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Old 12-12-2004, 08:27 PM   #1
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Cigarette smoke coming through bathroom causing allergy symptoms, air purifier?

I have really bad allergies, for which I am currently on Allegra and Flonase. In September, my neighbors downstairs in my apartment complex started smoking and cigarette smoke kept coming through my vents. Cigarette smoke seems to also aggravate my allergy symptoms and I ended up having to miss some work and go back to the doctor and eventually bought some hepa air purifiers, which solved the problem for a while. I put one in my room, one in my living room, and another in my bathroom. However, the one in my bathroom is apparently not working as well now as it did and cigarette smoke is coming through in my bathroom again. I got a different brand for my bathroom because the Honeywell ones that I have in my bedroom and living room (which are working okay still) say not to put them in the bathroom because of all the moisture or something. Does anyone know of any that work well especially for the bathroom and that are good at getting rid of cigarette smoke or odors as well? I am especially interested in ones that have the hepa filter.

 
Old 12-13-2004, 02:17 AM   #2
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Re: Cigarette smoke coming through bathroom causing allergy symptoms, air purifier?

Hi

What do you react to other than smoke? I ask because, from my own personal experience, I can safely say that hidden allergies to chemicals (which eventually became too profound and dangerous to remain hidden) were actually the cause of my 'lesser', i.e. sinus/asthma type allergies. Since removing/avoiding the chemical culprits, my other problems have all but disappeared. However, I shouldn't say this without warning that I think it was the complete removal of the chemical culprits that, whilst benefitting my general health tremendously, has meant that exposure to them now means anaphylaxis.

My gut feeling is that the HEPA filters are making your body better able to cope generally by removing irritants such as dust and dander. To my knowledge, HEPAs won't remove smoke particles any more than they'll remove those of perfume (my main problem). For that, you need a carbon filter. I'm wondering if a cheap way of doing this may be to cover the vents with carbon mask material. You may be able to get such a thing - or at least advice - from an industrial protection clothing shop. As for running an electric filter in the bathroom, it does seem like a bit of a bad idea - plus carbon filters are more expensive than HEPAs.

This is just my take on things; I'm sure you'll get some other suggestions. Good luck!

 
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Old 12-13-2004, 12:10 PM   #3
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Re: Cigarette smoke coming through bathroom causing allergy symptoms, air purifier?

Have you talked to your landlord about this? He should be required to fix the problem. Your screen name suggests you live in California, if you do, I'm almost positive they will have some law on the books that will require your landlord to take care of this. If he is unable to fix it, he should allow you to change apartments. Maybe do some research. At the very least kept nagging him about it. And make your requests in writing. The fact that you are purposely creating a paper trail, will scare him into thinking you might be willing to take legal action.

I once sent a written request to have my apartment complex clean out my ducts. It only took that one letter.

As far as your filter problem, you might want to try an Ionic Breeze. Normally, I don't recommend Ionic Breeze because there is no fan, so very little air circulates and gets clean. But in a bathroom, you can turn on the fan vent, and that will help eliminate some of the smoke and circulate the air in the bathroom so that more air goes through the Ionic Breeze.

 
Old 12-13-2004, 06:19 PM   #4
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Re: Cigarette smoke coming through bathroom causing allergy symptoms, air purifier?

Hi. Thanks for your responses. Unfortunately, in my case the USC is for University of South Carolina and much as I love my state, they are not very progressive on air quality issues. I did speak with the landlord and they kept trying stuff but it still kept coming through, and then they told me there was nothing further they could do. I've handed in my notice that I am moving as soon as my lease is up because of this. You're right, though, California is very good on those issues. I was checking on the internet about people with environmental tobacco smoke issues in apartments and California was absolutely one of the best states for help in situations like mine.
The purifier helped for a while in the bathroom but it seems like it is not working well anymore. It had a CADR for smoke of 140 so I thought that was a pretty high number, but either the number is not too good or it was just not a very good one or defective. I'm just distressed because it worked so well at first.
As far as I know, cigarette smoke and dust seem to be the main things indoors that bother me. I don't believe I have those problems with perfume or any other common scents thank goodness. I'm sure that's a frustrating one to have, too, because so many people wear it and so few people are aware of problems that it can cause.
The idea about asking industrial protection clothing places is a good one. I may also ask my doctor next time I go about it, too, and whether there is anything further that might help.
Thanks both of you for your help and your ideas. I appreciate your suggestions.

 
Old 12-14-2004, 10:16 AM   #5
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Re: Cigarette smoke coming through bathroom causing allergy symptoms, air purifier?

That is a shame. Those southern tobacco states have been the last to do anything about smoking/air quality. I remember it wasn't that long ago you could smoke anywhere in the Richmond, VA airport. It was just the very last time I flew in there, they had designated smoking sections.

Does your air purifier require an pre-filter? It might be that it is just time to change it. If it is a lot of smoke, it will wear out long before the instructions say it will.

I hope you do not have very much time left on your lease. Personally, I would try to negotiate with them to let you break the lease. Since they know there is a problem they can't fix, maybe they will let you.

 
Old 12-18-2004, 06:03 AM   #6
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Re: Cigarette smoke coming through bathroom causing allergy symptoms, air purifier?

Sneezydiva,
Thanks for your advice. I actually changed the pre-filters on all of them before posting this thinking that maybe that was the problem. But that was my first thought, too, when the smoke started coming through like that again.
Unfortunately, my apartment complex has been far less than helpful on this issue. They told me that there was absoutely nothing else they could do until last week when I handed in my notice that I would be moving as soon as my lease was up. Then, they offered to move me. However, since they can't promise I won't be in the same situation and since it took handing in notice I was leaving to even get that, I will be gone as soon as my lease is up in May.
In the meantime, I did find something when I was shopping last night that may help. It's an allergen reducer air filter that you can use for your house instead of those regular ones that most people use. I wasn't sure what size I would need, so I am checking today to see where the thing you put it in is located in my apartment.
Hopefully, with all that, something will help until I can get out in May.

