On new mobile homes, alot of the chemical smells come from the cheap carpeting and floor padding they use and/or furniture and decorations which are closed up for long periods of time while sitting on lots with no trees, in the hot sun and very little air conditioning.  I used to work for a mobile home dealer and I would have to open up the homes on occasions just to air them out.  The chemical smell would be so bad that when I opened them it would make my nose run, eyes water and skin was awful!
I would recommend the writer to google Manufactured housing chemical smells, and she will get lots of information. is just one of the articles that could help her.  She needs to call a poison control office in her state.

If it were a mold smell I would say make sure she had enough ventilation (I like the automatic ones are worth the extra money) but I have never smelled a chemical order from a manufactered home I have lived in one for 10 years. New ones have a smell but it really should vanish. She needs to ask the former own if she bought it used. or the compnay she bought it fromif new.... I do not know any more to ad except I hope her problem goes away...soon 


Smells may dissipate for normal people, but chemically sensitive folks will continue to be bothered by things that do not bother your average person.

I am a sort of recovering fibro/CFS/neuropathy kind of person. I have been to Dr. Rea's in Dallas for treatment in addition to a local alternative doctor.

I can tell you that your environment is key no matter what your supplements are.

DO NOT MOVE INTO MANUFACTURED HOUSING.  IT, AND TRAILERS ALSO, TEND TO BE LOADED WITH FORMALDEHYDE. Although my husband doesn't really believe so much in this stuff, he is fairly supportive about the chemical thing. Even a new computer with plastic offgassing or worse a new dryer, can make me sick. Normally with the large amount of supplements I take, I am able to do well and hold down a good job as a nutritionist. So it is a benefit for the whole family if I am well.  So if YOU have a choice, move into an older home, without mold and with hardwood floors in a nonmoldy climate.

This poor woman in question needs to get a good air filter from (uses metal and no offgassing plastic parts). And keep the windows open unless the outside is worse than the inside. Foustco also has aluminum available in large sheets to seal offgassing parts if there are individual problems worse than others.  Particle board in use is a big culprit.

And take lots of cleanse stuff. If she is not already taking probiotics/high quality nutrition (I take Garden of Life), and cleanse things (I take Pure Body Institute), and eating a diet low in sugar. I have heard good things about your "egg"product, but I was allergic to it.  Unfortunately, the disability caused by fibro makes it difficult to work so many are not able to afford. She needs to decrease her exposure and increase her body clearing. I take a lot of vitamin C and tri salts to clear exposures.

First and foremost, check the carpeting!  My sister had new carpeting put in her house and, long story short, ultimately they had to remove it.  Most often it’s in the backing or the padding.  So check this out with a carpet expert before you tear your whole house apart.

The idea is that chemicals are slowly leaching for a wide for variety of common household materials (think the new car smell).  Some people get a sensitivity towards these chemicals and become physical ill.... The condition is contraversial (not official recognized completely yet) and known as multiple chemical sensitivity (and believed to possibly co-exist with fibro and CFS).. it is not clear if it is a physical condition or psychology condition
some helpful websites:
on a side note... i find it interesting the condition isn't fully recognized... i work as a chemist and we reminded that one of the reason we need to be careful with the chemicals we work with is being of increased sensitization....

I have lived in a manufactured home for twenty years (we designed it and ordered it new). I don't think I have had any problems with chemical scents or ductwork. I do have Fibromyalgia!

I only know that I am so so....................affected by samells and my husband is not bothered, I get deathly and violently is something that seems to happen . I believe we are very sensitive to smells because of the fibro......................... I wish I could help  but I suffer also...............

This is a good book for the reader who is in a mfg. house, having symptoms - Her
husband should read this also- "Tired or Toxic:  A Blueprint for Health, by
Sherry A. Rogers, M.D.  Ddr. Jacob Teitelbaum recommended it to me a few
years ago.  If it is not available, there has to be another similar one out
there they could order from the library.

Oh yes, there is outgassing of carpet, vinyl, formaldehyde, etc. Don't waste money on getting an air quality guy to come in. We did that before and unless you are going to sue someone, there's not much that can be done because indoor air quality standards are not in place in most states. The only real reason to get a person to come in is to see if there is a mold problem. But before doing that, use the essential oils. Check your book, Dom, for the best ones to help. We used Thieves, lavender, and others. We put drops in shallow pans of water in areas that were outgassing. Refreshed the oils as needed. Then use the oils helpful for lungs and for allergies. I use Peace and Calming for my allergic reactions.
I have read that you can sprinkle baking soda on carpets. Let sit, vacuum, etc to help with outgassing of carpets. I have never done that, though. For vinyl products there is not much that can be done, but I clean vinyl floors with 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water solution and that might take out some of the gases if done regularly. For small enclosed areas, I would put out powdered charcoal in a shallow tray (no water) and leave for days. There may be a zeolite product that can be put in the areas to removed odors but I have never tried that, either.
Anything that can be removed from the mobile home, air out in the direct sun for a day. If no sun, put in dryer and tumble on air dry for an hour or so. Wash anything that can be washed. Use non-scented soaps and baking soda cleaners and vinegar as you can.
I have thoroughly researched air purifiers and not many help with gases. The most expensive ones that say they help with gases and cigarette smoke may help, but they were too expensive for me to buy.
I would do all that could be done cheaply before getting air quality samples because the good companies are really expensive and then what do you do with the info? You have to move and/or sue to do anything about the problem. We are truly being poisoned by all kinds of the plastics and chemicals in the environment.
Dom, be careful with what you buy when you buy! Maybe rent first and see if the new one is OK?


