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4 Bumps

How would you resolve this stinky situation?

I received a manuscript for proofreading, but the envelope was saturated with something that smells and looks like kerosene oil, most likely from its trip through the US Postal System. I've had the manuscript spread out on the porch all weekend, trying to air it out enough that I can be in the same room with it, let alone handle the pages and sit with the book in my lap to proofread it. The stench is nauseating. The production house that brailled the manuscript is reluctant to make another copy and send it to me again because I'll miss their deadline. Is there any way I can get rid of the smell, or is the only course of action to insist that I need a fresh copy?


I bagged up the manuscript with a box of baking soda and taped it all shut, so maybe it will be better by morning.  But even just handling the books that much kicked up my asthma some and burned my eyes.  It's scary to think how that might have happened because there shouldn't be kerosene shipped in the mail, but the envelope was saturated.  My boyfriend can see oil stains on the pages, and the stench is unmistakable.


Asked by Ballad at 11:15 PM on Jun. 23, 2013 in Home & Garden

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • BTW. I would also remind them that had this been a typed manuscript the letters would have bled and it would be illegible... this to you is illegible and you would like the same courtesy as if it had been sent to someone in this condition as print.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 11:43 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • Breathing in the smell of kerosene is not good for your health. I guess they would just have to send you a new manuscript and extend their deadline. I agree with But_Mommie and insist they extend the same courtesy to you as they would for anyone else.

    You could try the baking soda over night and then if it's not better in the morning, let them know you tried but you simply can not risk your health over this manuscript. Also, it isn't healthy for your children to be breathing that in.

    Answer by tempsingl3mom at 11:52 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • I have no idea how you would remove the smell of kerosene. Can you work outside at all? I don't think you should be breathing that inside.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 11:21 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • I would insist they send you a new manuscript!

    Or...sprinkle baking soda on the pages and see if this doesn't absorb the smell.

    Answer by PMSMom10 at 11:23 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • I would insist on a new copy and then work on it on the porch only until it arrives. Baking soda is not a bad idea...

    Answer by But_Mommie at 11:35 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • I would have never touched nor opened a pc of mail that had an unknown substance on it that was def detectable

    Answer by poppincorns at 11:39 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • I agree with all of the pp. You are sensitive to dog shampoo! You will be courting a migraine or worse messing with a kerosene smell. Why on earth does it smell like that I wonder? You can't ship anything flammable. Yuck!

    Answer by tessiedawg at 12:02 AM on Jun. 24, 2013

  • Bet the US postal service would be curious how a flammable fluid got into the mail
    Let the postal service know, they might take it to investigate this
    Ans the company needs to and you workable manuscript

    Answer by fiatpax at 12:48 AM on Jun. 24, 2013

  • you could put a dish of baking soda with is and let it try to pulls odor out.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:40 PM on Jun. 23, 2013

  • If its possible try using white vinegar, let it sit for awhile like an hour or something, then use the baking soda. If the smell is not gone then try rubbing alcohol. But I would insist on a new copy, or try making a copy.

    Answer by Michigan-Mom74 at 12:07 AM on Jun. 24, 2013