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Window replacement and lead paint, possibly pregnant - What to do

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

DH and I recently stopped using condoms (we have no kids yet). Strictly speaking, I am one week from expecting AF, and thus *could* be pregnant. Today, as I write, contractors are replacing our windows upstairs. It only occurred to me after they started that I could be pregnant, and that the paint dust from removing the old windows and drilling into the frames is certainly full of lead. (We had it tested.)



After having this thought I ran downstairs, and here I am, thinking "How am I going to clean up the dust," "Does washing fabric take the lead dust out?", "Should I hide down here until they're completely done, or thoroughly inspect their work before they seal everything up?"


This is quite an odd predicament. I'm statistically unlikely to be pregnant, but I can't just disregard the possibility given how very low levels of lead exposure can harm a fetus. 

I'm not really sure what I'm asking, I guess I just wanted to share, or get reactions and thoughts from a mom community. I guess I also can't talk to anyone I know about it, since DH and I aren't really acknowledging to anyone that we're TTC. (This is the first forum of its kind I've signed up for. I've been reading a bunch as I'd like a home birth, but nothing in-depth yet...since I haven't even gone through one cycle!)

post #2 of 4

Make sure the contractors are taking precautions. Are they putting up plastic sheeting, for example? If you have forced hot air heat, turn it off and make sure the ducts have plastic over them. 


When the windows are done, give the dust some time to settle (keep in mind that you can't actually see most of the particles - they are too small). Then vacuum any carpeted/upholstered surfaces with a HEPA filtered vacuum. All solid horizontal surfaces should be wet wiped. Do not sweep up any debris, because that will raise the dust back into the air. 


Make sure you wash the clothing you can and wash your hands, of course.


Good luck with your new windows! And if you do turn out to be pregnant, congratulations!

post #3 of 4

As of last year anyone working in home built before 1972 (I think, it's definitely somewhere in the 70's) is required to be certified in lead removal.  It's a federal law.  There is a whole series of things they're supposed to do/not do.  It's a little late for this but if it were me I'd ask the lead contractor if he was certified and what specifically they are doing.  If they are following correct procedure you shouldn't have to do a thing.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

They did put up plastic sheeting to keep anything from coming in while they worked ont he windows from the outside. 


SageR - You're right, I should have asked them about their procedure, and reminded them to take all precautions. They certainly weren't using facemasks themselves, but lead risk in adult men is really low. Had I thought about it before they started I probably would have told them I'm pregnant (even though I believe I'm not).


They're done now. DH is Dysoning the rooms, following the pretty thorough cleaning they did before they left. 


Here's to hoping the precautions and self-banishment to the basement were not for naught. ;)

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