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Hardware That Literally Doesn't Stink?

simoniker posted more than 9 years ago | from the jacksonesque dept.

Hardware 683

gtaylor writes "You know that new computer smell? Some people (like me) get sick from it. Can Slashdot readers provide good suggestions for mice or keyboards made from ceramic, unlacquered hardwood, metal, etc, non-plastic headphones and microphones, screens like the new metal-framed cinema display from Apple, etc? (Wood is not necessarily right if it's glued or varnished.) I have a Sharp Plasmacluster air purifier that is very helpful but the fewer volatile organic chemicals released in the first place, the better. I'll also need a chair (leaning to the Herman Miller Mirra chair) and an adjustable metal/hardwood desk. High-density hard synthetics like polypropylene (a popular material at Ikea) or acrylic are also inert enough to be fine if they have no plasticizers - suggestions for a full office set-up welcome."

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683 comments

Oh, patients... (5, Funny)

Davak (526912) | more than 9 years ago | (#10007939)

As a practicing pulmonary doctor, I see patients that claim a wide variety of environmental sensitivies. My one patient was an engineer who thought her computer "was releasing chemicals that were killing her" did the following.

She placed her computer case in a plastic storage bin and placed it in the crawl space under her bedroom. She then bought extension cables for everything and ran the cables up into her living space. I wish I had the pictures she brought in... but her setup included a desk mounted power switch as well.

Once she moved her computer out of her bedroom she decided that her light bulbs were releasing harmful chemicals. It was obviously her light bulbs because she had moved basically everything else out of her bedroom.

Of course, she slept with her cat... but her cat couldn't be causing her allergies. Of course not.

Gesh... just another day at the office.

Davak

Re:Oh, patients... (3, Insightful)

Alejo (69447) | more than 9 years ago | (#10007997)

rotfl

Even ignoring that... i would go get some nasal filters or similar solution if need to, or get some air filtering system for home. Change the world around you vs. change yourself.

Re:Oh, patients... (5, Funny)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008003)

but her cat couldn't be causing her allergies

No, her cat told her about the computer.

Re:Oh, patients... (5, Informative)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008035)

I am a practicing allergist and I have found that most people with multiple environmental allergies are just a little mental. Sorry, there is no other way of saying it.

I am NOT suggesting that all people are like that... just most. So I hope the person who submitted the question doesn't get offended.

As an allergy doc, let me suggest something before you kill yourself with this stuff. Just go see an allergic specialist in your area. We can skin test for almost every known allergic substance to man. Plus, as the medline article that you referenced (which says nothing about computer/electronic smells) suggests, you may have asthma if these smells are making your feel poorly.

Reading from your website [cleanshopper.ca] it appears that you may believe you have chronic fatigue syndrome as well. Is there some connection between multiple environmental sensitivies and chronic fatigue? It would be odd for you to have two rare diseases.

Re:Oh, patients... (2, Interesting)

ShecoDu (447850) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008142)

I have an inherited dermathitis (I dont know if that's the name in english) My face gets irritated when the weather changes (rain really kills me)

Would you happend to know a solution for that kind of problem?
Is that an allergy or a dissease?

Thanks

Re:Oh, patients... (2, Informative)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008162)

Try E45 [e45.com]

Re:Oh, patients... (3, Funny)

Dark Lord Seth (584963) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008042)

What scares me more is that she's an engineer... One would assume "Common Sense" would be pretty much standard with engineers... :(

Maybe the cat isn't the problem (1, Offtopic)

maynard (3337) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008089)

Of course, she slept with her cat... but her cat couldn't be causing her allergies. Of course not.

Now, not speaking as a physician, so I'll defer to your expertise, but isn't it possible the patient knows her cat isn't the cause because she's properly ruled the animal out as the cause of her symptoms? As someone who has gone through the trial and error of trying to discern that specific cause of a food intolerance, with a doctor who was too busy to be concerned, I have some sympathy. For me it turned out that eating chicken caused heart palpitations. My PCP didn't consider the palpitations serious after a holter monitor test, but I was certain diet was the cause and went through a long series of removing various foods until I figured out the specific cause. Removing chicken from my diet has dramatically reduced (really - removed) the palpitations.

