I’ve been softwashing for about six years and lately have noticed that I don’t really have much of a sense of smell. The other day, my girlfriend told me the cat peed on the couch in between the cushions. I stuck my nose in there to see how bad it smelled because she said it was terrible and I couldn’t smell anything. I can’t really smell much of anything else either and wondering if being exposed to up to 5% mix of SH (like when reating roofs) Has been so prevalent that it has ruined my sense of smell. Is anybody else experienced this or know If working around large amounts of SH on a regular basis can cause this? The other day we were doing awnings, my tech showed up after I’ve already got started, and he said it reeked like bleach. I couldn’t even smell it. Been experiencing this for a few months now, so I don’t think it’s a short term issue.
I haven’t had that, but I do wear a respirator when doing roofs or high % sh, use n95 sometimes when windy for hw….not the best protection but cuts down on the mist on windy days. The sh can damage sensitive tissue in the sinus region with prolonged unprotected spraying of high % of sh and in some cases hw if not careful……I know some guys that have throat issues because of the sh, they constantly clearing their throat…they’ve irritated that tissue. If you do this full time all year it can catch up with you quick if you don’t use proper protection…be safe out there, not worth your health to make money then you’ll spend your money you made on your health.
I thought Covid would do that to some people, but not sure about long term residual effects
Might want to get that checked Sean. Doesn’t sound good.
it can happen.
How does food taste? That’s often a strong indicator.
Dude. I’d consider that a major red flag. Wear a respirator and keep the cartridges fresh. Just because you use SH all the time doesn’t mean it’'s safe or harmless. And have a doc check you out, making sure to be honest about your exposure to airborn SH. I’m not a doctor but they say our bodies start healing as soon as you we smoking, so maybe the same hope holds true for you.
If you can (or could) smell SH, then it’s scarring your lungs. Period. Full stop.
Spending the retirement years on oxygen and dealing with COPD is going to be a too-common fate for folks in this industry, especially the “soft washers” who aren’t playing safe. Just my grim prediction.
Thanks for the replies everyone. Definitely gonna start using my mask with the Specialty chlorine filters. My smell is not completely gone, I can still smell some stuff. It just doesn’t seem like I can smell stuff as good as I used to. No throat issues or coughing, but it is very good to know about all of these potential issues, and will start being proactive about making sure that I do not cause any long-term damage or any further damage if there is any already.
This last year I started using a respirator with the vapor cartridges for kicks while working on roofs thinking that it was more for appearances and wasn’t a huge deal. I went up there without and was absolutely blown away by how bad it was when I was t used to smelling it.
I have talked to my ENT Dr and he seems sure that even in my line of work, the fumes won’t hurt me but I definitely wear the respirator now.
it’s not uncommon for prolonged exposure to strong chemicals like sodium hypochlorite in softwashing to affect your sense of smell. Safety first, make sure you’re using protective gear and have good ventilation. If the issue persists, consider reaching out to a healthcare professional. Take care!
When i started i didn’t wear a respirator because i was worried it would scare the customers away. I had a sore throat and noticed on youtube softwashing videos that the guys not wearing respirators were coughing and wheezing when talking in their videos. Always clearing their throats. When i started wearing a respirator, what a difference! No more sore throat, no irritation. Felt so much better. The best part is: all i got from customers was positive feedback if they notice at all. It just shows you’re responsible and professional. They just trust you more. I encourage every single one of you to wear a respirator.
Same as using a ladder stabilizer and tie off when possible when going on a roof.
Also anecdotally years ago i got hit by a car when going full speed on my bicycle and hit my head on the street pretty hard, lost most of my sense of smell for a few months and everything tasted the same. Then it came back to normal. The human body is wonderfully designed.
Do you wear a respirator only for roof washes or for everything?
Everything. Well, 99%.
Just putting it on the table: Zinc deficiency affects taste and smell.