Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
ANIMAL or URINE ODOR SOURCE DETECTION
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT AQ
BIO-FUEL PRODUCTION & USE
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS in WATER
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
DIRECTORY of MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS
DISINFECTING BUILDINGS with BLEACH
DRYWALL MOLD TESTING
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
DUST SAMPLING PROCEDURE
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
GASES, EXPOSURE, TESTING
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
GAS EXPOSURE LIMITS & STANDARDS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INDOOR AIR QUALITY METHODS COMPARED
LIGHT, GUIDE to FORENSIC USE
GAS LP & NATURAL GAS SAFETY HAZARDS
LEGIONELLA LEGIONNAIRES' DISEASE
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MILDEW in BUILDINGS ?
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE to TEST CLEAN PREVENT
MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD
MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT, HIRE ?
MOLD or INDOOR AIR EMERGENCY RESPONSE
TEST KITS for DUST, MOLD, PARTICLE TESTS
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OUTHOUSES & LATRINES
OZONE MOLD / ODOR TREATMENT WARNINGS
PLUMBING SYSTEM ODORS
SEPTIC & CESSPOOL SAFETY
SEPTIC SYSTEM ODORS
SEPTIC TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS
SEWAGE & SEPTIC CONTAMINANTS
SEWAGE CONTAMINATION in BUILDINGS
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWAGE PATHOGENS in SEPTIC SLUDGE
SEWAGE BACKUP, WHAT TO DO
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT
SMELL PATCH TEST to FIND ODOR SOURCE
STAIN & BIODETERIORATION AGENT CATALOG
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
THERMAL IMAGING MOLD SCANS
UV LIGHT BLACK LIGHT USES
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TEST CHOICES & WATER TEST FEES
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WETLAND SEPTIC SYSTEMS
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas sources in buildings: don't overlook these possible sources of sewer gas smells or hydrogen sulfide gas odors: here are the causes, sources, & cures for often overlooked sources of sewer gas smells. This article series explains how to diagnose, find, and cure odors in buildings including septic or sewage or sewer gas smells or "gas odors" in buildings.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2015 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Watch out: both HYDROGEN SULFIDE GAS discussed here and METHANE GAS HAZARDS (both of these are present in sewer gases) are potentially explosive. In addition, exposure to high levels of these gases can be harmful, even fatal, as we detail below.
Because sewer gas contains methane gas (CH4) there is a risk of an explosion hazard or even fatal asphyxiation. Sewer gases also probably contain hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) In addition some writers opine that there are possible health hazards from sewer gas exposure, such as a bacterial infection of the sinuses (which can occur due to any sinus irritation). Hydrogen is extremely flammable (easily set fire or explodes).
Depending on the sewer gas source and other factors such as humidity and building and weather conditions, mold spores may also be present in sewer gases.
Article series contents:
Sources of Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) or Septic System or Sewer Gas Odors are listed in a complete table at SEPTIC / SEWER ODOR SOURCE TABLE. Here are some key places to look:
Other H2S Odors, sewer-gas-like odors or sulphur odors may be hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and may occur from these conditions which you may not have considered.
Watch out: both hydrogen sulfide gas and methane gas (both present in sewer gases) are potentially explosive. Hydrogen sulfide gas is heavier than air, poisonous, corrosive, flammable (will burn), and depending on its concentration in air, it can explode.
My older sister Linda and later my best friend David Hoff both led experiments in attempts to light ... well, politely put, human flatulence gases. Results were amazing. But in buildings an accumulation of hydrogen sulfide gas H2S is not funny, it is potentially catastrophic, or fatal should an explosion occur. In dangerous mixtures with air or if put into direct contact with nitric acid, H2S explodes. (Fletcher 1999)
The following information about hydrogen sulfide gas H2S hazards is adapted from information from U.S. Army Field Manual 8-285 Chapter 10, Noxious Chemicals:
10-4. Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Danger Information
Physical Properties of Hydrogen Sulfide Gas:
This colorless gas in low concentrations has the odor of rotten eggs. In high concentrations it may dull the sense of smell and be difficult to recognize.