IOW: maybe your patient knows something you don't, and she honestly tried to convey it to you during her consultation. In which case you would be yet another example of the doctor too busy to listen to his patient. Which does happen all too frequently.

Cheers,
--Maynard

My PCP (5, Funny)

lavaface (685630) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008113)

Whoa! For a second there I thought you said your PCP wasn't giving you heart palpitations and I thought "Man, your dealer's rippin' you off!" : )

Re:Maybe the cat isn't the problem (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008133)

do you think that somebody who decides 'it's the lightbulbs' would have properly ruled that out?

Beats me... (1, Troll)

maynard (3337) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008149)

...we're seeing this only from the viewpoint of the OP. We don't have his patient's counterpoint to form an honest judgment. --M

Re:Maybe the cat isn't the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008141)

If you're having heart palpitations you should stop doing PCP.

The whole idea is crazy! (-1, Troll)

Joey Patterson (547891) | more than 9 years ago | (#10007943)

I don't get it.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10007946)

My shit never smells.

I like the smell... (5, Funny)

Kjuib (584451) | more than 9 years ago | (#10007948)

send me your new goods, and I will send them back after I wear the new smell off... Sounds like a plan to me!

Why don't you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10007951)

Just spray some air freshener?

What if... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10007958)

If your girlfriend gave you a dutch oven would you die? Good thing that's not a legitimate worry I guess

Sorry I cant help (4, Interesting)

MrP- (45616) | more than 9 years ago | (#10007959)

Sorry I cant help.. but i cant imagine computer hardware that doesn't smell.. theres nothing quite like the smell of a fresh motherboard... mmmmm its like gasoline.. smells so good!

Re:Sorry I cant help (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008002)

I just live with the smell for one or two days. By then everything smells of coffee and I'm OK.

Re:Sorry I cant help (1)

JeffSh (71237) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008102)

on a semi-related note, i recently bought a shuttle motherboard. it had the most amazing smell. it was almost a perfume.. they should bottle whatever they cleaned that thing off in. aside from the skin burns that would no doubt result, it would probably do well on market!..

Re:Sorry I cant help (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008128)

Yep.. We use Shuttles at work.. it's awesome.. I get PAID to SNIFF THEM!

Re:Sorry I cant help (2, Funny)

caston (711568) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008187)

But I'm afraid the line "you smell almost as sweet as a shuttle mainboard" has yet to wooo any of the women I have tried it on.

Be a man! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10007961)

What is this, news for pussies, stuff that oh! hurts a little?

Be a man and handle the computer with your bare nose, your V8 truck and your rifle with your bare hands and your girlfriend with your bare dick. Anything else is imitation.

Re:Be a man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008018)

I understand what he's talking about.
New cars literally make me sick.
And for the record, I have a V6 Truck and a 20 gauge shotgun.
But new cars... no fuckin way my friend.
Oh, you must be new here... This is *slashdot*, by "girlfriend" you must mean "right hand", or "middle finger".

Re:Be a man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008075)

What if he's jewish? How do jewish guys jerk off? High consumption of lube? Must be really annoying...

Re:Be a man! (2, Insightful)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008029)

"..stuff that oh! hurts a little?"

Best. Line. Ever.

In Soviet Russia (-1, Troll)

kmfdmk (577142) | more than 9 years ago | (#10007967)

the computers get sick from us. (and the vodka).

Mod Parent up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008151)

For once someone makes a soviet russia joke that is kind of funny. Mod Parent up.

Ahem (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10007969)

I think with the majority of Slashdotters, the hardware which suffers most from stink problems lies between the keyboard and chair...

FUCK YOU FAG (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10007973)

nigger

keyboards (5, Funny)

funkdancer (582069) | more than 9 years ago | (#10007975)

dunno about plastics etc but if you ever tried popping off a key or two in one of your few-year-old keyboards - particularly if you regularly eat at your computer desk, well chances are you've located a primary source of smell just there.

Take up smoking... (5, Funny)

WarMonkey (721558) | more than 9 years ago | (#10007980)


Take up smoking. Tobacco will give you a legitimate reason to worry about your health and deaden your sense of smell.

Re:Take up smoking... (1)

joeytmann (664434) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008073)

Thats what I did. *puff puff*

Here's a suggestion... (0, Troll)

kendoka (473386) | more than 9 years ago | (#10007981)

get out of your bubble, dude... =P

This guy just has too much money (1, Funny)

iammaxus (683241) | more than 9 years ago | (#10007986)

Seriously. Us poor script kiddies are crying, "need more b0xen!" and this guy is wasting all this money on some damn non-volatile plastics.

Next on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10007991)

Ripley's Bullshit or not!

What are you talking about? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10007995)

Everytime I open a box of electronics, the first thing I do is take a wiff.

That new computer smell reminds me of christmas as a kid. Why would anyone get rid of the smell?!?!?

Re:What are you talking about? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008144)

For me it's that freshly opened box of Kodachrome transparencies.

The one thing it's obvious you can't live without. (4, Funny)

Mordant (138460) | more than 9 years ago | (#10007999)

This. [astronautix.com]

Re:The one thing it's obvious you can't live witho (1)

ZeroConcept (196261) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008085)

Or this [starwars.com]

Wooden Peripherals... (2, Informative)

mokiejovis (540519) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008008)

I found woodbin.com [woodbin.com] after a quick google search.

I used to hate Big Macs (5, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008011)

Couldn't stand em. Made me sick. Well one day I decided to have one even though I didn't like em. Felt like I had wasted my money. Know what I did? I bought another one. After about 5 Big Macs I was startin' to dig it. Now I really like Big Macs. Sometimes you have just to grin and bare it until your body adjusts. Now maybe you have a serious medical condition and are literally allergic to this stuff. In which case, you can probably get some injections that will very slowly expose your body to it until you are used to it. But chances are you're not seriously allergic to this stuff, you're just a big cry baby. Eat the damn Big Mac.

Re:I used to hate Big Macs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008090)

grin and bare it?

It depends on what you're adjusting to - either the US navy, or the Finnish army might be a good place for you.

Re:I used to hate Big Macs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008103)

Allergies are often worsened by exposure to the allergen.

Re:I used to hate Big Macs (1)

Sneftel (15416) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008117)

Your story is an inspiration to all of us whose dislike of Big Macs is seriously impeding our ability to function as productive members of society. Power, brother.

Re:I used to hate Big Macs (4, Funny)

evn (686927) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008118)

Couldn't stand em.
Made me sick. Well one day I decided to have one even though I didn't like em. Felt like I had wasted my money. Know what I did? I bought another one. After about 5 Big Macs I was startin' to dig it. Now I really like Big Macs.

I think you might have had something wrong with you long before you ever had the Big Mac. I mean you force fed yourself the culinary equivalent of raw sewage for God's sake!

Re:I used to hate Big Macs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008123)

Wow, I am shocked to discover a Slashdot user eating 5 Big Macs in a row! (I figured it would be 6-10 LOL!)

Re:I used to hate Big Macs (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008145)

I used to be afraid of burning myself on the stove, so I did the same thing. Now I have no feeling in my right hand. I guess that means it worked???

Re:I used to hate Big Macs (3, Funny)

wwest4 (183559) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008193)

I used to hate buttsex. Couldn't stand it. Made me sick. Well one day I decided to try it even though I didn't like it. Felt like I had wasted my time. Know what I did? I had more buttsex. After about 5 buttsex sessions I was startin' to dig it. Now I really like buttsex. Sometimes you have just to grin and bare (sic) it until your body adjusts. Now maybe you have a serious medical condition and are literally allergic to this stuff. In which case, you can probably get some injections that will very slowly expose your body to it until you are used to it. But chances are you're not seriously allergic to this stuff, you're just a big cry baby. Have the damn buttsex.


Suddenly, your advice doesn't sound so good.

Allergies aren't the same, because it's less an issue of personal preference than big macs or specific sexual proclivities. People can carelessly spew allergens... they can't carelessly perform anal on you or casually force-feed you big macs. If they did, you'd be pretty pissed, wouldn't you?

smells (2, Informative)

icandodat (799666) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008021)

The part of the computer that 'smells' the worst is the part you can replace. The case dosn't smell like anything it's the mother board that gives off the most odor and mostly when its hot. If you don't want the stink buy an old well used MOBO the funk should be gone from it. Also you could keep the case open and have lots of air moving around to keep it cooler and not the the funk build up so much. I know what your talking about I just bought a new mobo and P.U.

look in the archives.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008023)

theres a similar kinda question and discussion from a year or two back..

about alleged allergy to 'high tech' materials that release something into the air.

