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Moms dealing with elevated lead levels - Page 8

post #141 of 624
It seems like I am always contradicting, but what the lead guys say is not always right. Ours performed tests as did yours, but some were wrong. Our floors were painted- peeling in places, even, and he only did a dust wipe because 'interior paint was rarely lead'. But the count came back so high (5500)- that's AFTER lead cleaning and hepa vacuuming 2-3 times, that he said he should have done a paint chip sample. By the time the test came back, we were out of the place, and couldn't get back in to test it. Our landlords owned a floor refinishing company, so of course we thought they would have checked it for lead. And we had a window come back negative, but he was certain it must have had lead. He said it was perhaps a lab mistake, or a sampling mistake. Also, people do dumb things with paint. Like use the kind they're not supposed to (ala, honey, that's the paint for outside the house, or, one of my friends has a drunk handyman- as I'm sure there others, historically). So, even if people didn't use lead paint inside, according to the experts, actually, some of them did. However, I agree with Catskillmama, I wouldn't desert an old house for a lead level as low as some you all are dealing with. But, I was born before 1978 and grew up in an old house. I just love them.
post #142 of 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by provocativa
So, even if people didn't use lead paint inside, according to the experts, actually, some of them did. However, I agree with Catskillmama, I wouldn't desert an old house for a lead level as low as some you all are dealing with. But, I was born before 1978 and grew up in an old house. I just love them.
In my state, close to 80% of homes have interior lead paint.
post #143 of 624
Hi. Ds had a finger prick Oct 6. I got a phone call yesterday saying that his lead level was 18 and he needed to come in to get a venous draw and that my older 2 should be tested as well. I have read this thread a couple times since yesterday, and first off want to say thank you for all of the information and also for everyone, I have been really worried about this.

How long does it take to typically get results back? We went this morning. I think I was told 48 hours, but I was having a hard time digesting the information, so of course everything I was told is in a big confusing jumble. Dh said I shouldn't be worried about anything until I get the results back and then go from there if there is a cause for concern. That is really hard for me to do, but I am trying.

Can/Should I be doing anything while I am waiting to get the results? Should I get tested since I am nursing? I think I read that unless my level is over 40, then not enough to make a difference is getting through while nursing. I have no insurance otherwise I would have just gone ahead and done it today with the kids. Should I not do anything until I get results back? I have a hard time thinking that it was a gross mistake and that it will come back at a very low level, and so want to do something now since there must be lead here.

Thanks.
post #144 of 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickadee79
Hi. Ds had a finger prick Oct 6. I got a phone call yesterday saying that his lead level was 18 and he needed to come in to get a venous draw and that my older 2 should be tested as well. I have read this thread a couple times since yesterday, and first off want to say thank you for all of the information and also for everyone, I have been really worried about this.

How long does it take to typically get results back? We went this morning. I think I was told 48 hours, but I was having a hard time digesting the information, so of course everything I was told is in a big confusing jumble. Dh said I shouldn't be worried about anything until I get the results back and then go from there if there is a cause for concern. That is really hard for me to do, but I am trying.

Can/Should I be doing anything while I am waiting to get the results? Should I get tested since I am nursing? I think I read that unless my level is over 40, then not enough to make a difference is getting through while nursing. I have no insurance otherwise I would have just gone ahead and done it today with the kids. Should I not do anything until I get results back? I have a hard time thinking that it was a gross mistake and that it will come back at a very low level, and so want to do something now since there must be lead here.

Thanks.
From everything I have read, finger prick tests are way off.

After testing, I called the Ped's office about 24hrs later and they had the results of our veinous test. I think when I waited for the ped to call it was about 48hrs later. I would put into practice all of the wonderful advice on this thread now. Even though his test could be way off, he might be at a 5 - 10. That is not considered toxic, but it would be a good idea to be proactive anyway. What we did was begin by wiping down our areas we knew had lead paint. We tried the phosphates but the fumes overwhelmed us so we used water. Better than nothing. Also, if you can get a good hepa vacuum like the ones mentioned on this thread, do so. I think your state might be able to help with the financing of that if you qualify. Leave shoes at the door if they might be tracking in soil with lead in it. Wash hands and toys a LOT.

I will be keeping my fingers crossed for you and your little ones. Keep us updated.
post #145 of 624
Thanks so much for the reply. I am definitely going to start wiping everything down today. As far as the vac goes, we have one that says it has the proper filter, but I remember not paying too too much for it, so it probably isn't the best, but it is better than nothing right? Or would it be doing more harm even using it? We certainly cannot afford one of the ones recommended here but wow, would I ever love to have one!

It is so overwhelming about where to start. Our house is pretty big, and pretty old(100+). I guess just work my way from room to room, probably take a couple days!

