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TOPIC: How to tolerate new vinyl flooring

How to tolerate new vinyl flooring 1 year 8 months ago #1

  • Debann
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Me and my husband have been remodeling our house a little at a time and I have not had any problems until now. We have stick down vinyl flooring in both bathrooms and in front of our our entryway. This has never bothered me but now we are redoing the kitchen and decided on the vinyl plank floating floor. What a huge mistake I have been lightheaded, foggy and tired ever since it was put down. I don't know what to do my husband won't take it out, does anyone know if there's a sealant or something we can put on it to help make it more tolerable? I have sensitivies to a lot of things that go directly on my skin and some inhalants but this is the worse reaction I've had I hope someone has a suggestion for me.
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How to tolerate new vinyl flooring 1 year 8 months ago #2

  • Maff
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Hi Debann, sorry to read of your situation. It's tough enough struggling with the symptoms of MCS and environmental illness even when loved ones are fully supportive. Of course there's no way your husband can know just how hard it is and is no doubt focusing on how expensive replacing the vinyl flooring would be. We need to be able to see it from the side of our loved ones also sometimes to better communicate and resolve situations like this. I speak from experience as my father was rather resistant to accepting MCS and how his smoking and other habits affected me when I lived at home (long time ago now and I'm thankfully recovered, or at least in long-term remission from MCS - 12 years and counting).

With regard your immediate problem, I have to admit it's a difficult one and I suspect that's one reason nobody else has come forward with suggestions. I got by with always using pre-owned products, even the likes of carpets, vinyl flooring and other home furnishings. It's still possible to get what you want (often at a fraction of the price on eBay, for example!) but these products have had chance to out-gas their toxic chemicals with the original owners - who were no doubt blissfully unaware of the toxic home environment they were creating and living in!

By way of some (little) help I did find this article while reviewing old articles here on EiR. It's a Q & A with Debra Lynn Dadd, author of Tired or Toxic and other titles and expert in green and healthy living. Debra suggests reviewing her extensive list of air purifiers for a model which will suit an individual's specific needs; in your case a purifier which will remove the toxic volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) given off by new vinyl. You can take a look here: Formaldehyde Absorbers

Good luck. I hope you find a resolution soon and your health improves as a result. Best wishes.
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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How to tolerate new vinyl flooring 1 year 8 months ago #3

  • Debann
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Thank you for you suggestions they are really good ones, I never thought of buying used flooring. My husband did tear out the new floor which did help some but I'm still reacting to the paint. We used low voc paint that we always use on the walls but went with another low voc brand on the trim and I think that's creating a problem as well. I've been really sick and so depressed over the last 12 days, everything I eat makes me ill. My husband bought a different type of vinyl flooring that's suppose to be safe to use in schools but I'm still scared to use it. We also have new cabinets coming I'm just really concerned about what this is doing to me. I just ordered some of those sponges that's suppose to get rid of Vocs and contaminates, as anyone ever used those before. I did check out the voc air purifiers and they are pretty expensive I dont know if we could afford one right now. I was wondering how you got yourself well, was there a treatment or supplement that helped. Thank you for all your help.
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How to tolerate new vinyl flooring 1 year 7 months ago #4

  • Maff
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You're welcome Debann, I'm very sorry for not replying again until now. I get married in two months and have been on a Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner course for the past two weeks so have not had much time here unfortunately!

I hope my suggestions and the changes you and your husband have made have helped somewhat? I completely understand your worries regarding trying furnishings and other products that are "supposed to be safe". When you suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity it is hard not to worry that any change will trigger symptoms. I hope the VOC-absorbing sponges work as intended and I'd be really interested to learn if you've had any success with them as I could research them further and recommend them to others if that's the case. Air purifiers are certainly quite expensive, typically the models that are most helpful to MCS patients tend to be towards the high end of the price range as well! However, if you can stretch to a good model then the high initial outlay can quickly seem worth it. I always recommend people try to test out such "big ticket" items before buying if possible however. They often help people a lot but sometimes they don't so if you can rent or borrow first it is always worth doing before spending so much money on something that may not help you much.

Re: getting myself well. I have been meaning to write a Kindle ebook detailing my MCS recovery for some time now. One positive outcome of my NLP course was coming away with the mindset of having specific goals and doing something every day to reach them. With that in mind I'll be setting aside a day every week to get my account of MCS recovery written and available to all those who would surely benefit! I also plan to offer one-to-one 'consultations' via Skype, phone and/or email to help people like yourself as much as I can using my personal experience and academic knowledge. Everyone is different so I feel to really help individuals struggling with MCS it's really important to talk through things properly to come up with the best specific solutions for that person.

For now you will find accounts of my recovery across this site - put "maff mcs recovery cures"into the Google site search box at the very top right and you will find a lot of helpful pages. I will say that I believe my recovery was based on strict avoidance of all potential VOC exposures over a number of years (2 to 3) with my I Can Breathe! carbon filter face mask getting a lot of use when around any other person and also outdoors at all times. What might seem like fresh air outside is still full of a multitude of VOCs and combustion particulates from vehicles, industry and residential heating exhaust to name but a few. It's not easy, practically or socially of course but it certainly helps recovery so is surely worth it in the long run. Don't be put of by reactions of other people, you just have to develop a "me first" attitude and believe that you will overcome MCS.

You asked about supplements and I do believe that a few key supplements helped me a huge amount in regaining normal tolerance to chemicals once again. Everyone with MCS is struggling to some degree with Adrenal Fatigue so supplements that address this are essential to help the body cope with the physiological stress of chemical exposures. For me the adrenal hormone DHEA which is available in supplement form in many countries (OTC in the US, internet in the UK etc) was the final piece of the puzzle. Professor Pamela Reed Gibson surveyed roughly 800 MCS patients and found both chemical avoidance and DHEA supplements had helped a large proportion. She published her results as an appendix in her book 'Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Survival Guide' - which I highly recommend! I would also say from my personal experience that natural sunlight and anything that optimizes serotonin availability and function in the body and brain will help. The same goes for anything that calms neural activity in the limbic system of the brain e.g. nutrients and herbs that increase the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, meditation / prayer, relaxation techniques and visualizations. Brain retraining systems like the Gupta Programme and Dynamic Neural Retraining System (DNRS) have also helped many, although I cannot make a personal recommendation having not tried either myself.

I hope the above makes sense and helps you out. If you need clarification or more information please reply and I will do all I can to respond as quickly as possible. Alternatively, please let me know if you wish to arrange a personal consultation with me and we can go from there (I genuinely want to help so will never charge anyone the Earth as many do and will also give all the time I can!). If you want to discuss this further please just email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with subject 'Personal Consultation'.

I sincerely hope you're doing better and hope the above helps you take further steps forward. Remember,anyone who tells you that you can't recover from MCS simply hasn't been able to themselves and/or doesn't believe they or anyone else can. I happen to know this is not the case and feel blessed I will enjoy my wedding day mask-free - something I too once never believed would be possible!

Very best wishes for a healthy and happy future,
Maff
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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How to tolerate new vinyl flooring 1 year 7 months ago #5

  • Maff
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Debann, just another quick suggestion regarding supplements in that herbs known as adaptogens (e.g. ginseng, rhodiola, licorice etc) are fantastic for addressing adrenal fatigue and supporting the body's ability to respond appropriately to stressors, including chemical exposures in the case of MCS.
If you are going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
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