Michelle Grace was left outraged when the balls began mysteriously appearing in her flat following a storm in December last year as she says the council has not helped her
A woman says her life has been made “miserable” after a carrier bag’s worth of polystyrene balls flooded her house every day for 10 months.
Michelle Grace, who works for a domestic abuse charity, says the balls began mysteriously appearing in her flat following a storm in December last year.
They covered her kitchen sides, rained down from the ceiling and even made their way into her drains.
The mum of two guessed she had to sweep a ridiculous 25 wheelie bins’ worth – the equivalent of millions – of the tiny balls.
Yet whilst calling the council for help, she and her 18-year-old son Iggy were left trying to get rid of the sticky beads for almost a year.
Furthermore, as Michelle is a breast cancer survivor she was horrified to find they can be carcinogenic.
Michelle said: “There’s about a carrier bag everyday. Sometimes a whole one. Sometimes more depending on how windy it is.
“It’s a horrible way to live. I’m in limbo because my home doesn’t look very nice now. It’s grim. It makes me feel miserable – I just want a nice home and I just can’t seem to have one.
“They’re in my air fryer, my toaster, my kettle, my fridge, my freezer, my vacuum cleaner – they’re everywhere. I’m looking to pull balls out of my food.
“I’ve been a breast cancer survivor for 15 years and I don’t really want to get polished off by polystyrene!”
Michelle is from Bedminster in Bristol and had to stop growing vegetables after spotting the balls in her garden – and fearing they will turn the soil toxic.
She has also been worried for her furry friends, after seeing the balls in the poo of her nine year old German Shepherd, Koby, and chihuahuas Tootsie, four, and Pluto, two.
Polystyrene balls – similar to the ones found inside bean bags – are often used for cavity wall insulation.
Michelle says the balls began blowing out of an extractor fan in the bathroom after a storm at the end of last year.
But after a few days, the balls started coming out of a similar fan vent in the kitchen. With the fans out of action, her furniture has started going mouldy.
Michelle continued: “There was a really big storm and when I got up in the morning loads of polystyrene balls had come through my bathroom fan.
“Then they started coming through the kitchen fan and just didn’t stop. It’s been like that ever since December.
“We have to sweep the work top every day – it goes all over my cooking devices and my gadgets. It gets into my fridge.
“It’s everywhere. Literally everywhere. We clear it up as best we can but it just keeps coming.”
Michelle moved into council accommodation in 2007 after being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. A single mum, her kids were just three and six.
In 2013 she finally got the all clear, but has been left with underlying health conditions including severe asthma.
She is now a support worker for a domestic abuse charity.
She said: “It’s even more difficult in conditions that are deeply unpleasant and upsetting which is what my home is at the moment.
“It has definitely not helped with me and my job.”
Ten months on from her first complaint Michelle has now been fitted with new fans and hopes the balls have stopped for good.
A spokesperson for Bristol City Council said: “Our Response Repair Team visited the resident last week to carry out the required works.
“There was clearly a failure to respond to this as quickly as we should in this instance, and we are making internal inquiries to understand and why.”
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