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Running out of ideas, please help

Apr 07, 2016 7:51 PM

So I work beside an airport and this airport has a holding pond for the de-icing fluid used in winter so that it can be 'safely processed and returned to the ecosystem'. Well every fall and spring there is a sour gas odor that comes off the pond and makes me ill. This spring it has been very bad (now the managers at work actually believe me about the smell but not that it makes me ill). The smell has been strong in the building for about a week now and completely unbearable outside, so much so that the surrounding towns have complained about it. The airport issued a statement saying that the smell is a combination of ethanol and vinegar from the breakdown of the de-icing fluid and while unpleasant it is not harmful to people or the environment. My body tells me that it is very harmful. I experience a sore throat that seems to close a bit because I cant swallow easily, severe headaches and dizzy spells (on top of my normal headaches), burning red eyes and a runny nose. Allergy symptoms i guess. Allergy pills did nothing for me yesterday so i bought surgical masks and n95 masks to see if they helped today. The surgical masks are useless and do nothing but fog up my glasses, the n95 masks help filter some of the chemicals creating the smell out but I cant get enough air through it so im getting lack of oxygen headaches and dizziness today. The airports Facebook page were the only people who got back to me on the issue and they said that they know its bad this year but once the temperature gets above 10 Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) at night consistently it will clear up. It doesn't get that warm at night here until the mid to end of June. I wanted to get a powered respitator but they are really expensive and work wont cover it and I cant afford it on my own. The only other thing I can think of is to get a doctors note saying I cant come in because of the chemicals in the air from the holding pond but I really dont want to screw my coworkers over like that and my doctor wants me to work as long as possible so i dont know if he'd give me the note. Does anyone have any ideas that I could try that i haven't thought of? Thanks

Apr 07, 2016 8:09 PM

I'm pretty sure that ethanol vapors can be harmful to your lungs. I've also heard of cases of nausea and vomiting from breathing in ethanol. If you have asthma or allergies, vinegar can cause issues as well (I often have a bad reaction to vinegar vapors).

I would definitely see your doctor and see what he has to say about you breathing in those compounds on a daily basis. You may even want to contact your local air quality officials about regulations.

Apr 07, 2016 8:11 PM

Have you considered going to your Dr and tell them about it. And perhaps the Dr can information your managers of how this hurts you and possible others

Apr 07, 2016 8:15 PM

Find out the exact compound that they claim is the byproduct. If it turns out to be an irritant or a potential danger, OSHA (if you are in the US) requires they provide you with a proper breathing apparatus

Apr 07, 2016 9:57 PM

I made an appointment with my doctor for tomorrow. Thanks for the push.
I have asked exactly what compounds are used for de-icing and how they break down. I dont expect an answer since my questions either get ignored or they respond by sending me to the faq portion of the website, which only says it's not harmful.

Apr 08, 2016 6:55 AM

Goto, by law they have to let you know what is in those compounds, as Flown said OSHA requires it! Push them for the answer and quote the law,with the link showing that they HAVE to give you compounds until they they give it to you! Good luck my friend! I'll be praying for you! 🙏💕

Apr 08, 2016 7:12 AM

Gotobef, as previously stated they must tell you what the chemical is and how it breaks down AND provide appropriate breathing apparatus.
In response to the chemicals that you already know about, ethanol can be extremely dangerous to breath in, it causes lung, airway, brain, nose, eye.... damage and you can very easily overdose on ethanol vapours! They MUST give you appropriate apparatus due to the severe risk they have caused and they must also warn the OSHA (if in america) or if you are in the UK I know more about that process but the appropriate actions must also be taken for the surrounding towns.
A key legal example to bring up is PG&E (Pacific Gas and Electric), they provided contaminated drinking water to the homes of millions and pain $555 Billion dollars for it! I can help you with what the appropriate breathing apparatus is etc. If you'd like and you can always DM me

Apr 08, 2016 6:12 PM

According to an independent study the contaminants are not in high enough quantities to cause any damage to anyone or anything. Im just so highly sensitive to absolutely everything that it bothers me. My doctor said my reaction appears to be a severe intolerance and there is nothing that can be done for chemical sensitivities except to avoid triggers. So he gave me a week off work (which i protested because now someone has to do overtime to cover my shifts for the weekend). Hopefully it's cleared a bit in a week and whatever is in my system is gone by then so i can tolerate it better.

Apr 09, 2016 6:46 AM

Gotobef, I'm going to be on my computer later and we can private message about this, I may be able to help with the respirator problem by finding a good alternative. I know that you protest to the time off but you need it honey. Chemical sensitivities can cause a real problem and I might be able to talk to you more about them too.
I'll DM you a little later :)

Apr 09, 2016 10:47 AM

I don't have pain companion so no private messaging

Apr 10, 2016 6:59 PM

Your allergic to it prob use a filter mask or painters mask

Apr 11, 2016 10:27 AM

Gotobef, I'm sorry you're dealing with this. I have major chemical sensitivities. I can't even walk through perfume departments in stores, or pump my own gasoline in my car. When i need to I wear the paper mask with the small yellow filter in the center (@ home improvement stores). It's not as good as the N95 masks, but it's also not as hot or suffocating as standard paper masks. Hugs & prayers you'll be better soon! 🙂💕🙏🌼

Apr 11, 2016 11:32 AM

You could use a half mask (looks a little like a gas mask and you can get them for under £25 (GBP) or you could get a FFP3 mask

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