I have asthma. What can I do about
formaldehyde in my manufactured or modular home?

Industry uses formaldehyde to manufacture building materials and household products. Other sources inside the home might be smoking or unvented appliances such as kerosene heaters or gas stoves.
The main sources of formaldehyde in a home are likely to be pressed wood, which uses glues that have formaldehyde in them. Some of these pressed wood products include:  particleboard, which is used as sub-flooring and shelving and in cabinetry and furniture; hardwood plywood paneling, used for wall covering, cabinets and furniture; and medium density fiberboard, used for drawer fronts, cabinets, and furniture tops. Medium density fiberboard is generally considered as being the highest formaldehyde-emitting pressed wood product.
Formaldehyde is also used to add permanent-press qualities to clothing and draperies, as a component of glues, and as a preservative in some paints and coating products.
Levels in average homes without formaldehyde insulation are usually well below 0.1 (ppm). In homes with moderate to large amounts of new pressed wood products, levels can be greater than 0.3 ppm. (Very few homes now install Urea-formaldehyde foam insulation - UFFI - due to the increase of formaldehyde that was found in tests back in the 70s).
Other pressed wood products, such as softwood plywood are produced for exterior construction use and contain phenol-formaldehyde (PF) resin in stead of urea-formaldehyde. Although formaldehyde is present in both types of resins, pressed woods that contain PF resin generally emit formaldehyde at considerably lower rates than those containing UF resin.
Since 1985, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has permitted only the use of plywood and particleboard that conform to specified formaldehyde emission limits in the construction of prefabricated and mobile homes. In the past, some of these homes had elevated levels of formaldehyde because of the large amount of high-emitting pressed wood products used in their construction and because of their relatively small interior space.
Over time, formaldehyde emissions will decrease. There are some things you can do in the meantime to minimize the effects. These include:  good ventilation, air conditioning and a dehumidifier. High heat and high humidity will contribute to the quicker release of formaldehyde. Using an air conditioner and a dehumidifier will be highly beneficial in keeping down emissions. Also, using exterior pressed wood products in place of the usual interior products may also help eliminate the concentration of the emissions.
Test kits are available as well as products that seal particle board.
The cure for plumber's butt - makes a great gift!



