Sweet Chemical Smell in New House?

We purchased a new home in December. All was OK, though we could smell the floor stain (Minwax and Fabulon). Around April we began to cut on the AC. Those of us who slept near the vents had sneezing fits constantly day and night for weeks. We thought it was pollen. Then we all began to get tired, nauseated, have ringing in our ears, fatigued, forgetful, blurred thought, etc. Anyone else ever have anything like this?


The smell is like chemicals, reminds me of that stuff my dad used to clean his carburetor when I was a kid. Now it smells sort of rotten too. It's also sort of sweet like a perfumey sweet. It is all over the house. It is most chemically in the crawlspace and sweeter and more rotten inside the house. The crawlspace is air-conditioned like the rest of the house (stupid new federal government home design thing).

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July 31, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

First, get the fire department out. You need to be checked for carbon monoxide.
Make sure you have carbon monoxide detector on every floor on your home. Place them near things like vents, a/c, etc.


Here are some symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning:
Blurred vision, dizziness, or a headache Nausea or vomiting Faster breathing than normal, or trouble breathing Weakness or muscle pain Dark or red urine Chest pain, or a fast, strong, or irregular heartbeat Confusion, fainting, or seizures

Here's a helpful link:

If it is carbon monoxide there can be long term health effects, so be sure to check it out ASAP. If it turns out not to be, don't quit until you find out what it is. It is certainly dangerous.

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August 23, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Check the plaster board or wall board on the walls. There were many cases of cheap plaster board from China that was used in houses in the early 2000s and around that time, which emits poisonous and noxious sulfur like fumes and sometimes rotten egg smell when it gets hot out. It's in the walls so that's hard to tell. Check with builder and real estate agent. It would not be carbon monoxide, as that is odorless.


Cathy from MA

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Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 220 Answers
July 30, 20150 found this helpful

It certainly appears that the house may have structures and components that are causing your problems.
Have you or has anyone else sought medical treatment for their problems? Have you contacted the builder regarding your problems?

I strongly suggest:
*All who are having problems seek medical treatment immediately to, hopefully, curtail future lifelong medical problems.
*Contact the builder or the builder's representative regarding your concerns.
*Contact an attorney specializing in residence housing construction chemical exposure regarding probable legal action.

From your description, you can expect the builder to hide from any problems so legal action is the best avenue to seek recompense for your difficulties.

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May 20, 20160 found this helpful

We just purchased our first home in February and have been experiencing the exact same things you are describing, Max. I have had plumbers, contractors, restoration companies out to inspect. No one can help, they all smell it but have no answers.


We love our house but are heartbroken this smell is driving us crazy and we have actually discussed putting the house back on the market. Please tell me if you ever discovered what was causing the odor in your home?

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