Is my fireplace making my babies sick?!

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Is my fireplace making my babies sick?!

Postby Wilberforce » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:42 pm

Is my fireplace making my babies sick?!

Mrs. Aleah
Posted 12/04/2013
We moved 3wks ago into a house that has a woodburning fireplace. It always smells a little bit like a fireplace when we walk by it. We were burning wood in it all last week but haven't since Friday. Yesterday and today my house smells really smoky all of a sudden. Like, I don't want to be in the half of my house because it bothers my nose. Both my kids have some kind of congestion, sneezing out green mucous, coughing, and a rattling sound when breathing nasally. My son did have croup right before we moved in and the croup cough went away (thx to the steriod shot) but he has had a lingering cough since and this is the 3rd "cold" that comes and goes, while the cough stays. So idk if my baby girl has what her brother had, she got it 4days ago, or if I need to be a lot more worried about this smoke smell. The nurse didn't seem worried about the fireplace in our house (I mentioned it when routinely asked if my kiddos were exposed to smoke yesterday at our Dr appt for shots). We haven't cleaned the ashes out yet and the flue is closed. What do you ladies think?

Kcrlmn
Posted 12/04/2013
It absolutely could be the smoke. If you can afford it I would look into having an insert installed so it is an enclosed fire with smoke that only exits the house. You still get the heat an look of he fire but not the unhealthy smoke.

mamallama555
Posted 12/04/2013
Fireplaces are a huge source of indoor air pollution. Unless it's your only source of heat, I wouldn't use it.

KJBaby2013
Posted 12/04/2013

I heat my entire house with a wood burning stove and there is no smoke smell nor should there be. I would have your chimney swept, you may have a build up of creosote.

Mrs. Aleah
Posted 12/04/2013
It is an "oven" so it has doors. We have centeral heating and a/c but were trying out the fireplace to see if it would keep the house warm and because we were excited about it and just wanted to use it. But I have wondered if it was a good idea all along. (Maybe it was my maternal instincts... or common sense... trying to break through?) Since yesterday I hate it and want it to stop stinking! We stopped burning wood because we do know that smoke would irritate their coughs more... but I didn't think it could cause the coughs. Only a puff or two of smoke escapes the fireplace into our home when we opened the doors to put another log on... so its not like we were sitting around in smoke. I'm thinking we will not be using the fireplace any longer. But what's up with its smell?

Mrs. Aleah
Last edited 12/04/2013
Thanks kjbaby2013! My mom just said something about creosote (she called it Creole, though) making it smell weird. We didn't have it cleaned out before we used it, my dh said the chimney looked clean enough... shoulda done it anyway!

Snicker09
Posted 12/04/2013
We only use wood to heat the house, it sounds like you need to have the chimny cleaned if you can't afford that get a Creseol Sweeping Log and burn that in there and it should help a lot. Also make sure you use a humidifier to keep moisture in the house because the wood will really dry everything out.

Mrs. Aleah
Posted 12/04/2013
Thanks snicker09. I will let my husband know. Good idea about the humidifier! Our woodstove does have a kettle that sits on top that is supposed to do the trick.... but it hasn't gotton hot enough to do anything... especailly boil the water to create steam!

Snicker09
Posted 12/04/2013
I keep a kettle on too but a humidifier works so much better!

mjjjsmom
Posted 12/04/2013

We have a soapstone wood stove and we use it all the time to heat the first level of our house. We don't notice a smell, however, people coming into the house for the first time do notice a slight wood burning smell. It's definitely not offensive or strong, but it's there. It can definitely irritate the nose or bronchial tubes, especially if someone is asthmatic. You should never burn wood until you've had your chimney swept. Creosote is black or dark brown and you can't really see it in your chimney -- if it's building up your stove won't be able to release the gasses and exhaust through the chimney causing it all to come back into the house. I wouldn't start another fire until you have the chimney cleaned.

JillianMMosier
Posted 12/04/2013
I have asthma, my pulmonologist made it clear the only kind of burning heat I can be around is gas. A pellet stove, wood fire place, or a coal burner would kill me.
The wood fireplace could make kids sick and adults too.
Also, make sure your co2 and other gas levels are not dangerous.

QJS'smama
Posted 12/06/2013

An air purifier might really help. We have one and love it. One day I left the house and forgot I left chicken cooking on my stove. Two hours later I came home to smoke filled house. It was awful!!! I used our purifier on the "away" sanitize mode for several hours and 5 hours later when hubby came home from work, he couldn't smell smoke at all. Last week, a friend borrowed it after their neighbors house burnt down and their own house smelled terrible of smoke. They returned ours and purchased their own.
The only down side of it is that my fresh baked cookies or scented candles don't make my house smell. My house always just has a fresh clean smell.
This is the one we have...
http://www.amazon.com/GT3000-Professional-...
Yes, it's expensive but well worth it. We got it this Spring when my son could NOT get over a chronic cough. At the same time, I started giving him some natural remedy stuff and in about a week his cough was gone!!
People with asthma say these machines help a LOT!!

source
http://community.babycenter.com/post/a4 ... abies_sick
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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Wilberforce
 
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