 
Old 12-21-2004, 07:31 PM   #7
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Re: Cigarette smoke coming through bathroom causing allergy symptoms, air purifier?

For what it's worth, we have three pruifiers made by Hunter, and LOVE tham! They take away smoke too. The only downside is that becasuse the filters are kind of specialized, they are pretty expensive. About $35 each. If you're a student and living on a student's income, this may not be for you.
Sue

 
Old 01-28-2005, 02:38 PM   #8
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Question Please help! Neighbor's cigarette smoke coming into our apartment! ALLERGIES!

HELP! I'm in the same situtation as you are in!


This past summer a college student moved into the apartment next to us. She (and all of her friends) smoke like chimneys AND the smoke is always coming into OUR apartment! We're non-smokers and our apartment absolutely reeks! It's getting unbearable and last month my hubby was diagnosed with asthma and I couldn't figure out why my allergies were so bad that I was getting dizzy -- and I usually don't have any problems this time of year.

My landlord won't do anything about it (it violates my neighbor's right to smoke in her apartment -- apparently we don't have any rights...) and this being North Carolina... AUUUUGH! We've lived here 4 1/2 years and I feel like we're being driven out by the smoke!

Have you found any air filters/purifiers, etc. that helped with the smoke? Anything that I can stuff into my vents (other than my neighbor? ) I'm tired of my throat hurting, eyes stinging, and getting congested & coughing after being in my apartment for a few minutes. (I'll be having some foot surgery next month and I'll be in my apartment 24/7 for at least 2-4 weeks! )

PLEASE HELP!!! And THANKS in advance for any advise!!!!!

~Heather

Last edited by imhdab; 01-28-2005 at 02:44 PM.

 
Old 01-28-2005, 03:44 PM   #9
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Re: Cigarette smoke coming through bathroom causing allergy symptoms, air purifier?

Hi,

I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. I understand in a sense- of what you are going through. I have very severe allergic reactions and vocal cord dysfunction (meaning that certain things trigger my vocal cords to slam shut over my airway when they shouldn't causing horrible shortness of breath). One of my triggers is cigarette smoke. It is awful- because I can't even stand it on peoples clothes. It starts to cause problems for me. This has limited a lot of the activities that I have loved due to public smoking. It seems so unfair. It is not my choice to have problems with smoke. It is other peoples "choice" to smoke. I think it would only be considerate that they choose to do so where it does not affect others- but I guess these people are smoking in their home. I think apartments should do like most hotels, have non-smoking areas (apartments together) and a section of smoking ones.
One thing to try that should help some is a nose spray called Astelin. Astelin is one of the only nosesprays that help with chemical allergies such as perfume, smoke, gas etc. It does help me some, not a cure all but any help is welcomed here!

 
Old 01-28-2005, 04:53 PM   #10
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Re: Cigarette smoke coming through bathroom causing allergy symptoms, air purifier?

Thanks -- is Astelin a prescription only spray or over the counter?

I'm willing to try just about anything right now!

Last edited by imhdab; 01-28-2005 at 04:54 PM.

 
Old 01-29-2005, 01:13 PM   #11
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Re: Cigarette smoke coming through bathroom causing allergy symptoms, air purifier?

Astelin is given by prescription. If you see an allergist, they can probably give you a sample to start and also a prescription for it.

 
Old 02-03-2005, 03:48 PM   #12
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Re: Cigarette smoke coming through bathroom causing allergy symptoms, air purifier?

Imhdab,
I actually have two Hamilton Beach Air Purifiers. I'm not sure the exact model, but it has a UV light thing to kill viruses and if you put it on auto it adjusts to the room quality and speeds up when it gets bad to clean it quick. It seems to work pretty well. I have one of them in my bedroom and one in my living room. I also have a Vicks purifier in my bathroom and a Honeywell one in another part of my living room which I run only when the smoke comes in really, really bad. I guess I could've just bought one big one for the price on all the littlier ones, but I hated to spend all that money at once.
They seem to work pretty well, but everytime I go to the doctor, allergies are always either the primary culprit or another problem so they help, but don't completely solve the problem. And I've noticed anytime I stop the Flonase or Allegra, they get bad again soon thereafter.
I'm sorry you are having that problem, too. You would think people would get a clue and realize if you separate smoking and non-smoking for restaurants, it's even more important to do so where someone lives.

 
Old 02-12-2005, 01:20 PM   #13
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Re: Cigarette smoke coming through bathroom causing allergy symptoms, air purifier?

Hi everyone,

I wanted to thank everyone for all of their helpful information and words of encouragement!

Well, I'm still getting smoke in my apartment but not as much since we've had some warm weather (North Carolina) and my neighbors go out more often. My landlord won't do diddly so we're looking into buying a house (something we probably should have done years ago anyway!) In the meantime, we put filters in all the vents, I purchased some magnetic vent covers for when it gets bad (our upstairs room seems to get the worst of it), and plan to purchase an air purifier as soon as I can afford to. I'm also taking lots of benedryl and keeping the windows open when we can. I burn candles which doesn't do a thing to remove the smoke but it helps mask the stench a little. We also have some spray that supossedly removes smoke but again, I think it only masks it too.

AUUUUGH! Oh well, we've been looking at houses and I can almost imagine breathing normally again!

Anyway, thanks again! I'll let you know if I come across any other tips/solutions that might help someone else that's dealing with this problem. Take care!

~Heather

 
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