Old things don't smell new (1)

PunchSix (251493) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008024)

The new computer smell bothers you? Buy an old computer.
At least look into used parts (keyboard/mouse) and put your machine by an open window before you unload $$$ on a bunch of Ikea junk.

How to make the problem *better* (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008027)

My youngest son had many such allergies: plasticizers, peanut butter, and a few others. After dealing with the HMO quacks for over a year, we took him to a real doctor, who showed us that the only way to cope with these afflictions is to gradually increase your exposure to them so that you can build up a tolerance. DO NOT try to run from them like a sissy; they are everywhere, and you will ruin your life if you can't handle a little plastic or varnish here and there. These days, the symptoms are all but nonexistent in my son, and the treatment worked.

Just my 2 cents, from a concerned parent who's been there.

I got the perfect solution (2, Funny)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008028)

Alright so these people who can't handle the smell of new computers can do this:

Have them shipped to my house.
I'll use them for a few years.
I'll ship them to your house.

problem solved!

Please take this seriously (4, Insightful)

cyclop (780354) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008032)

Sensibility to volatile compounds is a rare allergy, but it is true. It's not some kind of queer twist. There are people that cannot dress anything but pure,white cotton without having serious, harmful allergies.

I'm allergic,with asthma. My condition is much milder than him, but I indeed suffer inside new cars, for example.

I hate politically correct,so it's nice you joke. But,after,try help him. (I have no clue,sorry).

Re:Please take this seriously (1)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008137)

Yes, people with asthma are sensitive to a whole range of smells and chemicals that most people are not... there is no doubt about that.

However, the majority of patients can tolerate those smells without any issues if their asthma is well treated.

btw, searching all the medical journals with pubmed [nih.gov] for Sensibility to volatile compounds gives no responses.

Troll Time (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008033)

Buy plastic and deal with it you wuss. Darwin wins.

WTF?!?! (1, Funny)

desmogod (792414) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008034)

This has to be a joke right? I mean, If you get sick from the smell of a keyboard, then what else in the room is making you sick? Think you might be grabbing at straws a bit here? Blame it on your parents, it's their fault for not letting you outside to eat worms and dirt when you where a kid.

Go organic! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008038)

My whole computer is made out of free-range tofu.

If you are going to breath fumes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008040)

Then breath something with a decent toxic kick.
Bitumen ashpaultic compound. It's got the fumes, the oily yet rubbery texture and the carcinogenic properties you just won't get from your electronic equipment purchases.
It's also a lot cheaper and better for damp proofing.
Been applying it all day.

Loosen up, it'll do you some good (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008041)

Eat food that dropped the floor. Occasionally sit in uncomfortable chairs. Touch public doorknobs. Eat raw red meat. Don't avoid people with colds. Get some sunshine, exercise. *gasp* Turn off your air purifier.

Try some of these things, maybe your body won't be so goddamn frail. If you eat organic food and live in fear of germs your whole life, when some nasty disease comes along, your body won't be able to cope.

In other words, don't be such a wimp.

What not just air it out? (4, Insightful)

erice (13380) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008043)

If you very sensitive, get a friend to open up all the shrink wrap and let it air out and his/her place. New plastics do outgas but it doesn't last very long.

Re:What not just air it out? (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008170)

I was going to post this; it is the obvious solution and is ultimately the cheapest and most flexible possible solution, at the price of requiring some initial patience.

If this is inadequate then ultimately your body won't ever let you near computers anyhow.

I would like to echo the allergin therapist's comments, though; for something like this it is worth double-checking that you have correctly diagnosed yourself. Self-diagnosis is not impossible but it is challenging to get right because of the impossibility of conducting controlled experiments (and I mean "controlled" in the scientific sense). I've been right, but I've also been wrong for years at a crack, and who knows if I'm as right as I think I am now?

