordered a second air filter called a Molekule.    The advertisements seem very promising but we will have to see.     The site is  

https://molekule.com

and the cost was  $800.00.   

I also began running a dehumidifier in the basement and removed the exhaust fans.

Dec 6       With both air filters running and the dehumidifier in the basement there have not been any noticeable  spots of mold or any odors of mold.    I do run the two air filters 24 hours a day and leave the dehumidifier on for 24 hours a day.      It is quite possible that all the symptoms have gone away simply because of the season change.    Summer is a high mold season.     Perhaps I will have to wait for next year to see where I am.      

Now I have began to look into a different possible cause for toxins in the home.    These are toxic ingredients used in various cleaning solutions as well as fragrances.   I am concerned because of my age ( I am 76)  that perhaps memory lapses are caused by toxic elements in the house.  

I have included 3 links below most by the same author on this topic.





One of the more interesting things about these sources is in some houses the washer and dryer are located in a bathroom and the effects can be reduced by the simple expedient of running the vent fan.  

Another thing to mention is that more women get Alzheimer's than men do.    Perhaps this is a partial cause.  


And here is what they are doing in California.



  Dec. 14, 2017   

And now for a new topic.    There is another batch of home related toxins called flame retardants.    These chemicals have been added to many if not all of our plastics,   clothing,   and furniture.     Here is a link to them:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/ct-met-flame-retardants-20120506-story.html





Dec 17, 2017
I began to wonder about the plastic laminate flooring that is in the two bedrooms and the enclosed porch.    Lumber Liquidators  sold some really bad flooring and wound up on 60 minutes a while back.    I ordered a formaldehyde monitor from Amazon.   

What I ordered was a Formaldehyde monitor made by IGERESS  and sold by OPUSTYLE TECH. Through Amazon Prime.     


Dec 20, 2017.     Well it came.    I brought a small bottle of wood glue which has Formaldehyde in it and it seems to work but as for finding anything in the house the results are nil.    


Jan 8, 2018

Conclusions so far......       When I started we definitely did not feel well and had some memory problems.    Now things are much better but it is impossible to attribute  our feeling better to anything I did.    Perhaps  the two air filters which have been running 24 hours a day since we received them have helped.    Perhaps changing dishwasher detergent to Seventh Generation sold at Whole Foods helped.    Or maybe the whole problem was the mold that went away with winter was the cause.   

In any case we have moved in the direction of reducing our exposure to toxins and this is a good thing.
Hope this helps.