This pamphlet provides answers to basic questions about formaldehyde. It will explain what formaldehyde is, where it can be found, how it can affect your health, and what you can do to prevent or reduce exposure to it.
A family recently installed a new counter top and cabinets in their kitchen. After the installation was completed, an odor seemed to linger. That evening, while cleaning up after dinner, the mother’s eyes began to water and the youngest son started coughing. When they left the kitchen, they noticed that the symptoms went away.
Formaldehyde is a colorless gas with a strong, suffocating odor. It often is mixed with alcohol to make a liquid called formalin. The largest source of formaldehyde is the chemical manufacturing industry. Formaldehyde is found in cigarette smoke and also can be formed in the environment during the burning of fuels or household waste. Very small amounts of formaldehyde are found naturally in the human body.
Formaldehyde can be used for many purposes and is a popular chemical because of its low cost. It can be found in items such as plywood, particle board, and other pressed wood products that are commonly used to make furniture, cabinets, wall paneling, shelves, and counter tops. Formaldehyde also can be used to kill germs or as a preservative, and is found in some commercial products. It also is found in items such as dyes, textiles, plastics, paper products, fertilizer, and cosmetics.
Formaldehyde was a component in urea formaldehyde foam insulation (UFFI). This type of insulation was installed in many homes during the 1970s and early 1980s. Due to potential health concerns associated with UFFI, the demand for this product became virtually nonexistent and it has rarely been used since 1983. Although older homes may still contain UFFI, any formaldehyde releases would have occurred in the first five years following installation and would no longer be a cause for concern.
The most common way to be exposed to formaldehyde is by breathing air containing formaldehyde. This usually occurs in indoor environments where the gas has been released from formaldehyde-containing products. Exposure to liquid formalin may be through the skin or by ingestion.
Breathing air containing low levels of formaldehyde can cause burning and watering eyes. As levels increase, it can cause burning of the nose and throat, coughing, and difficulty in breathing. Some people may be more sensitive to formaldehyde and have effects at levels lower than expected.
Strong mixtures of formaldehyde gas or liquid can cause irritation or a rash if they contact the skin. When swallowed, formaldehyde can cause severe pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Formaldehyde that enters the blood stream can produce effects similar to drinking too much alcohol.
Animal studies have shown increased nasal cancers in rats and mice who inhaled high levels of formaldehyde for a long time. Because of this, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has classified formaldehyde as a probable human carcinogen (cancer causing agent). This means there is enough evidence that formaldehyde causes cancer in animals, but not enough evidence that it causes cancer in humans. Human studies are inconclusive because it is not known whether observed increases in cancer are due to formaldehyde exposure or to other factors, such as smoking.
Products that contain formaldehyde compounds can release formaldehyde gas into the air. These types of releases are known as "off gassing" and they occur most often in products such as plywood, particle board, and other pressed wood products. The amount released is greatest when the product is new, and decreases over time. Formaldehyde is released more readily at warm temperatures and high humidity.
In manufactured homes that contain large amounts of pressed wood products, there are concerns about the initial indoor level of formaldehyde. In 1984, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) set standards for construction of manufactured homes. These standards require that manufacturers only use pressed wood products that release formaldehyde at levels below an accepted guideline. The standards also require that a health notice concerning formaldehyde emissions be included on all new manufactured homes.
Because of its strong odor, formaldehyde can be smelled at very low levels. The typical person can smell formaldehyde at levels less than those that might cause health effects. People who are hypersensitive or who have respiratory problems may experience effects at levels lower than what can be smelled. There are ways of testing the air to learn how much formaldehyde is present. If you think that your home may have high levels of formaldehyde, contact your local health department for more information.
A simple and effective way to reduce formaldehyde levels in the home is to increase air flow in the affected area by opening windows and doors. This lowers the level of formaldehyde by increasing the amount of outdoor air. Usually, the levels decrease and odors are gone within a few days.
Another way to reduce exposure is to apply a barrier between formaldehyde containing surfaces and the indoor air. Products such as latex-based paints or varnish can block formaldehyde “off gasses.” The use of vinyl coverings such as wallpaper and floor covering on particle board panels also has been effective. If all other efforts fail to reduce formaldehyde to manageable levels, removing formaldehyde containing products from the home environment may be necessary.
Illinois Department of Public Health
Division of Environmental Health
525 W. Jefferson St.
Springfield, IL 62761
TTY (hearing impaired use only) 800-547-0466
This pamphlet was supported in part by funds from the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act trust fund through a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
A reader writes The Green Guide:
I have been an avid reader of The Green Guide for about a year now and find it so helpful! I am currently in a tough situation and my only option is to move into a manufactured home on land my parents own. I have long despised these types of homes as an environmental nightmare and health hazard. I have two toddlers and am just wrought with anxiety over their health and well-being in our new home.
I am hoping you might be able to give me some information to help minimize the health risks. Are there certain manufactured homes with less off-gassing (esp. formaldehyde) than others? Are some better environmentally than others? I want to do what is best for my family and the planet. Please help!!!
(Oh, and my son has severe food allergies which will progress to environmental allergies so I am really concerned about him breathing toxic air!) What can I do to lessen his exposure? Are there any filters that remove formaldehyde from the air?? I can't find information anywhere about these types of homes and their health/environmental impact.
The Green Guide Responds:
Unfortunately, we know of no manufactured homes out there that we can recommend, though it's possible you can retrofit your manufactured home to improve its air quality somewhat. John Bower of the Healthy House Institute had nothing good to say about manufactured homes: he told us that every one he knows of offgasses a number of VOCs, including formaldehyde, and that manufactured homes "usually have no ventilation at all." And the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green-building rating system does not include manufactured homes.
Why are manufactured homes so potentially hazardous? They contain a number of sealants and adhesives to keep the structure airtight for insulation purposes. Further, they use a good deal of resinous material, including acrylics, plastics, and large amounts of particleboard, all of which can offgas. VOCs plus a small, poorly ventilated space are an unhealthy recipe. The industry has changed particleboard formulations and improved ventilation, but Bower didn't know of a manufactured home worth recommending.
Paul Novack of Environmental Construction Outfitters, who's dealt with customers who already own a manufactured home, had a different take. He says he's performed retrofitting and renovations that have significantly alleviated air-quality concerns; he said large improvements can be made in the ventilation, paint, insulation, carpet, finish, and so on. Consult a private contractor after the fact, or, a better option, ask the manufacturer before buying the manufactured home whether you can substitute healthier materials for an added fee. Novack said that an ozone machine might knock down formaldehyde levels at first (but not while you're living there), howevere repainting and sealing surfaces and then using HEPA/carbon filter is much better. Novack adds that ozone machines can be harmful to some people. "You want to retard offgassing by sealing the walls and caulking all gaps as best you can," Novack says, adding "The key is getting the air circulation as best you can with air filters. Avoid carpeting if you can."
Bower disagreed with Novack on retrofitting: he said there's no easy way to retrofit manufactured homes to rid them of their VOCs. Adding ventilation or an ozone machine, or trying to bake the VOCs out by heating the house for an extended period, won't do the trick, he said. When two experts disagree, we remain agnostic. It seems likely that you can improve the air quality of your manufactured home, but perhaps not to an entirely acceptable level. Do keep in mind that any retrofitting you do will drive up the house's cost, lessening the savings from a cleanly built conventional house.
The Log Cabin Alternative
There are other options out there if you think you can't afford a conventional house, though it depends on your local climate and on the amount and characteristics of the land you have. In his Complete Guide to Building Log Homes (Sterling, $19.95), Monte Burch writes that the materials for a log cabin can cost as little as $1,000. (The cost goes up, of course, if you buy a kit or use a construction company, but it still is generally much cheaper than a regular home.) If you want to get even more traditional, you can look into the weather-tight circular platform tents known as yurts, originally used by Central Asian nomads. If you go through a manufacturer like Pacific Yurts (, base prices range from $3,950 for a 12' diameter yurt to $8,750 for 30'. Optional features can run you a few thousand more, and then there's another few thousand for heating and the wooden flooring. For yurts, cabins, teepees (or tipis), and other alternative homes, there are plenty of books with much more detailed information—enough, in fact, to build your own if you're handy, or to guide a contractor if you're not. Look for Burch's book, David Pearson's Circle Houses, (Chelsea Green, $16.95) B. Allen Mackie's The Owner-Built Log House (Firefly, $24.95) and Log House Plans (Firefly, $24.95), and Paul King's The Complete Yurt Handbook. (Eco-Logic, $21.95)
But don't think that any alternative home is a magic bullet. Says Bower, "Things that go inside the structure are what's important"—finishing materials like cabinets and floor covering, far more so than the structure itself. Shop around: a conventional house might not end up costing much more than a manufactured home. (And is a cheap home that creates health problems—and medical bills—actually cheap?) With a conventional home, you'll be able to control the materials used in it, and to make sure it's healthy.