This is how you go through life? (3, Funny)

pudding7 (584715) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008044)

Wow. What a way to live. Have you ever bought a new car? Do you ever plan too? Can you fly commercial airlines? Plane cabins stink. What about driving near pastures or out in the country in general. Do you have allergies, or just some super-sensitive snout? Do you complain when a movie theatre smells like feet, or do you avoid movie theatres because of your condition. I mean, if you spend this much time trying to make sure your desk is ok for your nose, it must be pretty serious. Do you claim ADA and get special stuff at work, or do you suffer though each day.

Sounds like a geek ailment to me.

i've been afflicted by this and nearly killed (4, Funny)

seringen (670743) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008046)

one time i dropped my computer on my foot and slid down a few stairs while moving. In that case, the computer itself was a very large airborne particle!

"air it out" (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008050)

The chemicals will gradually escape until there is very little left. Just pulling it out of the styrofoam and letting it sit in a well ventilated room for a week will take care of most computer equipment. If you purchase stuff during spring or fall you can just install it and leave a window open.

An alternative is to buy used or demo equipment that has been out of the packaging for months already.

Um, Apple displays? (-1, Troll)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008051)

Uh... i'm clanking on one here... and while the frame and support is aluminum, it seems to me to be COVERED WITH PLASTIC across the big-ass lighted part....

sorry.. .but i once spoke with a military doctor when getting a mandated physical, and while waiting for some paperwork i asked "hey doc, how many folks in here aren't really sick or hyochondriacs?(sp?)"

without hesitating, skipping a beat, or even thinking about the answer, he said. "85%. Minimum. I have some people in here every single week for the same sniffles that they had last week. The worst part is that they take up all the time slots so actual sick people (and I don't include people with sniffles to be actually sick, sorry), can rarely get in".

(okay, that was a paraphrase, not a quote)

but i wonder.. if military members are abusers of free unlimited healthcare, allah forbid what would 300 million non-military folks would do to our medical system if anyone could see a doctor at any time, for any reason, with all services free...

geeesh.. we could end up like Canada... and it take 3 years for minor surgeries.

oh wait.. they don't have 300 million people... so i guess it would be a lot worse. (taxpayer provided healthcare doesn't scale linearly any better than mass transit)

You know, I wonder...why don't Americans who have to PAY (gasp) for health care just sneak over Canadian and Mexican borders to get free heathcare in those countries like they do to the US? i wonder.....

Re:Um, Apple displays? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008098)

Because health care isn't free to USAians.

Re:Um, Apple displays? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008130)

Props for figuring out how to twist this Ask Slashdot into a soapbox for your health care rant.

Retard.

It's not the case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008054)

Why are you worried about the case? The case is not the irritant. It is most likely the chemicals used in masking and etching the circuit board that is the main irritant. That is the "new computer" smell.

Another helpful product (1)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008059)

I recommend this product as featured in the Telegraph. [telegraph.co.uk] It should once any for all remove and masculinity from your household.

Re:Another helpful product (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008131)

You laugh, but German urinal-hating feminazis [everything2.com] are a real problem, according to this report. Let's hear it for ultraleft!

Organic food (0, Flamebait)

FafnirDragon (789409) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008060)

Nothing is quite as funny as seeing someone buy organic food for 3x-4x the price. Too many people have become big babies these days and are afraid of even living.

Re:Organic food (4, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008129)

Nothing is quite as funny as seeing someone buy organic food for 3x-4x the price. Too many people have become big babies these days and are afraid of even living.

You'd enjoy reading this [directessays.com] .

More on topic though, it seems many more people today are allergic to all kinds of things than in the past, and it seems the more a society offers "hygienic", "pasteurized" or otherwise sterile food products and other products, the more kids growing up in that society get sick from over-reactivity to the things they weren't exposed in their youth.

I mean, just look at the french: they have all manners of un-pasteurized cheese and they seem to fare quite well on them, but when someone from the US and eats some of that cheese, that person usually gets a good hard case of "tourista", if you see what I mean.

That's proof that if you don't expose your body to stuff all the time, you become over-sensitive to said stuff. That's not necessarily better than letting your body learn how to deal with the stuff itself...