Occurrence of hydrogen sulfide gas in military operations. This gas is produced during the decomposition of sulfur containing compounds in sewers, waste, coal bins or stacks, holds of ships, and waterfront excavations.
Occurrence of hydrogen sulfide gas in Military Operations as well as in civilian and residential conditions
Hydrogen sulfide gas is produced during the decomposition of sulfur containing compounds in sewers, waste, coal bins
Pathology of Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Exposure
In low concentrations (less than
0.15 mg per liter), hydrogen sulfide may produce
inflammation of the eyes, nose, and throat if breathed
for periods of 1/2 to 1 hour.
Watch out: higher concentrations of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas (0.75 mg per liter or greater) are rapidly fatal, presumably by combination of the hydrogen sulfide with the respiratory tissue pigments and the subsequent paralysis of the respiratory center.
Symptoms of Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Exposure
The symptoms depend upon the concentration of the gas. At the lowest concentrations, the effects are chiefly on the eyes; that is, conjunctivitis, swollen eyelids, itchiness, smarting, pain, photophobia, and blurring of vision. At higher concentrations, respiratory tract symptoms are more pronounced. Rhinitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, and bronchitis may occur. Pulmonary edema may result. At very high concentrations, unconsciousness, convulsions, and cessation of respiration rapidly develop.
Details about H2S exposure effects & limits are at
Treatment for Hydrogen Sulfide Gas Exposure
Immediately remove the casualty from the contaminated atmosphere and administer assisted ventilation with oxygen, if possible. Treatment of pulmonary edema is the same as for that caused by CG (chap 5).
Reader Comment: Hydrogen Sulfide Gas H2S health hazards warning & citation of HUD Dictionary of Deficiency Definitions
Not a question just a comment.
HUD regulates how to keep those in living in subsidized housing from the dangers of sewer gas inhalation but the state of Georgia (Georgia Dept. of Community Affairs a HUD area housing administrator) does not follow that HUD mandate and that is why myself and my child have severe lung disease that is caused from our prolonged exposure to sewer gas within and about a Bremen, GA rental.
- SB4Justice - 4/4/2013
Thanks I've posted your remark above so that I could include a link to the Hud Deficiencies Definitions document provided by U.S. HUD.
Details about Hydrogen Sulfide gas and advice about tracking down such odors are on this page in the article above.
Details about methane gas hazards are given separately at METHANE GAS, SEPTIC / SEWER.
Watch out: while H2S can be dangerous, readers should keep in mind that both H2S and more commonly methane gas (a significant component in sewer gas) is dangerously explosive and at sufficient concentrations can also be fatal. So both can be an immediate hazard, not just a health hazard.
The same HUD Deficiencies document you cite, back up on page 304 also warns:
And from HUD Pass/Fail deficiencies p. 302 we have more general advice
Which is in error only that mildew is never found in buildings, only mold, unless the mildew is growing on a plant (my photo at left). Mildew is an obligate parasite that only grows on plants. Of course normal people don't know that and the word "mildew" is used by lay persons interchangeably (if incorrectly) with "mold". Details are at MILDEW in BUILDINGS ?
Thank you again SB4Justice for pointing out these dangers. Working together we're smarter. - Daniel F.
Question/Comment: Hydrogen Sulfide Gas H2S health hazards in sewer gases
Not a question just a comment.
HUD regulates how to keep those in living in subsidized housing from the dangers of sewer gas inhalation but the state of Georgia (Georgia Dept. of Community Affairs a HUD area housing administrator) does not follow that HUD mandate and that is why myself and my child have severe lung disease that is caused from our prolonged exposure to sewer gas within and about a Bremen, GA rental. See page 305 Sewer Odor Detected (Air Quality) quoted below:
- SB4Justice - 4/4/2013
Thanks I've posted your remark above so that I could include a link to the Hud Deficiencies Definitions document provided by U.S. HUD.
Details about Hydrogen Sulfide gas and advice about tracking down such odors are at ODOR SOURCES SEPTIC OR SEWER
Details about methane gas hazards are at METHANE GAS, SEPTIC / SEWER.
Watch out: while H2S can be dangerous, readers should keep in mind that both H2S and more commonly methand gas (a significant component in sewer gas) is dangerously explosive. So both can be an immediate hazard, not just a health hazard.
