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Lead poisoning... Round 2 :(

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
In 2010, my now 2yo was diagnosed with lead poisoning. I don't recall the exact numbers, but I believe her finger prick was 11 and her vein draw was 8. The state came out (we were living in my mils lead infested basement) and tested, and we cleaned up and all was fine with the health department... My current 4 yo was tested at the time and she tested at a 2, I think.

Today I took my4yo into the doctor for a referral... We had her lead and hemoglobin levels checked. Her finger prick came out at 20!! The doctor had never seen a child test so high with the finger prick, and the nurse said she knows of one case where the finger prick was that high but the child ended up testing lower with the vein draw. So we had dds blood drawn, should get the results next week sometime.. I'm really worried.

We have since moved out of mils house... We live in an older place, built in the early 1900s I think. Our baseboards and windowsills and all woodwork is varnished wood.. No lead paint there. The floors are carpeted and it looks like the carpeting has been there for awhile. The kids don't have any painted wooden toys that I'd find questionable... All are from Europe and Itrust their standards.

The only thing I can think of is our enclosed back porch. I swabbed it with a lead stick when we moved in.. Got nothing. The walls, floor, and windows are painted. Our house has new windows, but the porch has older windows. Rickety, old things. I'm not sure about our water... We just started playing outside on the sidewalk, but they haven't played in the dirt here yet(we moved In last september)

I'm hoping the state gets out here soon. 20ppm is high...
And I'm concerned because I'm expecting a baby and I hope there isn't some environmental factor here that is a risk to me as well greensad.gif

Just looking for support I guess... Anyone who's btdt... I made an apt for my 2yo to get tested again as well, and I'm going to ask my midwife at my next appt, Tuesday.
post #2 of 17

Here is an old thread but its nice and long so you may find some insight. How scary for you!

I hope this helps even just a little. Moms dealing with elevated lead levels

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you immensely MoonWillow!


I have just made a huge relevation- my DH works around and with car batteries (auto repair shop).  He handles new batteries, old batteries, and has had battery acid splashed on him several times.  And car batteries have LEAD in them.  Why I didn't put 2 and 2 together is beyond me (k, well I did just learn about the acid being leaded)...  I'm making DH a doctor's appointment so he can get his blood levels checked.  He thinks he signed some sort of waiver when he started working there but he's not sure.  I want him to contact OSHA and see what their regulations are, as well as what their limits are and protocol for lead poisoning due to the work environment.  I know that in plants where they produce batteries, workers with 50ppm or higher blood levels have to be relocated to a different part of the plant until their blood levels drop significantly.  I wonder if the same or similar applies to my DH...


But yeah, this really, really, really, sucks.  A lot. 

post #4 of 17

Yes it really does suck. I'm sorry :(

post #5 of 17

I bet you're on to something with secondary exposure from your DH. But just throwing out that I had read once of a mom going crazy trying to find the source of her son's elevated lead levels, and she eventually discovered it was the apple juice he drank. Just something else to think about.

post #6 of 17

I've seen you post several times about your DD's behavior and I just wanted to say the lead could be causing the behavior problems too. It can also make them physically sick, which can seem like a behavior problem when they really just have a headache and are grumpy. my child that had the lead poisoning has also had a lot of behavior problems. While 20 is high from what I was told (dealt with lead issues with one of my children) the IV generally comes back a bit lower. Did they test your younger child too?  Can you get your tap water tested? 50 is a deadly level from what I recall.....I think anything over 35-40 requires hospitalization to treat. 

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

laohaire- I had read about that.. unfortunately (fortunately!) the kids only drink water, so that's out. 


meetoo- I am thinking it is contributing to the behavior issues... though she was tested last year (didn't have the behavior issues so much but had other weird stuff going on) and it was low.  I am having my 2yo tested April 5th, and I am being tested on Monday or Tuesday depending on my work schedule.


I don't know what to do as far as my DH... I don't think he's subject to the same OSHA guidelines because he's a sales associate, and doesn't actually "work" in the back shop, though he has to go in there to transport batteries several times a day.  No battery sales = no money.  And there's still battery acid spilled everywhere in the back shop... so the dust is in the air.  I tried making him a doctor's appointment but they aren't taking new patients so I have to find and ask the place where I took him after he got in his car accident in2009... fun stuff.