Re:Organic food (1)

radish (98371) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008173)

If that's the funniest thing in your life you need to get out more. No seriously. Watch some tv or something.

Organic food tastes better. The cost is (to me) negligable. So why the hell shouldn't I buy it, and what business is it of yours?

That's not the only thing (2, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008068)

I regularly spindles of CDRs and in one out of four cases, when I unwrap them and open them, *man* there's some really nasty chemical smell coming from the CDs. It's so bad I have to close the spindle as fast as possible, and I'm not even remotely allergic to anything.

If they're anything like the CDRs I buy, this guy's must be hell for him...

Re:That's not the only thing (1)

robertchin (66419) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008150)

That's never stopped me from buying CDR media that contains cyanide in the dye layer, no sirree.

SandBenders (1)

ralf1 (718128) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008071)

http://technovelgy.com/ct/content.asp?bnum=80

Short Answer (-1, Troll)

back_pages (600753) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008076)

No.

And this was a dumb question. Next story, please.

Re:Short Answer (1)

applemasker (694059) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008104)

Mod that shit up, amen brother.

Have you considered psychiatric counseling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008079)

Seriously.

And the usual responses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008080)

Ah, I see we have:
  • A number of posts saying that it's not the plastics making the guy sick (only one of which sounded authorative).
  • A number of posts telling him to grin and bear it (usually with obscenities)
  • Still more making fun of the OP's situation.
  • And one post actually offering helpful information.


I hope the OP wasn't really expecting to get useful feedback out of this question; I'm sure that one post will be modded off topic any minute now.

Re:And the usual responses (4, Informative)

realdpk (116490) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008167)

"I hope the OP wasn't really expecting to get useful feedback out of this question"

Who would have guessed that Slashdot would be a poor place to get medical advice?

Re:And the usual responses (2)

WarMonkey (721558) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008184)


# And one post actually offering helpful information.

Thank you. [slashdot.org]

The real trouble starts... (4, Funny)

smclean (521851) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008100)

...when you get sick from the smell of your own tin-foil hat.

Computer vapor isn't the problem (1)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008105)

Its the radon thats seeping into your parents basement thats more of a concern.

Flames Flames everywhere (0, Troll)

andrewjj20 (716117) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008108)

what s with all of the flames right off the bat, come on aren't we more civilised. if the guy really has a problem than let's give him a hand, so send your flames to /dev/null and give the guy a hand. wait this is /.

A thought: get over it (3, Insightful)

general_re (8883) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008111)

Seriously, no flamebait or trolling intended, but the world just isn't geared towards indulging this sort of predilection. What are you going to do, live life as a total shut in, in your glass and sheet-metal room? From the minute you're born to the minute you die, you're awash in organics every moment of your life, and there's nothing you can do about, nor is there generally any reason to do anything about it.

I think I stopped taking this kind of thing very seriously when I read a study where self-identified MCS sufferers were intentionally exposed to chemicals in a blind test - expose them to chemicals with no detectable odor, and they have no reaction. Expose them to harmless chemicals with a noticeable odor, and they immediately have a "reaction".

I hate to be a bastard, but I think that for the vast majority of "sufferers", the underlying problem is far more likely to be psychological than physiological. Perhaps you should approach it from that perspective.

hmm wondering (1)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008114)

If this person gets sick with just one computer then why not lock him in a datqacenter server room to see if he has the same symptoms?

But seriously something tells me its not the computer that smells...but the whole story

Tried an Obecalp Spray? (4, Funny)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008119)

I find that placing a fine layer of Obecalp spray over the entire surface works miracles when it comes to containing the problem that leads to these symptoms. Like everthing good, it is hard to get ahold of: but I have a supply, and for the low price of only $99 a bottle I can sell you some.

Unfortunately, there is a risk you may have to repeat the treatment after a while. It really depends on the severity of you Airdnocopyh (the scientific name for this serious illness) condition.

Furniture (2, Interesting)

JanneM (7445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008121)

You said it yourself - IKEA. Their stuff tends towards simplicity, with few materials, so it's easy for you to inspect beforehand to see if it works for you. Stuff like fabrics and upholstery are allergy tested (at least they are in Sweden) - we've had plenty of people worrying (rightly or wrongly) about these issues for a long time already, and so they've adapted to it. And it won't make a large gouge in your wallet either.