This issue was being tackled by FEMA who has thousands of mobile homes that were given to Katrina survivors and they became very sick once moving in.

Mobile homes have been a major problem for individuals with MCS, CFS, FM etc. Make sure you do your homework…check the manufacturer, insulation materials etc.

If living in Florida is becoming a financial burden to you – consider North Carolina or Georgia - taxes are much lower in both states and the cost of living is a bit easier in the pocket book.

Tell your reader to get in touch with the person who sold them their home.  They should know someone that can come out and do the tests.  If that does not work, tell her to get in touch with the county office where she lives for enviromental control.  All counties should have one of these. If the county does not this, then the state office will be able to guide her where to go.   This might be the best way for her to go to have her home tested.   The enviromental control people can tell her who to call for mold, etc., testing.  Also, some contractors are able to test for these problems, even though they did not build the home. 

This sounds exactly like the new trailers that were supplied to the New
Orleans residents who lost their homes.  The residents have reported serious
symptoms, and it is established that these trailers are contaminated with
formaldehyde.  VERY SERIOUS.

I would google something like "house inspection, (name the county),
formaldehyde, mold, etc."  All home buyers should have a professional
inspector before they purchase the home.  (sorry for the bold, cant get it
off!)  These inspectors can recommend someone who can fix the problem.

Your reader is probably right about the house making her sick.  When I first moved into a "newer" house years ago I immediately developed asthma.  Went around for the first few months feeling like my chest was constricted in a barrel.  My doctor thought I was developing emphysema and scared the heck out of me.  Since I had never lived in a house that had particle board I thought it was formaldehyde in the wood that was making me ill, but could never prove it.  It did ease off after a few years.  Not sure what can be done about it.  Pretreated wood actually made me nauseated and my children developed headaches.  Had to get it right out of the house.  (We had a large piece that my husband was going to work on and he had to paint it to cut the smell.)  Be careful yourself if you move into a "fabricated" house.  The chemicals they use may really affect you.

