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Strange black powder or soot problem
#1
Hello everyone,

I woke up this morning, took off my mask and discovered a black ring on my face. My Remzzz liner shows evidence of this and my intake air filter on my machine was black.

The filter was changed about a week ago. I clean my mask daily. The heated tubing was cleaned a day ago. My bedroom was dusted yesterday. I took a white cloth and did not find any visible dust on the table around the machine. There was not any visible soot or dust on my pillow or sheets. I looked inside blower hole with flashlight and saw nothing. No black residue in my humidity chamber. I did not have the heat or AC on last night. I did burn a candle yesterday but not in the bedroom, and not while i was sleeping.

I took a picture but it is too large to post.

Any ideas would be much appreciated!

Thanks!
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#2
OK, I figured out how to shrink the picture. Here it is...

A bit troubling that this junk was being blown into my lungs....


   

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#3
With the onset of winter weather, its possible that this is from your furnace. I do know that with our furnace, when it starts up for the first time in the fall/winter, I can literally smell the "soot" that comes out of the heater vents.

That smell usually lasts only for a few minutes or so, and goes away. It's possible that the built up soot around the gas jets is being burned off on first use, and that's what's accumulated on your CPAP filter.

Is the CPAP near a heater vent? What kind of heat due you use? Coal or oil would likely have more issues than cleaner-burning natural gas or propane. And electric heat shouldn't cause soot at all.

It's also possible that your heating ducts were simply dirty and full of dust, and a first-use of the heating system pushes all that dust through, causing this issue.

I'd take a look at your furnace filter also. Check and see if it is dirty and needs to be replaced. In winter time, furnace filters get dirty after about a month.

Anyone have any other thoughts?

Dont-know

SuperSleeper
Apnea Board Administrator
www.ApneaBoard.com


INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.



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#4
Wow. That's dramatic!

You'd think, though, that if it were the furnace, there would be soot on the sheets, especially with that dark a color. But then, the machine is sucking air in and could pull more in that would normally fall.

Itsadryheat, take a white, damp paper towel and swipe everything around the machine. Like the shelf, wall, etc. If it comes up black, then it was something external. If it doesn't then it is something limited to the machine itself.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.




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#5
All good ideas. Furnace filter is clean, and am not even sure it has been on this season (Arizona). Found one similar FDA report with no explanation, and two posts on other forums that were inconclusive. One person suggested that maybe the internal fan was grinding up into dust. If that were true would expect filter to be clean and my face to be dirty.

Am wondering if it was the candle I burned all day.

The glass container that holds the candle is suspiciously black at the top....
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#6
(11-12-2012, 11:39 AM)PaulaO2 Wrote: Wow. That's dramatic!

You'd think, though, that if it were the furnace, there would be soot on the sheets, especially with that dark a color. But then, the machine is sucking air in and could pull more in that would normally fall.

Itsadryheat, take a white, damp paper towel and swipe everything around the machine. Like the shelf, wall, etc. If it comes up black, then it was something external. If it doesn't then it is something limited to the machine itself.

Ok, did the white glove test on the wall, etc. Found nothing except light dust. Maybe i should put in new filter, tie a white cloth on the end of the hose and let it run a few hours?
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#7
My vote is the candle then, if the furnace filter is clean and there's no external stuff on surfaces. Trim candle wicks down to where they're not going to create soot... that black stuff near the top of the candle is the evidence of what's happening - most of that candle soot went into the room, not on the side of the candle.

CPAP filters will gather everything under the sun from the surrounding room air - a lot of air gets pumped through these machines 8 hours a night, 7 days a week.

Perhaps one of our forum physicists can give a good estimate of how many cubic feet of air is pumped through an average CPAP each week. My guess is that it's a HUGE amount probably greater than the entire cubic capacity of your entire house.

Happy Eyes
SuperSleeper
Apnea Board Administrator
www.ApneaBoard.com


INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.



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#8
Give it a few nights with the new filter. Then check it. If clean, burn the candle again for as long as you did this time. Then check filter in morning.
PaulaO2
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Breathe deeply and count to zen.

INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.




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#9
Thanks SS and Paula for the suggestions. Funny thing is I had an energy assessment on my house last year. They said my house was "too tight" meaning not enough exchange of outside air.

I will trim the wicks. The CPAP is running now with a white sock on the end of the hose. If it stays clean, will try the candle again...

Thanks Again!
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#10
By any chance do you have a Propane Vent Free Wall Heater in any rooms? If so that might be the issue. Propane/LP Gas Vent free does tend to put a "Black soot" looking substance out, especially in air tight areas when burning candles. Our Gas company advised us not to burn any candles as the moisture created by Vent Free LP wall heaters will cause this which can ruin wall photos, curtains, etc.
Tim
Finger Lakes Region, NY
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