Details about hydrogen sulfide or H2S - that sulphur smell principal ingredient, are at HYDROGEN SULFIDE GAS
Thank you again SB4Justice for pointing out these dangers. Working together we're smarter. - Daniel F.
Continue reading at HYDROGEN SULFIDE EXPOSURE EFFECTS or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
Suggested citation for this web page
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: Effects of long term low-dose exposure to hydrogen sulfide H2S from septic or sewer gas?
Thank you for your very professional and highly informative site. It has reassured me that I have been exposed to a low dose, long term exposure to hydrogen sulfide (and other toxins) due to a sewer odor. Last July 4, 2010, I had to call my mover to immediately come to my apartment and move my belongings out overnight. He moved my belongings into a storage unit across the street from where I lived and I stayed with different friends while trying to recover the following six months.
Within the first five days after I moved out, most of my symptoms went away. I was too sick to stay there and NO ONE has helped me. I lived in a senior apartment complex in San Diego area for nearly four years. I did not know at that time why I was progressively getting sicker and mid-June when I googled "sewer odor", I suddenly realized what was wrong with me. The symptoms including chronic cough/bronchitis, shortness of breathe, fatigue and confusion . I had them all and they were all getting worse daily. At that time I could hardly walk a few steps and was unable to breathe. My letters regarding a "sewer odor" went unanswered to Management, the Owner and after several visits and telephone calls to the City of Escondido, the County Health Dept., etc., I had no choice but to move out.
My concern now is for my sweet 76 year old neighbor and best friend, Lora, who I had to leave behind. Lora moved into the complex and lived next door to my previous apartment in November, 2009. I can tell she is experiencing the beginning symptoms I had, her monotone and whispy voice, the chronic sinus infections, the face tingling, the confusion at times, the cough, fatigue, etc. She is getting worse and I am very worried about her. She watched me change and become so sick, now it's reverse and I do not want this to happen to her, nor the other tenants.
The property consists of approximately 15 buildings, only Building #1 and Building #3 are alike with studio apartments. Coincidentally, when I located and copied the Building Plans and Building Permits from the City Engineering Dept., I noticed at the top of the page it was written in "On-site sewers Bldgs. 1, 2, and 3").
I lived in Building #1. The inside of the courtyard of our building is filled with dirt (I think this is sludge) and a palm tree and a 2nd small tree and a border row of ferns and some lily plants. This courtyard has been watered only once or twice a year, even though they have automatic sprinklers on the property. I often wondered how does these plants thrive and are so green and grow so quickly and they rarely water. An alarm went off daily in the courtyard prior to my moving out.
There is an elevator at the north end of the gated courtyard and the odor is more prominent on this side. There is a small gray box outside the gate and about seven feet further out it looks to me like a sandy area that is open with no growth or plants (I think this is where a septic tank is).
Would you be able to tell me if I send photographs and if you could verify this? Also, is there a small air monitoring device I could check inside Lora's apt. and the outside areas? Is there a lab to send soil samples to?
The new tenant complained to the office three days after she moved in about the sewer odor and threatened to have her moving expenses paid if the problem wasn't fixed within 30 days. The Manager told her the City is fixing the problem and she can call the City and they will explain it to her and it would be fixed within the next 2 weeks. It was about this same time that the entire front walkway in front of our building, where the rental office is and a few parking spots were completely resurfaced. The complex just resurfaced the same walkway one year prior. Possibly they have camoflouged the odor with a chemical additive.
Any advice you may provide is most appreciated. Feel free to call me at any time. There is much more to this story, however, there is no one doing anything to help these residents. I can't tell you how many people died within 6 months after moving into our building. Mostly new residents now and prior to me moving out the Paramedics were at the complex 3-4 times a week. Two people in their early 60's were found dead inside their apartments shortly before I moved out. Please, I hope you can point me in a positive direction.
Lora is not able to move yet, she is trying and saving her money. Her husband passed away only three months before she moved into the complex. She was my Angel while I was living there and getting so sick. - S.H.
Reply: check with your doctor, consult with your local health department
A competent onsite inspection by an expert usually finds additional clues that help accurately diagnose a problem. That said, here are some things to consider: I can't say for sure what I can identify from an unseen photo, but you're welcome to send pictures and let me take a look at the visible conditions describing a nearby septic system.
But to properly identify potential problems with any septic system, what's needed is an onsite inspection by a competent diagnostician.
Iif you are confident that there is a health issue in the building, an older person may be at still greater risk - you might want to contact your local health department or elder protective services for advice.
Advice on consulting with your physician about possible environmental contributions to an illness
While it is understandable for anyone to draw conclusions about feeling sick and seeing or smelling or suspecting a possible nearby cause or contributor to those symptosm, the proper, reliable course of action is to consult with your doctor. When you (or your neighbor) consult with your physician, in addition to describing symptoms and complaints and possibly undergoing doctor-recommended tests, ask your doctor about the possible relationship between the symptoms, complaints, and his/her diagnosis and any environmental contributors to that condition, including but not limited to your own observations that you've described here.
I agree that when one suspects that conditions in or around a building may be causing or contributing to health or other complaints from the occupants, it is very suggestive (though not conclusinve) when those complaints diminish or stop when the occupant(s) are out of the building.
Because sewer gases are dangerous, as potential explosives as well as possibly contributing to health and air quality complaints, it is appropriate to involve the property owner and if an owner is not responsive, your local building code and health officials. We find often that putting your concerns in writing to those officials is also helpful.
Follow-Up comments from reader about Hydrogen Sulfide exposure worry
Your email is very much appreciated and advice. Please find under seperate cover attached photos with brief explanations. I have photos of before and after showing changes in the soil, property, new equipment in place, etc.,if you care to look at your leisure. Please keep in mind if you would like further clarification, I have over a few hundred photos taken of the property at various times.
A brief update is Lora Tanner (my friend and previous neighbor in Apartment #307), informed me that Azar (the new resident who moved into my apartment on August 1, 2010) is moving from apartment #309 to #106 in April. She believes the sewer odor is inside her aparment. Azar had been asking all of the tenants in our building if they would move out and she could take over their lease and would pay them for their apartment.
Truly, I do not understand as her personality seemed to change quickly since the first week she moved into the complex. At that time, she was strong and demanding speaking to Management requesting to fix the "sewer odor" or they would be responsible and now she is nothing like herself (according to neighbors). It would have been helpful if she had taken Management's advice and spoke to City of Escondido to ask what are they doing to fix the sewer odor problem. However, I was not told anything by City Hall Engineering or Code Enforcement, actually they acted like there was no problem.
Part of the problem I think may be due to a broken vent inside my previous apartment and may cause that unit to be receiving more gases or toxins than other apartments. Several reasons for this:
1. On a third visit to City Hall with my friend,Lura N. as my witness, we spoke to Homi, a Chief Engineer, who told me only after much persistance on my part for some answers that "the problem may be in a cracked vent or pipe and it could be coming up through the walls and floors and it may also be coming up from the sinks and faucets."
2. In June, 2010 while I was still investigating on my own and trying to get the odor resolved, I wandered over to Bldg. 3 (identical layout to our Building #1 with studio apartments) and saw a young guy coming out of Bldg. 3. I asked if he lives in that building and he said yes and I asked if they have any problem with a sewer odor. He told me no.
I asked if he would be so kind to come over to our building and see if he could smell any sewer odor in our courtyard. He agreed and he walked around the courtyard on the first floor, and could smell a small amount on the northeast side of the building, then he proceeded up the stairs and at the top of the staircase said it was stronger, and walked the second floor walkway, then proceeded to the third floor and as he reached the top step he said I can smell it here, it's stronger. To my shock he walked directly over to my dining room window screen and said "it's coming from here". I was amazed and he had no idea that was my apartment. I asked if he would see if he smelled any of the odor inside my apartment. He couldn't at that time which I was relieved it was more on the outside than inside. Like I said, I always had my windows opened while most tenants did not.
3. At the end of June, a few days after the Owner received my letter I saw and heard the Manager, Sandy, coming up the stairs toward my apartment. I was thrilled and thought she was going to talk to me, however, as she approached the top stairs near the landing on the third floor, she said loudly to someone on the second floor, "Oh yeah ... I can smell it here. I can smell it here." Then she turned around and walked away. I was upset and if I had been feeling better and dressed I would have gone outside and spoken to her. I was just too sick at that time and it took all my strength to get into the shower and get dressed and leave my apartment. Also, I was upset because I couldn't smell the odor and had my windows wide opened and hurried to close them as I knew I would have a gas affect again.
4. I also noted in my letter to Management and City of Escondido Code Enforcement when I filed the complaint online, that the sewer odor was more prominent on the third floor northeast corner. No one once ever asked me when did I smell the odor, how often, where, etc. Not ONE PERSON!
Regarding Code Enforcement, it is not in the best interest to not investigate a health and safety hazard complaint for three months. That is what happened. Cameron Clark, Inspector, was assigned the case. There were two other complaints filed online besides my complaint. Lora Tanner and the resident who lived in my previous apartment in #108 filed online. We all filed in early July, 2011. I heard nothing and had to call City Hall to inquire to the status and was told the Inspector's name. I left him a voice message and when he called me back the following day, I told him the urgency of the matter and my concern for the other residents and especially for Mrs. Tanner. I told him I had to call a mover and move my belongings out into the storage unit across the street because I was too sick to stay there. He told me he would go out and investigate in the next few days and he would speak with the City Engineering and the Manager and Mrs. Tanner. I told him at that time this was very upsetting to Mrs. Tanner and would you please call her first. I indicated Lora was concerned as she still lives at the complex and he reassurred me several times over, "This is strictly confidential, no names will be given, I will call her first, this is strictly confidential."
I trusted what he told me. Again, August I called Mr. Cameron Clark and left a message asking to please mail me a copy of the report and his findings and provided my address. I heard nothing. I called a third time in September and left a second message. I think it was October, 2010 and I sent a letter after no response from a third phone call. At the end of October I receive a telephone call from Lora Tanner telling me how upset she was that she heard a loud knocking at her door. It was Cameron Clark and standing next to him was the Manager, Sandy Wolcott. Of course Lora was shocked and not comfortable to tell Mr. Clark what she wanted. She wanted to let him know about Azar just moving into my previous apartment and has complained about the odor, etc.
Again, I placed several telephone calls and another certified registered letter to Mr. Clark requesting a copy of his investigation. I finally after two months received a telephone voice message that stated something like, "Mrs. Haley, um, there is no report." He offered the sentence with a question mark and stated he found no odor and spoke to other neighbors and it's gone. They fixed it. Obviously I have the recorded word for word message he sent and no report. I am still entitled to a report even if he states there were no findings. More letters to continue writing and it's still not getting me nor the other tenants who are still getting sick and paramedics still coming to our building routinely, etc.
Mr. Friedman it is difficult for me to tell you the run around I've had and the telephone logs, symptoms logs, letters, etc. that I have. When I called the Health Department prior to me moving out, I was so confused at that time but I made a point of making sure what I was being told was accurate. I was intentionally lied to. I have the typed conversations and dates and times. When I reported to the County Department of Health they told me after they found out my address that it is not in their jurisdiction. I needed to call the City of Escondido. I told her they were the ones to give me this phone number. She told me they no longer have jurisdiction. When I asked since when, I was told since "yesterday". I asked how did they happen? She told me it comes either in a letter or telephone call and it came from a telephone call. I asked who told her that, she was reluctant and as I persisted, she told me the name of the person. It is a Director. So you see, this is a massive coverup in my opinion. They did resurface and most likely filtered and camaflouged the odor. I think a new pump was installed as there is a new larger box outside the gate by the elevator (photos to be sent).
The EPA is the only person who I think may have enforced something be done. That was my last telephone call I made before I moved. It was the holiday weekend. I begged them to help me and help the other residents still living there. She took the information and I did not hear back. However, that evening (Friday) a pump ran all night and the sprinklers were on in the courtyard. I had not seen water like that before. It seemed clean and refreshing at the time and the water and pump ran until noon the next day on Saturday. Around 11:00 PM on Friday, I noticed a strong vibration in my floor. I called Lora to come over and see if she felt it. The floor vibrated strongly below our feet and it ran from underneath the kitchen sink and outside under the dining room window. It felt like a pipe perhaps 3" or 4" round and continued all night. I ran the water in both sinks to see if the vibration would stop. I don't remember my notes, but it didn't stop. Not sure if it was stronger or weaker when I turned the water pressure on.
