I have a specific biological reaction to the air in this library

I have noticed this MANY times, and it is clearly no longer a coincidence. Every time I enter the computer area of Wayne State’s undergrad library, and am here for longer than ten minutes, I get this lump in the middle of my throat, like some ball of something is forming there. The surface of my windpipe feels cool, like there’s some menthol or camphor type substance in the air, or like I just inhaled some nasal spray. I have to constantly swollow to keep that lump from really getting in my way of breathing. My throat almost feels like it is expanding.

This is not all in my head, it really happends every time I am in here. It is VERY strange, and I wonder what could make this happen? Is it the air conditioning? I normally am not in airconditioned buildings so that may be it. Or could it be something else? Any ideas? Thanks for any insight you may have.

Gosh, where to begin. First of all, IANAS. However I’ve a passing understanding of some environmental indoors issues.

  1. How old is the building?

  2. Has there been any construction in the building in the last year to 18 months, OR next door to the building and near the fresh-air intake filters?

  3. Was the building repainted or recarpeted recently? New tiles on the floors?

  4. Are you near an incinerator on campus?

  5. Is there something you do every time just before you to go the library? Another building you pass through, etc?

  6. Are you the only person ever to make such remarks?

  7. Are you prone to sensitivity or allergy to airborne elements?
    When carpeting or tiles are laid in a commercial setting the adhesives used shed vapors for months if not years. ( Yes yes, the vapors do slowly dissipate but are detectable ).

Find out what’s been done in there, and what exactly was used. I am guessing that commercial paints or adhesives are shedding vapors, in addition maybe to new carpeting itself that sheds vapors due to the flame-proofing that is used.

Stop going to the library?..





yes, this might be true. It is a new building with carpet and nice artifical crap everywhere (I mean COMPUTERS for shit’s sake, I am surrounded by computers and Ikea furniture and flourescent lights, new baseboard, copymachines and crap). But that’s nothing new. I’m 21, live in the USA and wasn’t born in a cave; I’ve been in buildings like these before. It’s just this particular one.

I suppose there are too many variables to prevent me from figuring out what it is exactly that makes me have this reaction. But thanks for the help.

And also yes, North America’s largest trash incinerator is located a mere 1.5 miles away. Sometimes when the breeze is just right and when it’s turned on, you can smell that shit from over here. It is by far one of the most ominous, foul and sinister smells I have ever experienced. That incinerator owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines for its releasing of toxins, such as all 200 forms of dioxins that exist. But the WSU undergrad library is not intimately connected to the incinerator, so I don’t think that is it. Thanks anyways.