I will definitely keep you updated, and will probably be calling the dr's office tomorrow afternoon to find if they have the results yet. Thanks again.
post #146 of 624
Here is an update.

Ds1 and Dd have levels of 3. Ds2 has a level of 14. They are going to retest in Jan. I was told that since the other 2 have low levels that it is probably not the house, but could be something that Ds2 has/uses that the other 2 do not. The only thing that I can think of is the fact that Ds2 is nursing and the other 2 are not. My mom thought the same thing when I told her. I am planning on calling back and asking if I should get tested. So, if not, then I just have to wait until Jan to find out if his levels are rising or falling.

I hope everyone is doing well.
post #147 of 624
Hi Chickadee,

About the vacuum, if it is an upright it could do more harm than good because, as I understand it, uprights actually send the dust around the house as it vacuums. Canister vacuums are apparently much safer.

About your youngest having higher lead levels, that is normal. Babies that age are putting things in their mouth and spending lots of time on the floor, presumably. My 4.5yo has a 1.5 level and my 15mo tested at 13. Our ped also explained that different bodies metabolize it differently.

I have never thought of testing myself and I am nursing. I don't think that would be the likely culprit. Anyone know about that?
post #148 of 624
Yes it is an upright. Would using dh's shopvac be any better? It has a hepa filter.

I had read somewhere on the net while looking for more info about this, that it can come through breastmilk, but I think it said only if the mother's levels were above 40 or something. Under that not enough to make a difference gets through. I'll have to try to find that info again. I'll post again if I do.

Has anyone tried a home lead test kit from Lowe's or Home Depot or someplace like that? Is it worth it to try? I am having a hard time just saying "ok, we will retest in Jan la-de-da" you know? I just don't know where to go from here except wait and that is really hard for me, not knowing something, or not doing something. I don't even know what the lead problem is to correct it.
post #149 of 624
Ok. Found some. Not what I thought i remembered, so thats good.

Quote:
What has been found, is that the lead levels in breast milk are related to the lead levels in a mother's blood, but breast milk contains only 5% or less of this amount.
Quote:
There is much controversy over how much lead is in breast milk, however, experts all agree that breastfeeding should continue unless there has been severe lead poisoning diagnosed in the mother during her life. Artificial baby milks and cow's milk also contain lead. (Abadin HG., Hibbs BF., Pohl HR. 1997, Newman J. 1992, Rabinowitz M., Leviton A., Needleman H. 1985). Reducing your exposure and continuing to breastfeed is the most effective way of limiting your baby’s risk of lead exposure.
Quote:
If the blood lead levels are <10 µg/dL then there should be no cause for concern as the amount of lead in breast milk should be only about 5% - or probably less - of that in her blood (Gulson et al., submitted). As an example, Baum and Shannon (1996) describe two subjects in the USA whose blood leads were 34 and 29 µg/dL. The breast milk contained <10 ppb (see Table 1). If a mother’s blood lead level is above 20 µg/dL, it is recommended that a test of the breast milk should be undertaken.

Even if wholly breast feeding, at these low levels, the impact on blood lead of the infant will be small (estimations based on the Physiologically based Pharmacokinetic Model of Ellen O’Flaherty of the University of Cincinnati Medical Centre 1995).
So, looks like unless I have really high levels, not enough to matter is getting through to Ds. If I had high enough levels, I would know, right? Even without a bloodtest, I would know?
post #150 of 624
Also, I would think it would be likely that your level is the same or below that of your older children. I am assuming mine is in line with my 4.5yo who is 1.5. Even taking into account the fact that different bodies metablize lead differently, I would think it would be in a similar range. Less even, since I am larger than them. I'm no expert though, just guessing.
post #151 of 624
You would probably have headaches, joint aches, stomach aches and other malaise, enough to have you worried, if you have a high level. I didn't get tested- but I don't have insurance- and I had achey joints upon awaking when we were living in the high lead house. Went away when we moved. Also, I agree that you should not continue using your upright vacuum. You can search this thread for vacuum info. There are mothers here who insist that only a Nitfilsk (sp?) vacuum will do. They are ridiculously expensive to the average household. Cleaning studies do not back up this necessity. Another hepa vacuum would work, but I would wonder about the efficacy of hubby's shop vac, security of the seals and whether the filter needs changing, etc. Now, if you are renovating or removing lead hazards, and not just cleaning your house, you do need the snooty vacuum. Those are very high risk endeavors and really do need professional equipment. Home test kits for lead are usually useless, as they only indicate the presence of lead, and not its concentration, which is the real danger. Another mama on this thread uses them to test toys, however, and that is a brilliant idea.
post #152 of 624
I don't have insurance either. I don't feel sick so that is a good sign. I guess all I can really do is continue doing some of the great advice I got from this thread(washing floors, etc) and will retest in Jan.