As for computers - try getting a second-hand mouse and keyboard (grab an IBM Model M if you can find it), as the plastic softener emissions degrease over time. For monitor, perhaps a metal-beveled LCD model could work. LCD's do have the benefit of not creating static fields in front, which tends to attract dust on to the skin (which people sometimes react to).

Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008126)

What, you got somethin' against concrete blocks and two by ten?

What a pussy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008127)

...I mean come on. Might as well kill yourself.

Inspirational Movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008136)


I would watch this [swank.com] movie for ideas and inspiration...

Gather up all your electronics, (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008152)

Put them in a big box and take them to the thrift store. Move to the country and get a job shoveling horse shit. Presumably, that kind of organics won't bother you.

How the hell did this end up on "Ask Slashdot"

Allergies (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008155)

I have a friend who is allergic to peanuts. He doesn't eat peanut butter.

That's the thing about allergies, they limit us. You need to just get over it and go herd sheep or something.

I mean, I've got this major where I have two hands and two eyes, but I can't look at two things at once while inteligently interacting with each. It's a failing, I know, but I accept it and only engage in one on screen task at any given instant. those are the breaks.

My x-GF once "almost" had this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10008180)

Now if only the semi-scientific community could come up with a way to turn believing in Bigfoot into a diagnosis then maybe they could get into the medical journals, then, when nobody's looking, sneak across into the Zoology section...

I once went out with a girl who was about two weeks from being diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivities. She (and consequently myself) was often miserable and very symptomatic. She got tested for everything in creation, but finally, after the doctors ruled out Lupus, they were left with chemical sensitivity.

Before she could get into that "world" she took a couple of weeks off from work and amazingly her symptoms improved dramatically. She never did pursue the chemical sensitivity diagnosis, and now she freely admits that she was just really damn stressed. That might have had something to do with going out with me, 'cause this all cleared up right about the time I cleared out...

No, no, anything but the ADA! (1)

switcha (551514) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008186)

...mice or keyboards...headphones and microphones...screens ...I'll also need a chair...metal/hardwood desk...a full office set-up welcome.

Sounds like someone just convinced their boss they have a legitimate disease. Shopping spree!

Air It Out/Used Stuff/Elsewhere (2, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 9 years ago | (#10008196)

First let me say get allergy tested, tested for asthma, etc. as another poster suggested. There may be some medicine that can reduce the effects.

That said I think we all know the smell of new plastic and it's not that great. Your problem is that you are bother by it, the "new car smell" if you will, only you are FAR more sensitive, right? Well new car smell goes away after a while, after the car has been aired out (it takes a while, obviously). So my first suggestion is to air it out. I would say put it in a big room (have access to a gymnasium?) or some other large space where it will be safe (obviously you can't leave it out in a parking lot). Then set a bunch of fans (or better yet rent or get your hands on one of the HUGE box fans that are used for drying carpet or cheap AC, a Gym would probably have one). Set it up and let it run (make sure there is a source of fresh air, say put the setup to pull air in from a door) and just let it go for a while (a few days maybe?). I would think that (espeically if it's hot, so it all "sweats") would do a great job of fixing it (or at least making it bearable).

My other suggestions would be to try used equiptment. Because it's used, the smell may have already dissapated.

Last is, relocate it. Is that a possibilty for you? Put the PC and such in another room (as much as possible) and run the cords through the wall. That way all you'd need is the keyboard/mouse/monitor, and maybe a diskdrive (say USB/Firewire CD-RW). The less stuff there is, the less the fumes.

As for specific products, I'm not sure what to suggest. You had an idea for a monitor, and someone somewhere must make an aluminum keyboard/mouse. Is rubber much of a problem? You could use one of those rubber keyboards (often designed to roll up or such). They may not be the most comfortable, but it might work.

If rubber does work, you could get a thin paint rubber (must exist if rubber dip exists, although that might work, I know there is a rubber spay can out there) and cover all the part (or at least the surfaces of the plastic parts). That way, you may be able to trap the smell in.

Good luck.

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