Our ten year old washing machine was giving us problems, so we purchased a new one. Soon after it was installed, I started suffering from a tight chest, labored breathing, fatigue, uncomfortable heartbeat, higher blood pressure, malaise and aching neck and shoulders, most of which worsened around 8pm. That was a week ago.
I went through seven days of hell! I tried to cover the washing machine with Vinyl Sheetings, blankets, self sticking shelf covering, large paper trash bags (go ahead and laugh!
) and still had the same nasty health problems, which got worse at night.
I tried to provide a "safe room" using vinyl sheeting, but that failed due to a reaction to the vinyl sheeting and not being able to seal it 100%. I tried to create a safe room using door/window self stick insulating strips, but that failed also due to not being able to get 100% seal, I guess. (could be the AC ductwork???).
I would guess that the problem is due to the type of stronger rubber that is used within the washing machine to withstand the higher spin speeds of the new higher efficiency washing machines. I don't really know what is causing the problem. I only know that something in the paint, or metal, or material or insides of that washer that is making me deathly ill.
Well, guess what......... I've solved the problem. Sort of.
I have an old, 12' by 16' blue tarp that had been used over a portion of our roof, after damage from a hurricane in 2005. I smelled it and it seemed to have little odor (not that that means a lot). We took the tarp, and carefully worked the tarp over, under and around the almost 200 pound washing machine, sealed most of it with low-odor duct tape, and sealed the front with binder clips. IT WORKED!!!!!!
Now.... before you think that I am a total idiot wondering how we are going to do the wash with the washer totally enclosed in a tarp!
, I sealed the front of the tarp with many binder clips. Once a week, when my wife does the laundry, I will open the front of the tarp, attach the hoses and electric, and then get out of the house until she is done. Or...... I am going to build a structure for a doorway that I can use, with another tarp, to create a safe room, to stay in during laundry time.
I didn't try a tarp earlier because I thought that the tarp would smell worse than the vinyl sheeting, or be more offensive than clear vinyl sheeting. Happily, and fortunately, I was wrong.
We could have returned the washer and bought a different brand, but figured, either rightly or wrongly, that another new washer would yield the same nasty results. Many washers of different brands are made by the same company.
Anyways....... I still have to endure contact with the washing machine on laundry day, once a week. We'll have to see how that goes.
For those who don't have environmental illnesses, consider yourselves very fortunate, not to have to contend with nasty health problems caused by normal, innocuous, seemingly safe household items; while at the same time having to contend with ignorant, closed-minded people, and doctors, whose greatest skill is not thinking, but writing standard prescriptions for colds and flu.
I wish I could post a picture of my tarped washer, for the enjoyment of all with a sense of humor, but cannot do it here.
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Doing well after 20+ years of Heart Failure, Persistent Atrial Fibrillation, Asthma, MCS, Insulin Resistance, Hypertension, Immune Dysfunction.