Regarding the Mobile Home chemical smell, I remember seeing a news segment about a month ago that there were a great many people getting sick from the FEMA trailers that were given out after the hurricanes. They traced some of it back to the fact that the manufacturers used slightly different materials in their haste to get the trailers made and out the door. These materials, especially those in the cabinets, had tested higher chemicals than the normal laminate cabinets.
I would call a mold remediation company for referrals to testing laboratories. That’s probably a good place to start as far as testing an existing mobile home.
For those who are chemically sensitive, regardless of the trailer, the materials used are not like drywall or wood in a house. They are predominately plastics and laminates which are chemically laden, not to mention the dozens of chemicals used in conventional carpet as opposed to healthier natural materials like stone, tile, slate or cork floors.
On the organic front, there is a new flooring available called MARMOLEUM, which looks like linoleum but  is made from flax, rosins, wood flour and backed with jute. There are also organic carpets available online. You could ask the trailer manufacturer to NOT install carpet or linoleum or laminate countertops (in place of granite or stone or tile), which would reduce the amount of chemicals. The website for the floor is Or 1 866-MARMOLEUM.  
You can ask the dealer or manufacturer for something called MSDS sheets (Material Safety Data Sheet) on materials used in construction of these trailers, but then you will have to research the specific materials and then you still may not know if you are sensitive until you live in one of the trailers.
If surfaces are painted, I would HIGHLY recommend Bio-Shield paint, which I used all over my house with great success. Most paints, even low VOC paints contain chemicals of some sort or another. Many paint companies use chemicals that ‘surround’ the molecules, which masks odor, but still contains chemicals. Bio-Shield contains NO chemicals. It’s totally natural and goes on just like regular paint. I used a color called “Golden Dome”, which ended up a BEAUTIFUL shade of neutral butter cream. Their website is . They have color charts available to send and honestly, I would never use another brand of paint ever again.

Have you done a search of the net?  Type in offgassing chemicals in mobile homes, or check with the EPA and see if they have any info.
I did call the American Lung Assoc. once to ask about my cottage cheese ceilings and asbestos.  They were helpful and said that it is best to cover them than to disturb them, either by painting them, hence sealing in the asbestos, or by drywalling over them again...

She should be able to contact either the city or county where she lives and that should have someone that could check those items or recommend who to call.  Hope this helps.

Here in Pennsylvania there were some issues with pre fab houses and double wide homes having mold and mildew I know the one women contacted the Dept of Envromental Control though a local legistrator . They did send someone out to inspect the home and in return went back on the 422 Home Sales and the house had to be taken down and reconstructed and then inspected to see if everything was installed correct.
As far as the smells yes they are normal and do go away with time, but they are fumes from glue, carpet backing and even nylon materials ect. Everything that is used is a chemical such as caulking around the bath and kitchen are silicone. Being that its considered safe to build with I doubt anyone would do anything about it. But I do know some construction places use things to be cost effective that are not safe and get away with it. Like I said she should contact a local legislator and get the info on who to contact about the DER.

I remember this happening in Canada.  You need to call health department and they will send you in right direction.  Some people even sued because of their health.

Best and obvious solution is to move. Next best ---there are some vitamins that will help the body deal with formaldehyde. See Thorne Research's Formaldehyde Relief product.

Off gassing from a Mobile home is worse, usually, than off gassing in a "normal" house. I wouldn't move into one unless it was several years old.  The person who wrote in could buy or borrow, if she could find someone who would do so, and use an ozonator machine. It can help to bring down the levels of the chemicals. Airing it out is always a must if one can (leave windows open and spend as much time outside). If there is a good applied Kineselogist in your area who could muscle test you, you might be able to take a supplement that helps the body detox those chemicals. It is just a bad situation and Domminie, I would enter into buying one with great caution.

PLEASE don't move into anything that smells new. These chemicals are 
dangerous for people like us who have CFIDS and or FIbromyalgia. It 
takes several years for the chemical smells to go away. You are doing 
so great now, yes? Is there anyway you can stay where you are for 

The woman who wrote in- there are companies in the yellow pages- look 
up someone who does testing for the home. I am not sure where she 
lives or what companies would be in her area. I have never had my 
home tested, by then I have been moving every two years or less!!!

I too have lived in mobile homes here in Florida. My last experience was a 3 year nightmare. I found no solution but to move.
I hope and pray for a solution for our fellow fibromite. You, also need to very carefully investigate before you purchase.
We are indeed so individually different there is no pat answer for us.
About the time the chemicals dissipate the problem of mold begins. My husband washed to home with a pressure washer and bleach twice a year yet the mold seemed to permeate the atmosphere. I was at the doctor and on the heaviest medications ever during my 13 years of diagnosis with fibro. A survey nationwide of all fibromites may help.

