Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Weird smell in nose after inhaling fume

  1. Dec 3, 2015 #1
    Hi folks , now I wonder today I was working on a cooling system , I drilled a small hole in a thin metal plate that was painted black, now as the drill goes through the metal it heats up so for a tiny moment there was this smell which i sometimes get when drilling wood for example the only difference is that the smell of burning wood is kind of nice but this smell i got from the metal , the paint on the metal I assume was very very nasty, it literally smelled like hell.
    as it is hard to describe a certain smell in words all I can say it smelled like burnt coal mixed with some burning exotic chemicals , now the moments i smelled it was very brief , but later one when I went out many other smells now smelled like that paint when I was drilling.

    i am now getting better after a few hours but at first as I went out I smelled smoke coming from a house chimney but the smoke smelled exactly like the paint smell not like they normally would smell, also the exhaust gas from a diesel engine which normally has it's distinct smell now had a smell very close to that of the paint when I was drilling.
    In other words many many smells that I could tell apart before now all smelled like the smell I had when working on that metal plate.
    What can cause this ?I mean what kind of weird paint that must have been on that metal ? I havent smelled anything like that before, even smelling gasoline leaves an odour in your nose for a while but even that doesnt last nearly as long as this , I hope I havent damaged anything in my nose.

    even though the encounter of that distinctive smell was very very short , I even smelled the plate after i stopped drilling but the smell was gone it was only there for that short time when the drill was turning and the tip of it was hot.the smell was very I dont know, agressive I guess would be a good word.it was really cutting in my nose sharply.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 4, 2015 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    We can't try to give a diagnosis here (against the rules), so your best bet would be to talk with your doctor about it. If you can find out what is in that paint and let the doctor know, that would be a help. In the mean time, I recommend wearing an N95 mask (and eye protection, obviously) when doing similar work. If there's a chance that you are inhaling something that is reacting with your system, that could be a bad thing.

  4. Dec 4, 2015 #3
    well happily I finished my work , assembled everything and today also the bad smell has gone away.
    I mean I have done much more dangerous things than drilling a 3mm hole in a 1mm thick piece of metal that is painted black , but sometimes it's the litle things that get you i guess.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook