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I recently replaced my vinyl floors with bamboo (Yanchi) The sub-floor had a small amount of black mold, but no moisture source was present. I removed it with some non-toxic treatment from Ace, and installed the new bamboo over it. Now, after a couple of hours in the home, both my fiance and I become lightheaded and develop headaches. I cannot currently stay in the home due to symptoms of: headaches and feeling of tiredness/reduced ability to concentrate.

At first we thought it was just some light mold exposure, and that the symptoms would subside as the airborne spores dispersed. It has been over a month, and the condition has not changed.

Actions taken so far:

  • New CO alarm installed with no triggering.
  • CO2 meter purchased and has never read above 800 ppm in any portion of the house.
  • Gas company tested for CO and natural gas. All 0's.
  • All sewer connected plumbing is confirmed to be sealed with traps.
  • Professional air quality inspection performed, verifying no/normal levels of: Formaldehyde, CO2, all common mold types.
  • Ozone generator run for 24 hours.
  • AC duct work inspected for leaks.
  • Windows opened and fans run with no AC for 1.5 weeks.

The condition remains. Neither of us get any respiratory problems whatsoever. I am out of ideas. Help me internet, you're my only hope.

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    Have you taken a look at the MSDS (material safety and data sheet) for the "non-toxic treatment from Ace" yet or consulted a doctor? The MSDS for the product (typically available online with a quick Google of the product name and MSDS) might tell you exactly what is going on. If not, I recommend consulting a doctor rather than the interwebs. – statueuphemism Aug 25 at 21:00
  • What did you use to install the bamboo? Was the bamboo treated with any chemicals prior to being shipped, pesticides? Try putting some plastic drop clothes down on the floor just to see if the problem diminishes. – JACK Aug 25 at 21:03
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Did your flooring come from Lumber Liquidators or China?

There is a huge problem with formaldehyde out gassing from any hardwood flooring, AND especially if it came from China. Here’s some info:

https://www.consumerreports.org/flooring/breathe-easier-about-your-flooring/

  • The flooring came from BuildDirect, and conforms to the European E1 standard for formaldehyde emissions according to BuildDirect. The ($400) pro air quality test I had done also showed no formaldehyde concerns, though the consumerreports article notes that a negative test result is not conclusive. Also, our symptoms don't seem to align with formaldehyde exposure (no respiratory problems). I am considering a methane sensor and perhaps a formaldehyde test kit that is exposed to the environment for hours (rather than minutes as done in the "pro" air quality test). – Kyle Aug 27 at 11:27
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Go see your physician, right away. I would say that your health issues could be more important at this moment.

They indeed will want to know what you installed and want the MSDS or whatever the new shortened acronym is now.

  • I am in close contact with my physician, thanks for the concern. – Kyle Aug 27 at 11:29

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