Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Flooring for MCS

Well here I am in my new home. Moving was a monumental effort for all involved and yes my health did suffer. A crash was inevitable but luckily it wasn't as bad as it could have been. The good news is that whatever it was in my old place, mold or some sort of mycotoxin, it does not seem to be present at the new place. My brain is able to function a little clearer and some o my old symptoms are gone. But like every good story there needs to be a balance .... and so to balance the good there definitely has been some bad. The really bad news is that the bad stuff has not been resolved and I am going around in circles with it.

The previous owners had some lovely cats that pissed and sprayed over every inch of carpet upstairs. Mum and Dad did everything humanly possible to get the smell out but with no luck. In the end the only solution was to rip the carpets up. But ... the smell went right through to the boards below. After much searching I found a foil vapor barrier product in USA that promised to be MCS friendly. My friend James in NYC ordered a roll for me and forwarded it on. My Dad started laying it yesterday and hopefully it will block the smell and will not cause me any ill effects.

Part two of the drama is that I am yet to find a suitable flooring to put down over the foil. Everything has VOC's, solvents and formaldehyde. Bad bad bad !!  I managed to find a natural jute (carpet) that looked promising but then found out it was backed with latex which is no good. Regular carpets are treated will all sorts of nasties. Someone suggested bamboo. I did some googling and came across a click system bamboo flooring that required no gluing, was rated as extremely low VOC's and it just sounded great. I got some samples and it STINKS!!!!  It doesnt smell chemically but rather fruity. Initially I thought it would be ok and the odd smell would disappear quickly, but 6 weeks after getting the first sample and the smell has not budged. I got some larger samples and found that after being in the same room for 20 minutes I started to feel very fatigued and have more neurological symptoms and ultimately just feel yuck. I tested it 3 times on 3 different days just to be sure.

 Foil vapor barrier

Cat pissy smelling floor boards

So it's back to the drawing board. I have no idea what I am going to do. My friend Mark suggested trying to find something second hand or something that had been sitting around in a warehouse for a couple of years so it would have already outgased. Good idea. I am going to start emailing people asking ... but otherwise I am back to having no clue what to do. Even tiles are no good. The adhesives and grout have solvents in them. Solvent free ones seem to be available in USA but nothing here in Australia.

I really just want this resolved so that I and my parents and friends can finally just relax for a while.

Any suggestions  for flooring appreciated.