Polyurethane causing burning in throat?

Q: I have COPD and never use chemicals in my home; no air fresheners, no cleaning products, etc., only essential oils and vinegar. We recently bought a 37 year old home and did a complete renovation (hand scrub of mildew in crawl space and encapsulation, paint inside and out including paint over stained trim, new appliances, etc.)

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Will polyurethane fumes harm my child?

Q: We finished our floors yesterday and this morning, with two coats of polyurethane. It is dry; however, we are sleeping in the house with my 3 year old and I’m starting to freak out that the fumes will harm her. The room we are in has the old flooring. Will she be ok? Please let me know!

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Is flaking finish dangerous to one’s health?

Q: I live in a poorly maintained rental apartment and the wood floors have been chipping here and there for quite some time (a few years). I stupidly wasn’t worried early on but recently have been finding tiny flakes of finish (I have no idea what was used…) everywhere. I’m becoming increasingly concerned that I could be breathing this stuff in or otherwise ingesting it, and I’m worried about the possible health effects.

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Hardwood Floor Refinishing While Pregnant, it can be a smelly situation

Q: Hi, I am 6 months pregnant. We just moved into an apartment, the floors of which were varnished two days prior to our move. It has been a week now but the smell is pretty strong. I spoke to my landlord who assured me that it is absolutely safe for me. I am not convinced though. Can you please let me know how much time should pass after the floors are varnished for the place to be habitable? Is hardwood floor refinishing while pregnant safe?

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What is the appropriate amount of time for us to not be in the home (and our cats) because of toxic fumes (from Swedish finish)?

Q: We are about to have a hardwood (oak) floor laid, and also (at the same time) another room resurfaced and refinished. Both will use ‘swedish finish’. What is the appropriate amount of time for us to not be in the home (and our cats) because of toxic swedish finish fumes?

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How to remove some old tile

Q: I am trying to figure out how to remove some old tile that has plywood underneath. My house was built in the 1900’s and I guess later the owners wanted to update the kitchen with that awful red, tile looking brick. We discovered in a corner that there is the mortar or whatever is under the tile, and then a thick layer of plywood.

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