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Allergic reaction to New Built in Wardrobe

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Patricia Clancy

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Hi All

I have logged into your site in order to get some advice please. Recently my mother had a new built in wardrobe made in my room. The carpenter tells me it is made of MDF and coated in monocoat. Others don't seem to notcie it but from the beginning I have found there is a strange smell from it.
The first night I slept in the room I woke up coughing and my tongue had blisters and was swollen. I felt as if I was being poisoned. I have tried sleeping there a few times but no matter how ventilated the room is I am still reacting. What could be going on?
I am in my thirties and I have never had a reaction like this before to furniture. I don't suffer from asma but I would be allergic to some perfumes. It is a lovely piece of furniture with large wardrobe and mirror in door and shelves and desk at end...I am very disappointed. It looks like it will have to be removed. It cost over 2000 euro.
Has anyone any suggestions about what we could do please?
Patricia
 

Steve Maskery

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Hi Patricia
Well MDF does smell a bit and it's not a nice smell. I'm not familiar with Monocoat (but it sounds like it's had only one coat of something), but you might check if the inside has been coated in it or just the outside.
I'd expect a piece of furniture to have to coats of finish. Sometimes a lot more, it depends on the finish, but there are many modern finishes that perform well with just two coats. Indeed, some advise against a third.
Can I suggest that you find out the following:
What exactly is Monocoat
Is the inside finished or just the outside.

If the inside is raw MDF (it's a sandy beige colour) then a couple of coats of sealer may well improve things. If the whole cabinet is already coated properly then I'm afraid I don't have a another answer.

Cheers
Steve
 

Chrispy

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I would first suspect the finish rather than the MDF, has it fully cured or can it be sealed in with something else thats not so "toxic" to you, shelac / French polish for instance.
 

Hudson Carpentry

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If its the MDF then it would most likely have to be the dust thats effecting you. I would assume all dust has settled and the room completely cleaned. Im sure you would have been around MDF panels before and would have noticed a reaction.

Digging deeper was there any walls cut? flooring taken up?
 

clk230

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i'd suggest getting proper advice from a medical professional rather than an internet forum.If something is causing blisters then get to a docs.
 

RogerP

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clk230":1enzz7ur said:
i'd suggest getting proper advice from a medical professional rather than an internet forum.If something is causing blisters then get to a docs.
Agreed.

I will add that my wife is very susceptible to chemicals used in many products. One of the worst for her is MDF which she won't have in the house in any form. Hence my last kitchen rebuild was entirely in oak - no MDF, no veneered ply, no anything man-made - just oak.
 

Lord Kitchener

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Are you allergic to formaldehyde? It's used in MDF and the product off-gases it for several months. In any case, you need allergy testing which you can get from your doctor.
 

Jonzjob

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This is the site for http://www.monocoat.us/ it sounds like a natural oil, but?

You MDF is going to be veneered with another wood. Have you any idea what wood that is? Could it be iroko?

http://wood-veneer.com/product.php?vene ... o%20Veneer

It is a lovely, hard wearing wood, but it causes problems for me with the dust?

What ever, I would go along with the idea of checking with your doctor..

Good luck and I hope it all turns out well!
 

woodbloke

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clk230":1y04ob31 said:
i'd suggest getting proper advice from a medical professional rather than an internet forum.If something is causing blisters then get to a docs.
Agreed again...check with the medics on this one before you do anything to the piece of furniture - Rob
 

Patricia Clancy

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Steve Maskery":q1udzs2u said:
Hi Patricia
Well MDF does smell a bit and it's not a nice smell. I'm not familiar with Monocoat (but it sounds like it's had only one coat of something), but you might check if the inside has been coated in it or just the outside.
I'd expect a piece of furniture to have to coats of finish. Sometimes a lot more, it depends on the finish, but there are many modern finishes that perform well with just two coats. Indeed, some advise against a third.
Can I suggest that you find out the following:
What exactly is Monocoat
Is the inside finished or just the outside.

If the inside is raw MDF (it's a sandy beige colour) then a couple of coats of sealer may well improve things. If the whole cabinet is already coated properly then I'm afraid I don't have a another answer.

Cheers
Steve

Hi Steve

Thanks for your response and advice. I shall ask the carpenter about monocoat etc . Yours sincerely Patricia.
 

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