Shortly after this incident my neighbor Steve told me he walked all the way up to the upper clubhouse and they were having a closed meeting. He told me everyone was there and the doors were locked and a sign on the door to not disturb as it was a private meeting. Keep in mind this is July 3rd and a holiday weekend. Donna, the housekeeper, came running down to our building upset and frantic and turned off the water as the sidewalks were flooding. It was within a few hours in midafternoon that I noticed horse flies swarming around outside and gnats inside my window screens and Lora called me to tell me about her apartment and the gnats. We looked at the dirt in the courtyard and it was glistening and shiny and flies swarming around certain lily plants in the middle
. It was two nights later that I ended up in the Emergency Room at 2:00 AM with a rash covering me from head to toe and a large mosquito bite or something on my neck. I have never broken out into a rash from a mosquito bite. The mover had been inside my apartment on Monday morning moving some of my belongings and finished on Tuesday. (A side note that my car broke down on Saturday and Tuesday morning I had to have it towed and my cell phone battery was dying). My personality was nothing like I knew. I was greatly aggrevated and bloated from toxins and barely able to breathe and gasping for air every ten steps I took. It was a nightmare. The confusion was beyond anything I've ever experienced. I was in the middle of starting my own business making tie bracelets and normally I am organized, as I am now. I had tie bracelets scattered around my apartment, papers and bills thrown in drawers not even opened, I didn't know me or who I was. I felt like I was trapped inside this fog and didn't know how to get out.
One symptom I could not understand is my hair at the crown of my head would sometimes get this oily area that I could not get rid of. It would come and go. It started when I lived downstairs in my previous apartment and I remember when I was working and getting ready to drive to Los Angeles for a meeting, and after showering I could feel this clump at the top of my head. It was as if I left conditioner in my hair. I would get back in the shower and wash my hair again and rinse if for the longest time. It still did not go away. That symptom would come and go but eventually got worse and was there all of the time, until I moved out. I never had that prior and I have never had that since. I think I mentioned that I lost 10 lbs. of fluids in one week after I moved out of my apartment. My weight has always been the same all of my adult life, so this was drastic.
Also another physical symptom I had was I remember getting like a whitehead pimple on my face by my nose. Although it wasn't a whitehead and it wasn't pus inside. It was a white fluid and the skin was hard around it. It kept getting bigger and bigger and disappeared after I moved out too. Along with my eyes underneath looking very yellow and brown. I guess I can provide you with more physical symptoms of gas and toxins. Again, this is just the top of the icing, I have many more facts than this.
Regarding my sweet friend, Lora Tanner, I speak with her daily. Again Lora visited her doctor two weeks ago and recently diagnosed with bronchitis this time. Her routine is every 4-6 weeks visiting the doctor and the usual diagnosis is a sinus infection. I am quite sure before April is past, she will be back for either sinus or bronchial, this is just how it's been for the past year or more. She does have allergies but this property is contaminated.
I am not sure if I mentioned about the water either. When I moved upstairs to #309 from #108 in November, 2009 due to the poisonous spiders I was being bitten by, I later realized the extra pages in the new lease. Lora reminded me that when she updated her lease she had to sign a paper regarding the water. It instructs tenants to run the water for 2 minutes before using it. Maybe this is why the new golden County Ordinances Sign was posted by the mailboxes about something on the property may cause cancer.
My apologies for turning in a short response to you and I turn it into a book. I am at a loss how to continue to deal with the problems and issues I've had to endure and others still there. I do believe they fixed something and perhaps your expertise will shine a little light on the photos I will put together and send. This is a complicated case and it is very difficult for me to go back and remember this part of my life as I continue to struggle to rebuild my new life. If you care to check out my website that I was trying to start my business at that most difficult time, it's in the start up phase called [removed by request 7/8/2013 - Ed.] I know I am getting better because I was able to get it built and some items made, but it is a continuous.
