Hi everyone, I found this thread by chance on Friday and have read through the weekend to page 18 and promise to read all the way through very soon...
This thread has truly struck a fear chord with me. Your stories are amazing, some of you have lived my worst nightmares and have been so strong and brave for your little ones. I find not only a wealth of knowledge in these posts, but also tremendous hope, courage and inspiration in your stories; specially Anoriensmom who started this thread 2 years ago and has come such a long way!!! Thank you and way to go mamas!!!
Although I am not oficially part of this tribe, I have all the risk factors and already know too much to just wait for my dd to test positive 6 mos from now. We moved to our new condo (triple decker conversion of a 1900s home) in the city 5 months ago. I was 7 1/2 months pregnant, so I wanted a lead inspection to know where our lead was (I was aware that most houses in the northeast have lead, especially houses as old as the ones we were looking at). Even though I was terribly afraid for my dd, nobody seemed to share my fear so I figured lots of children have lived in these houses for many years and not everyone shows high lead poisoning. Obviously after reading this thread I am a little bit more concerned.
I decided I can't panic just yet (although I feel like it!
and I am going to take this one step at a time, which is why I am posting today; step 1.
My immediate concern is with cleaning my house from top to bottom and delead what I can; I also want to adjust my cleaning routine to reflect some of the advice I have found in this thread and in the EPA brochures and our State Health Dept. website, which gives rise to the following questions:
First of all, is there a difference between deleading and routine cleanliness? I mean should I rent or borrow a Hepa vac and thoroughly clean everything with TSP and disposable paper towels or sponges once before I implement a rigorous but lighter routine rotation?
Now for routine cleaning questions:
1) Floors: Is wet mopping all the floors once a week enough? I currently wet mop with either wet swiffers or cloths that I then throw in the wash, do I need to get a sponge mop and a bucket?
Before wet mopping, I also vacuum all my floors with a shark pursuit canister vac with a Hepa filter, which I have now learned from this thread it is not really a Hepa vac; SOOO should I stop my vacuuming altogether or does it work for routine cleaning? I always feel I just push dirt around if I don't vacuum before mopping...
2) Wet dusting: I currently rotate rooms and wet dust everything at least once a month, does this also HAVE to happen weekly or biweekly? I use biodegradable all purpose cleaner and cloths that are then washed; do I need to use a phosphate cleaner and disposable paper towels every week? If so, why is it that the washing machine does not clean lead dust out of my cleaning cloths, but it does work for toys? I also read somewhere here that an inspector recommended baby wipes for dusting, would this work?
Also, do you wet dust ALL surfaces each week, including the top of the door and window trims, fan blades, top of cabinets and refrigerator, etc. OR is it mainly the window sills and any surfaces that you or your little ones can reach often?
We do not have soil around our property, but we do have a park (with grass) right in front of our house, should tracking in dirt from the outside be a concern for us? We try to leave our shoes at the door, but we sometimes forget.
My next steps are going to involve having dust samples taken (which were not included in the original lead inspection), having my 3 mo old dd tested (probably once she starts crawling/walking or 9 mos whichever comes first) and setting up a plan (read: what we can afford) for lead abatement with a certified contractor, starting with our biggest risk areas (whichever those may be).
I will definitely come back to ask lots of questions as I read/research more and go forward.
Thanks in advance for sharing and being soo helpful...
In case you want/need to know more this is where we are right now:
we've had a lead inspection before we bought the condo. Although there is tons of lead everywhere the inspector didn't seem too concerned. He did warn us about not remodeling/renovating anything unless we hired a lead certified contractor. We haven't done anything except paint (we did some light wet sanding of the trim to remove the glossy paint, which actually worries me more now...). In any case, I am not planning on renovating just yet. My windows are newer/vinyl, and the inspector said that reduced most of the risk. However th doors are old, don't close very well, and paint definitely chips when we open/close them.
We really can't move, I am terrified of lead abatement, since it could make it worse (not that we can really afford much, without any equity in the house or much savings), but like I said at the beginning, I'm not going to panic, and I will take one step at a time, and do what I need when I need to...