First, a question for you.  Do you have chemical sensitivities?  For people without them, the odour is little more than an annoyance.  I have them and certain things can bring on an asthma attack.  One of these is particle board, a major building material in manufactured homes.  We researched them pretty thoroughly in our previous city and decided against them.  One of the considerations was that they were not zoned for within the city limits other than in "trailer parks", so that may be something to consider.  Outside the city you are usually dealing with well and septic, and travel time to medical facilities and other ammenities.
I cannot live in a home that is less than two years old as there are too many things that set me off.  I have owned a two year old home without incident, even though the builder repainted just before we took possession.  He managed to get some non-allergic paint for me.  Our present home was three years old when we bought it last year.  I thought I might have some trouble with the laminate floors throughout, but am fine.  We did buy a couple of particle board dressers last year, one for my studio and one for our home office.  They still bother me.  The new solid wood entertainment unit has not been a problem.  
I also have a mold allergy, but keeping things dry and getting my furnace ducting cleaned out every few years seems to be the answer.  I have a robotic vacuum that does a wonderful job of getting into every nook and cranny to keep the dust out, so I am less bothered by dust since we got it.
Hope this gives you some things to help.

I suggest she call a reputable heating/a/c place and have them check out the heating and a/c system and ductwork. There are things that they can do kill any possible mold and bacteria growing in the system. I suggest removing all carpet and replacing with tile if feasible. If there is any wall paper remove it and paint.
I live in Florida and this is what I did with my manufactured home and it helped my breathing.

I live in a mobile home that I bought new. The chemical smell is formaldehyde. It does diminish after time, but that takes a while. The worst season for it is summer because heat causes it to leech into the air. The thing you need to do to diminish it is to be sure to ventilate the home properly! Open windows regularly to let the fresh air in.  Although they are more expensive, you can choose a mobile home that has sheetrock walls instead of fiber board. It helps because it doesn’t smell as bad, and it is also more fire resistant.
I have lived here two years now and I rarely smell anything when I come home from work. It took about three months to dissipate. I have athsma, and I had a few bad times at first, but now I don’t have attacks at home often at all. I’m not particularly sensitive to this particular chemical, but some are. I’d go with your husband to the manufacturer and see how it makes you feel. Keep in mind that the smell you smell in the home on the show lot is far stronger than what you would deal with if you owned the home, because those homes sit there closed up and are poorly ventilated and are baking in the sun. I am sensitive to mold.  In my last home (also a mobile home) I was very sick because it was positioned over a tiny spring that I didn’t know about until much later. The whole underside of the home and the interior of the south wall was molded black. When we discovered it we moved to Florida, asap. I needed warmth and humidity for the athsma anyway.
A new home will have the formaldehyde smell, but it will also be relatively mold free. You can then maintain the low mold state by keeping the rooms ventilated, making sure the A/C is running in the summer (makes a big difference!) and running ceiling fans to move the air. Make sure there are no big trees shading the home, since they promote rapid mold growth. Pray a mild solution of bleach and water on the outside of the home twice a year will help prevent mold too.
My fibro has been worse since I’ve been in Florida, but I attribute that to having a great deal of financial stress, and having had a job that was putting me in a life or death struggle on a daily basis. I no longer have that job and am seeing the stress slowly lessen. Hopefully I’ll feel better soon.

Best advise I can think of  for this woman is to call poison control.
They should be able to connect her with the right person.

I know that the cement used for carpet installation (and even the carpet itself) can give off a really toxic odor.  When we moved in to our newly built home we were told to literally “bake” the smell out of our house by turning up the heat extremely high and leaving the house for hours at a time.  The heat actually helps “cure” the glues and “new” smells.  Then when we got home, we just opened up our home to air it out.  Of course this was before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia—but it might be worth a try.

Here are links to articles which the (MSM) mainstream media have not
covered about formaldehyde in Chinese made clothes and blankets.

Make sure you wash any new clothing before you wear it. Most people
with fibro are very sensitive to chemicals on new clothing.

I have also felt that my split level home has been the cause of my health problems. It is a feeling I have had for the last 8 years when my health problems began.(in house for 10yrs). I called my village and they gave me some references. When I called,I was told to do a complete inspections would require holes in walls, removing bath tiles and our emptying our entire attic with the inspection cost of $1200 dllars. We could not afford this or the cost of tile/wall replacements after their inspection. We also cannot afford to move. Even downsizing in my area is more expensive than what we paid for our house.
Please post replys because I still feel my house contributes or may be the cause and would be interested in what others have done.

Here's a search I did on Google -

Sick building syndrome is not a psychosomatic illness. It's real. The lady of the house needs to know this & tell her I said to slap her husband on his head for being silly.

This is from the EPA -  There's alot of info here. Good luck!

The chemical smell in manufactured homes is probably formaldehyde from the materials used to make the home.  Living in such a home when fairly new could send someone who is already ill from CFS or Fibromylagia into Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, which no one would like to have.  I started out with CFS and became ill with MCS after renovating my home with new flooring that was outgassing formaldehyde.  Formaldehyde is also a carcinogen.

Dominie, my grandmother (who also had fibromyalgia) could not live in
their new mobile home purchased for their lake property.

They all have formaldehyde and many other toxic products in them.

I would never live in one again myself (I did years before I began to
have my symptoms - for just one year while saving to buy a home).

We are building a small new home, as "green" as possible.  To me it's
the only smart solution for a "Mite".

Healthy Homes
Sick Home Syndrome

The catch phrase "Sick Homes" describes homes with poor, even hazardous, living environments.

There are several sources which can make homes uncomfortable and unhealthy to live in. And a basic problem is poor air quality often caused by too little ventilation.

Inadequate ventilation may be a combination of things. New houses are insulated and sealed so well that no fresh air enters in. Moisture builds up but can't escape and that makes a perfect breeding ground for mold.

Also, some types of building materials emit vapors that are harmful or discomforting to many people. Such conditions eventually make a house "sick."


Summary of Problems

"Sick House" symptoms develop because the house literally can't breathe. As a result, it gets congested with internal pollutants.

Especially in winter, pollutants can be more abundant when air flow is less. Common sources of pollutants in the home are Carpets, Furnace, Fireplace, pressed wood Cabinets & Cupboards, excessive moisture.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) consist of a range of chemicals that are released into the air over time. Often described as that pleasant, "new smell," VOCs can be harmful. Short-term exposure to VOCs can cause headaches, nausea and irritate eyes, throat and nose.

Pollutant Found In
VOCS Carpet, Paint, Fabric
Mold & Mildew Air Conditioner, Humidifyer, Heat Ducts
Nitrogen Dioxide Wood-burning Stove & Fireplace Smoke

Resin-based Particleboard, Fiberboard, Cabinets, Countertops, Carpet, Fabric

Radon Gas Seeps Through Cracks in Foundation
Airborne Particles Carpets, Ducts

Can you smell if there's trouble? Yes, and no. Even the pros must rely on sophisticated equipment. But to a degree, the nose knows.

Newly introduced VOCs, especially in carpet, can easily be detected by the odor they give off. They smell "new." Open up a cupboard door and smell. If it smells "funny," formaldehyde may be present. If you see discolored walls, it may be mold.

One's senses aren't always reliable, so if you're unsure, have the home professionally tested. That may cost about $200, but it's money well spent.

If you're thinking of buying a house, consider hiring an inspector who is experienced and will look for signs of possible indoor pollutants.


Summary of Solutions

All those creepy dust mites, molds and VOCs seem to make a house unfit to live in. Thankfully, there are some simple, cost-effective solutions to reduce/eliminate many pollutants.

  • Change furnace filter once a month.
  • Run bathroom vent fan when showering to discourage mold growth
  • Clean humidifier and air conditioning drain pans
  • No smoking
  • Let new carpet, drapes, furniture "air out" before bringing inside
  • Keep gutters clean to avoid moisture penetration
  • Repair cracks in basement/foundation
  • Regularly clean and tune all fuel-burning appliances/fireplaces
    (From the American Lung Association, Minneapolis Affiliate)

Sealed combustion units such as the gas furnace and hot water heater prevent dangerous gases from entering the home.

One of the best ways to enhance air quality is to install a whole house Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV), which we discuss in our section on Ventilation.

i lived in a mobile home, also a manufactured home for about 14 years. (1985-1999, 1 older mobile home 7 years old, and 2 new maufactured homes) - i progressively got more pain, less sleep, and my chronic fatigue got worse.  my fibro was first in my upper body, and progressed to my lower body.  there were times i felt i couldn't get out of my bed for days, weeks.  then my mom financed  the building of my home now, that was built with all green material. no formaldehyde, no formaldehyde insulation. no voc paints, or vanishes, no carpeting (used tile, could of used cotton rugs, or carpeting, but too expensive) all wood doors, with furniture that is all wood and stained with no voc stain ,not mdr wood (that has glues and formaldehyde in it).  the manufacture home and mobile home made me very sick, with making my fibro and cf turn from mild-med., to very severe.  these days i don't know if you can pick out the material you would be using in constructing your new manufactured home, but if you can't get green materials to construct it i would strongly suggest not to go this way.  i have so many allergies to everything these days that i got a letter from my allergist, which helped me build my house.  i would check with your doctor,( to get a written statement about your illness, and what chemicals do to you),  and also check with getting help for the disabled (to see if you can get a reduced loan to build a green house for medical reasons). also, try usda, for a reduced loan.  since i have been in my new house without chemicals, i can at least take care of myself, compared to having a caregiver, which i had previously for a few years.