Speaking for myself and Lora, we are both grateful for any comments or recommendations you may offer. At this time though, neither of us can afford a reputable inspector. I am not sure if they filtered and resurfaced it anything will show or confirm. We both have many witnesses and neighbors who smelled the odor and how bad it was last summer. - S.H.
Follow-up comments from reader about Hydrogen Sulfide gas exposure concern
I Hope you remember me as I wrote to you in response from your website regarding the sewer odor located at the previous apartment complex where I lived (Morning View Senior Terrace Apartments, 439 W. El Norte Pkwy, #309, Escondido, CA 92026). I am not sure if you received my previous email and several photos; I realize they were not in good order.
Below is an email I thought may be of interest to you as things continuously change back in Escondido, CA (where I lived). Lora Tanner (my previous neighbor who still lives there), called me this afternoon and noticed the sewer odor and chemical smell very strong. Also another neighbor Steve, she spoke with was outside and he commented it is still there. I talk to Lora almost every day since I moved out and I may have mentioned in my previous email, I notice her symptoms appearing off and on, similar to what I had to go through. I feel very helpless and am still trying to recover myself.
Lora is trying to save money and move out but continuously going to the doctor for sinus, bronchial, more recently a fungal infection. Her doctor told her the last time she went to see him (last week) that he didn't want to continue giving her antibiotics and is referring her to an Allergist. Summer is when the odor was worse and I'm not sure if that is because I had my windows open more often or if the pipe or pump continues to break because it can't be fixed.
I wish more than anything I could get the invoice of the work that was done on the propery and the resurfacing, etc shortly after I moved out. My heart is saddened as my energy to keep fighting to find the truth has taken it's toll on me. - S.H.
Listening to my tirade, you know I was (and still am) gassed to the point of losing it, so to speak. I tried to pin point the chemical odor. Then it occurred to me, that my dad had talked about naphthalene a lot. In the Ruhr Valley, where I grew up, where generations of our families had grown up, there was that in the air at all times. It's an area of coal mining, coal processing, coal used in steel production, etc.
I looked up this naphthalene in the medical dictionary: A hydrocarbon, one of the constituents of coal tar. Uses: As a disinfectant, (may be soil too) in moth balls, and in the manufacture of dyes and explosives. My dad, who was in the Luftwaffe, Sergeant of Arms, knew all that.
Naphthol: Coal substance used as an ANTISEPTIC . May be of soil, too? (this here is a huge septic tank under us and around us). and in certain dyes. Also prepared from Naphthalene.
What I smelled today was naphthalene, and in the Ruhr Valley, one smelled a slight odor, ever so faint, all the time. he coal mines are mined out, and the steel mills closed, for about 50 years now.
Elaine knocked and she showed me the police in the storage area. across the street. She had called the police and 3 policemen were talking to 3 drummers. While Elaine was here for just a couple of minutes, my mind was like anesthetized, - it still is. Totally dazed, lightheaded with a headache. Feels like sinus, - but it is NOT. Now that they may be using that naphthalene there is a good chance of being blown-up... I am not paranoid, and will try harder to move sooner than later. E. didn't smell a thing...
Actually, today was the first time, that I felt exactly like you did, - and you still do.
Pertaining to your own sweet self, Sue: you make sure that you sell your own bracelets and cushion-up your $-funds. Keep it cash-on-hand. Whatever you do, jobs, sales in bracelets, look out for yourself first. You will not loose Doug, not in any way. That's what prayers are for. - L.
Reader Comment: recognize the linkage between toxins and symptoms and sewer odor
My previous email I continue to forget to thank you for your site. If it wasn't for your website and information I would not have found the connection between "sewer odor" when I googled that and the "toxins" and "symptoms". I would have honestly thought it was me, and I was going insane.
Of course after moving out, most of my symptoms went away within a week, except the residual. Lora Tanner and I both understand the symptoms and dangers associated with this because of you and your research and expertise. I believe you saved my life because I may have not moved out. I decided to move out immediately after reading these toxins and realized why I was sick. My sincere thanks. - S.H.
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Technical Reviewers & References