On the bright side, my DD sees her occupational therapist for the first time in a year for a re-eval and I'll discuss this with her and see how she feels about it possibly contributing to her behavior and what they do in that case.. I'm sure she's seen it before :(

post #8 of 17

In the short term make sure your husband showers/changes the second he gets home (better if you have somewhere not in the home he can change). At least make sure his shoes are removed before entering your home. Stick his clothes straight into the washer.  Make sure the water is tested, outdoor paint (lead paint was often used outdoors because it was a more durable paint), and trim/doors even if it's varnished, if it's old it could still have lead. If they are odler windows test those. Wipe surfaces with damp disposable towels. Avoid sweeping, use a damp mop in stead. I think it's ok to vacuum with a hepa filter but you might want to ask teh health dept about that. . Make sure they wash their hands well before eating or often if they are the types to suck on fingers. A lot of lead poisoning comes from dust.  You might want to test your soil too.


My child that had lead poisoning had a lot of behavior problems while his levels were high ,but he continues to have problems even though his last lead test at 3 came back normal. He still suffers from attention/focusing problems etc. We have no way of knowing if it's from the lead or if he would have these problems anyway, but lead poison can and does cause behavior/attention problems. If you google you can find lot's of information about that. 


Depending on the type of exposure your kids are getting it's possible she had been exposed then it went back down. If she was exposed due to your husband it might not be a continual exposure. We were experiencing continually lead poisoning, that was slowly building in his body. I think his highest level was like 16 iv. Your kids might be getting short term, high doses, occasionally from your husband. Which means they might test low sometimes if it has had enough time to work it's way out of their systems.  Am I making sense? lol.gif Anyway, as I'm sure you know lead poisoning is scary stuff with some scary long term side effects. Hopefully,  her levels come out lower and you are able to quickly find the cause and stop it. 

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you for all of the advice!


We don't wear shoes in the house, nor do our guests.  Our vacuum has a HEPA filter in it, and we use an air purifier in the home to cut down on pet dander.  


And yes, you are making sense lol.gif I am making sure DH showers as soon as he gets home.. I know they have a locker room where the technicians can change, and I'm sure if he high tails it out of there after he changes he won't have to deal with too much lead settling on his clothes.  I'd still make him shower as soon as he got home, though.

post #10 of 17

here is another you might want to read - http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1343771/trying-to-stick-it-to-my-landlord-re-lead-paint-and-clothes-dryer

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks serenbat!  I've read that link before.. I have the same concerns but I'm not so sure about how a dryer works- but if the OP's theory is correct, that would be the case here as well.  I don't let our clean laundry sit in baskets down there- I remove it promptly from the dryer and bring it upstairs.  I know there has to be lead paint down there.  

I wish they would call me from the dr's office already... 

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

I also checked out our building on our county assesor's property search and it was built in 1918.  I don't even want to know how much lead is hiding in here greensad.gif

post #13 of 17

personally I don't see the dryer the problem that OP did - I see paint, soil and exhaust far more the concern 


ETA - I take it you have looked into your cookware and plates (etc)?


Have you had your water checked for lead? at my MIL home as well- My BFF just got a letter from her water co. yesterday!!! that for 2 years their water was higher than state levels and she has a autistic child--she is livid!


you also know about letting COLD run and not ever drinking warm /hot water in old copper pipes? soldered with lead!

just FYI

Edited by serenbat - 3/21/12 at 2:45pm
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

Yeah.  All of our cookware is stainless steel, and our plates are newer and from ikea.  Haven't had the water checked yet.  I always let the water run cold :)  

I'm really, really pissed off right now.

My DH walks in, (took his shoes off outside) and marches in here like nothing's wrong.  Tosses his work clothes in the corner of our bedroom over DD2's head, grabs the kids and hugs them while still in work clothes, puts his dirty hands on my cheeks and says "relax, it's fine".  No, it's not f--- fine.  It's not.  He apologized for making a scene (he threw a minor temper tantrum...ug).


I asked him if there's showers in his job.  He said there is, but they don't work, or he at least doesn't know if they work because they're so moldy.  And that "no one uses them" implying that he won't.  I told him I don't give a rat's a--, I'll give him an old toothbrush and some ajax and he can make it sparkle if he's uncomfortable with it being mildewy.  I want him to shower there, change there, and bring his clothes home in a plastic bag to throw straight into the wash.  Really.  It's crazy.  I'll call OSHA myself if the showers don't work.  This is ridiculous.  If there are even showers there, OSHA is probably requiring them to shower... ug....

post #15 of 17

After lot's of detective work, we discovered that our old clawfoot tub was the culprit... hoping you get to the bottom of this soon, and know that you are on it, & it will indeed get better! 

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Oh my... DD1's lead level at the finger prick was 20.6.  Got a call from her doc, the vein draw was less than 2!  yay!


I can only think that it may be because she had just put her shoes on?  They did clean her finger pretty well.  Weird stuff.

post #17 of 17

this was very interesting and goes far beyond lead paint and children -  http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2012/05/02/leads-toxic-legacy-in-our-soil/

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