These articles may be of some help:
Formaldehyde, CDFS-198-97

I remember when my friend bought a new car and the car seats had that new smell.  It bothered me pretty badly for the first few times I was in it.  Then after about 2 months when the new smell was completely gone I didn't feel those bad symtoms.  I think our systems are overtaxed so any chemicals will effect us easily.  If we're not taxed then it might not even bother us.  Everyone's biology is different.  I imagine You'll be fine after a month or two.
About the formaldehyde smell in mobile homes, RV's, etc.  I was once told if you turn the heat up really high for about a week it'll help to burn some of it off.  I have no idea if this is true, but thought I'd pass it on.
I have lived in a mobile home for about 18 years and that is when my debilitating brain fog and fatigue set in.  I can't move out because I can't work and my husband's income is not enough to buy a better home.  This thing I live in still reeks after 20 years.  I don't notice it till I go away for a few days to visit my sister and when I come home the smell is bad.  When we moved in there were warnings  posted in the cabinets and elsewhere to ventilate daily by running the central heating and A/C on fan only setting to bring in fresh air.  Mine has a kind of mothball chemical like smell.  I would advise anyone to avoid living in a manufactured home if they can help it. But of course, an older traditional wood frame may be contaminated by mold.
I would encourage everyone to educate themselves about  the health hazards of some building materials.  Most people take for granted that the home they buy is safe and that is not necessarily true.
Thanks for letting me vent.  And also, Ms. Bush I want to thank you for the very important information you have been getting out to people out there who are struggling with health issues.  I thought for a long time that nobody else had these types of health problems.  Many people don't believe I'm sick because this type of illness is so misunderstood.
For more information, you may call the ATSDR Information Center at 1-888-422-8737 - this is the # to call about FORMALDEHYDE, and am sure they can also get you to other sites for the other problems (i.e., chemicals, etc.)
I have the same health problems as you. Chemical smells , in a mobile
home or any home is bad. If I had to move into one, I would die or have
to be removed from that home. It takes a long long time for that to wear
off. Yes, it wears off, but not in a short while. The trailer will long out last
you, not you out last the trailer.  The worst smells in it will be the carpet,
but it can be many other things also.   For me, the smells cause me to not
be able to breath right.  First the voice goes and then the throat closes
and I would die if I stayed around it. Even Cigarette smells do it too.
My daughter who also has Fibro and chemical reactions, got new
carpet in her home and it burned her throat, chest, and nose. She will
always have problems from it. Her throat has to be treated a few times
a year because of it.
I suggest you not to spend your money on one that has these odors.
I doubt you would win over the smell, and you could lose your life's

The House Can Make You Sick

Thanks for the segment on MCS. This is very timely as I've just been ambushed by the change in scent of a good soap I've been relying on.  It made me very ill.
Your author queries if this could be a psychiatric condition.  I strongly think that it is not.  Dr Martin Pall has strong views on this. His book proposes a biological theory and has a strong chapter on psychiatric theories.  It is available on Amazon.
Explaining "Unexplained Illnesses" - Disease Paradigm for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Fibromyalgia, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Gulf War Syndrome, and Others,  Martin L Pall; Haworth Press, 2007.

I live in one myself, but it was a repo.  So there for, it didn't have new chemical smells to it.  Any newly homes will have the smell she is talking about, or any homes that have had construction work.  My ex hubby was a plumber and electrician, and I went with him sometime on the job.  All new homes smelled that way. Homes that were older homes that he worked on and others such as carpenters and etc., the additions or repairs smelled that way also.  So it isn't only manufactured homes, it is any.  It is just the things they use to make them.  (the pipe glue and silicone) that my ex hubby would use was awful.  It would always make my head blast, and this was even before my time of fibro. 

If writer is taking any fibro meds I would check side effects.  I have had that same problem with my eyes due to meds I was taking.  In fact, I was taking a couple of benedryl at night to help me sleep, same ingredients as most over the counter sleep aids, and it was making my eyes blurry and burn.  Other fibro meds have given me severe brain fog.

Those chemical smells are for real!! Even when the smell isn't evident the danger remains.

I have had Multiple Chemical Sensitivities as well as CFIDS for many years.  Please check out this website to see the dangers of formaldehyde found in pressed board, carpets, carpet cements, and insulation in 'MFG'D. Homes'.  These homes are seriously detrimental and toxic for anyone, let alone those with chemical sensitivities or chronic illnesses. I belonged to an environmental sensitivities support group for many years and mobile homes  are one of the worst toxic environments to live in or worse yet, to sleep in! And the sales person's info' on the VOC's will out gass with time is not reliable. Formaldehyde In The Indoor Environment

Check out the resource  page from the renowned Environmental Health center in Dallas Texas: a homebuyers/renters checklist.
Also check out the National Institute of Environmental Health website and check out the endocrine disrupters info'.

100 Tips for Coping with Fibromyalgia & Insomnia

  My Fibromyalgia Story

  My Chronic Fatigue Story

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor. I am a fibromyalgia / chronic fatigue syndrome survivor. The purpose of this website is not to diagnose or cure any disease or malady, but is presented as food for thought.  This information cannot take the place of professional medical advice. Any attempt to diagnose and treat an illness should come under the direction of a physician. No guarantees are made regarding any of the information in this website.