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Indoor Air Quality/Chest pain, Yellow Residue, Smoke Smell


I know it's not exactly mold related but I thought since my question does relate to indoor air quality it might be worth asking for your advice. I literally just wanted some tips on after care after outing a paper burning fire.

I had a lot of documents I wanted to get rid of yesterday, I realise I should of got a shredder but wanted rid of them there and then, so I nabbed my steel bin dragged it into the kitchen and dumped the papers inside and cremated them. Sadly I forgot to remove the bin bag attached to the outside, it melted, and while I was confident with controlling the burning I had completely overlooked that there would be smoke, and there was A LOT of it, having finished and aired out the room it still smells like smoke, it also has an acrid odor and a yellow residue on a lot of the surfaces, I didn't smell much better at the time and the left side of my chest still hurts a little (it's a similar sensation you get to when you feel something stuck in your throat--only in my chest.

Anyway while I look into getting a shredder are there any health and safety actions and precautions I should be taking, especially with regards to ridding the smell, approaching removing that yellow residue and the chest discomfort.


You should never burn anything indoors - paper, plastic, or anything (unless you have a properly vented fireplace, wood stove, etc.).  You have a real risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, plus inhaling all sorts of nasty combustion products.

If your condition persists see a doctor.

As far as cleaning, I don't know where you are located, but in many places there are products available that remove smoke odor and residue; there are often used by fire restoration companies.

Indoor Air Quality

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Stephen Major (Principal--Lakeland Environmental)


I can answer questions on indoor mold, indoor air quality, asbestos, and indoor moisture problems. This includes mold testing and mold remediation. PLEASE indicate your state or region, so I can provide the best possible answer.


I have extensive experience in the investigation, testing, and remediation of indoor fungal (mold) infestations, including the design and oversight of remediation projects, hands-on cleaning and removal, and safe work practices. I developed a successful mold remediator training and certification program, and have trained many mold workers and remediation supervisors in proper techniques. I have a strong knowledge of the ways in which moisture and airlow patterns in buildings can affect fungal growth and air quality.

BS Cornell University. IAQA Certified Mold Remediator. 40-hour HAZWOPER certification. NYS Department of Health Certified Training Director.

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