Thanks.
post #153 of 624
Hi all.
My DD had a finger prick test at her one year check up and her lead level was a 14, her venous draw was a 10. Her diet is good (eats well and is still nursing) and we have started moping more often and wiping sills and blinds.We wash hands before meals, she gets a bath before bed,ect.
We rent. The "maintance" men came and tested the spot in the house that is really chipping and pealing, it tested positive for lead. Now they want to move us into another one of their houses so they can scrape and repaint every window frame, door frame, molding, ect. in the house. They also want to replace the windows. Sounds nice but this company has a way of screwing people over.
We are afraid we will never get back in our home(we really love this house).
There is no evidence there is a lead problem elsewhere in the house(they only tested one doorway). Also these were tests from the hardware store, it doesn't tell you how much lead ,just if there is lead. I think we may be "kicked out " of our home.
The land lady says since lead was detected she was instructed to scrape and repaint everything, of course we can't live there while they do.

Is there some sort of law or HUD ordanince that says they have to do a full eradication of lead?

I am thinking they take care of the problem spot, maybe put a freash coat of paint on everything and we continue with the cleaning. DD is being retested in Dec. so then we can go from there. Does that sound resonable?
Or would you all just move to the other house? If we move it will be temp till they finish the work, don't know how long that will take. Worried our rent will go up.
The house we would move to rents for $700, be will will only have to pay the $550 we are struggling to pay now. This whole thing really sucks. Wish I would have thought of testing for lead before we had DD.
TIA for any words of wisdom.
post #154 of 624
It would be rare for just one spot to have lead. If you owned it, containment would be an option. The national law requires that she should have tested it herself and notified you beforehand. Your local law is probably more strict. If you live in a metropolitan area, do go see tenant services, and get informed about your local law. You may be right that the company screws people, but just the fact that they want to fix things makes them way more responsible than landlords here. If it is a historic house, contact your local preservation people too, who might be able to keep them from putting in hideous windows. I think you should move and let them repair the house. It's the most generous offer I've heard from a landlord, but more to the point, it removes the hazard for future generations. You may be able to do some legal wrangling, depending on your legal savvy and your landlord's. You want to get everything in writing. Since probably the hazard should not have been there to begin with, you should act like the whole contract was invalid. You're not going to sue her for leasing you a hazardous house, you can argue that instead of suing her, you want her to pay your moving expenses, and guarantee your rent will stay the same. Bluffing can work! Here, the law would be behind you, I don't know about Alabama. . .
post #155 of 624
hummm....

Yes we might be able to use the fact that they did not give us info on the lead in the home before we signed the lease 3-4 years ago, to keep our rate the same. According to a hud sheet about lead our health department worker gave us, they are required by law to give us info on the lead in the home before we sign and at any time our rent is raised. Its also their job to keep the paint in good shape. Our worker also told me they should pay for any moving expenses we should have. Moving shouldn't cost us a thing.

Thinking about it more, yes moving would be the best. Well we really have no choice. We are going to keep our current rate in the new home even though it rents for more. Need to find out if that is only until our lease is up or till the work is done. Lots to do.

Thanks for pointing out the fact that this should have already been taken care of or we should have been told there was lead in the home before we signed the lease. Yes, it is an historic home(they have used that excuse in the past for not putting up storm windows). Going to pay some rent and talk to her today.
post #156 of 624
Be very careful with the lead abatement process. If it is not done by people who are lead savy, it can make the house far WORSE. Basically, you are taking everything that is sealed into the wall and scraping it into the environment. The lead dust can be tremendous and difficult to clean. You may have a minor lead problem now (one chippy wall) and end up with a terrible problem later.

When we had our windows replaced, we removed ALL furniture and personal possessions, and covered all the floors and baseboards with plastic tarps, taped down. We used a special hepa vac to clean up afterwards. The window guys wetted down the windows as they tore them out (with water, as we instructed them) so that the dust was minimized. They bagged all the old frames before they moved them through the house and out. We couldn't afford lead specialists, but we trusted these window guys to at least work with us.

Even with all that care, we had more lead in our house (temporarily) after our windows were replaced. Before the renos we had no lead dust (we tested professionally) just lead in the sills and walls. The reno process kicked up lead dust and my husband forgot to clean the new sills after the renos. Thanks hon! Fortunately, they were tested and we realized what had happened and did a thorough clean of the windows. Hopefully, the dust was not ingested. But it's a good example of how sloppy renos can worsen the lead problem.

I would be very nervous about your situation because your landlord is the one currently in control of the reno's. You don't know the quality of the work being done. In our state (NY), I believe there may be rules about hiring only lead specialists to do the renos when a child has tested over a certain level. The landlord may be forced to do this. Also, it may be the law that there must be professional testing before the renos and after the renos (before you are allowed back in). In our state, once a child gets a lead of 10, the state gets involved, and I believe strict mandates come in to play.

It gives you an idea of what the gold standard is of lead abatement: using professional lead abatement contractors and having professional testing of ALL interior and exterior surfaces before (to guide you in your renos) and after the renos.

As a tenent, I would demand these measures. Your power lies in the fact that your child's health has already been harmed and they are liable for this and any future harm. In our state, landlords are sued for any damage to a child when they haven't warned the tenants of a lead situation.

Since they never told you there was lead in the house, they should be bending over backwards to make amends. Rent going up afterwards? You should get it in writing that it will NOT, as well as free rent while you are displaced... And your landlord is getting off easy with that. Consider getting a lawyer to make a few calls on your behalf to let them know you are really serious. It will save you $$ in the end and make sure you have a clean place to live.

Please keep us posted. A 10 is not too bad, and it gives you a good heads up. Best of luck.

Liz
post #157 of 624
My dh rented a lead detection gun and checked every single surface for lead (including furniture and toys) The report seems to be off.
post #158 of 624
Where did you get the lead gun, Maman? I want to get my hands on one of those.

We removed all of the doors/jambs and replaced them this week. We haven't moved into the house yet, so my husband was able to make a mess. But our stuff is being moved into the home TOMORROW and it hasn't been cleaned yet. He's there, as we speak, nailing trim around the doors. The doors/jambs that we couldn't replace (due to time constraints) have just the doors removed so there won't be any rubbing. The surfaces are intact.

What would you do? We're relying on volunteer efforts to move our stuff, and they're all set to go tomorrow. I'm going to spend all morning/early afternoon cleaning with some friends; we've borrowed a HEPA vac (Nilfisk) from a local lead awareness agency, and I've got loads of buckets, mops, and sponges to do the three bucket cleaning method, top to bottom. I plan to not let a box in the door until I've cleaned thoroughly, but after reading testimonies here, I'm afraid that the lead dust level will be high anyway. Will I be guaranteeing lead poisoning for my girls if our stuff is moved in tomorrow? We need to be out of our apartment by Tuesday, so the girls will be living there by then.

I'll admit, I'm very frightened. The lead inspection didn't turn up as many positive surfaces as we expected, yet after ripping out trim around the doors, we see many layers of that old suspicious green paint that is almost certainly lead-based.

I wish that everyone on this thread could be blessed with the money and resources (including the rare knowledgeable, reputable contractors) to have safe homes.
post #159 of 624
welldone, DH went online and found the manufacturer who happened to be local. Apparently there are only two different manufacturers of lead guns. I will ask him how exactly he found all this out. I imagine he went online and did a search. What state are you in ?

I would be concerned about lead dust. I know someone posted a link to cleaning instructions that was very comprehensive. You might be able to follow those and be ok. I don't remember your whole story but it sounds as if you/your dh did the deleading yourself. I know the deleading contractors told us that part of their process is removing all of the lead dust in the house. The inspector then takes dust swipes to prove there is no lead dust anywhere. Maybe you could clean thoroughly and do the swipes and be fine.

Good luck and congrats on moving into your home

ETA - welldone, I checked your blog and see that we are located in different states (your girls are gorgeous, btw )
I did a quick search and found this http://www.niton.com/lead_testing.asp
I can't remember the name of the other company and didn't have time to search this morning but it should be easy to find. I will try to get some info from dh today and post back tonight or tomorrow. We are spending the weekend getting our house ready to show asap---and moving into short term housing. Good luck to you
post #160 of 624
Well, we ended up sealing off the second floor, as the renovations (removing doors and jams and replacing them) still aren't fully complete. We used duct tape and plastic to create and airlock around vents and the entry to the staircase to the first floor. (I used more duct tape than I've ever used in my life!) We elected to clean the 1st floor and basement very well and move all of our stuff on those two floors. Since our stuff was stored in a friend's basement, it's covered with dust of its own. I'll have to go back and use the Nilfisk on all the boxes.

Long story short, we haven't actually moved our bodies in yet. I'm just too worried about the dust from the second floor, even though we've sealed it off. We're going to finish the work upstairs, clean that floor and the entire house again, and then move in. Hopefully within the week.

But our dusty stuff worries me. It's impossible to wet clean all the boxes and furniture, so dust will inevitably get scattered all over. The basement was in a fifties ranch with no paint on the trim, but still. I have no way of knowing.

Tip for those cleaning with TSP: have lanolin around to soothe your chapped, cracking fingertips afterwards. I've never had such dry, painful fingertips in my life, and I happened upon a lanolin sample in our diaper bag. Now my fingertips feel slightly better--the lanolin did a much better job of soothing than any other lotion or oil could do.
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