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Aster's avatar

Have your eyes ever burned when entering a new mobile home?

Asked by Aster (18877points) July 18th, 2014

Years ago my ex and I were looking at new mobile homes. We went into one and instantly our eyes began burning like we had been pepper sprayed. We ran out. I think it had something to do with the fake wood walls. Anyone else had this happen and what the heck causes it?

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6 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

I haven’t experienced this personally, but it’s likely due to formaldehyde in the construction materials. It’s a potent eye irritant.

Aster's avatar

That sounds terribly dangerous. Why would they use formaldehyde at all? Would the burning dissipate but remain just as harmful?

thorninmud's avatar

The formaldehyde will dissipate with time, but it can take many months (depending on air circulation and temperature). It’s a component of the glue used to bond many manufactured wood products, especially particle board.

Aster's avatar

^^^^^^^^^ thank you!

rojo's avatar

Not a new one, but years ago I had some good friends that lived in on old one. Every time I would visit I would get the burning eyes, runny nose and a cough followed by a splitting headache. I could not visit for more than an hour the pain got so intense.

But I was the only one who had problems, my friends lived in it with no problems, my wife never had a problem when we visited, only me. Within an hour of leaving, the eyes stopped burning and watering, the nose dried up, my headache went away and everything was fine. They ended up building a home no more than a half mile down the road and I have never had a problem visiting that home which leads me to believe it was something in the trailer, not the environment.

Don’t know what it was, my guess was the formaldehyde. It is commonly used in plywood, particle board and other pressed wood products that make up a large portion of the construction materials used in mobile home construction and at the time was also used in the foam insulation used to insulate them.

chewhorse's avatar

All I can say is way back (I think before dirt) I worked at a mobile home manufacturing company (I was a kitchen carpenter).. eventually I advanced into a final checker. There were some trailers that stunk with this aroma while others were weaker.. I was never told what it was that smelled and when I refused to check off the more potent ones I was told that it would dissipate over time, that it wasn’t toxic so I assumed that some trailers were over treated, these are what you probably experienced as it would affect me but only in short durations as I never had to stay in them for a prolonged period but I could see it would create chaos to those who were sensitive to it’s effect.

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