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Moms dealing with elevated lead levels - Page 25

post #481 of 624

Nilfisk vs. Dyson?

I'm trying to decide between a Nilfisk and a Dyson. Sounds like the prices are comparable, and the Dyson has continuous suction, but the Nilfisk says powerful suction, so I'm not sure how important that difference is. I really don't know how to figure out which is better. Also are all the Dyson models good for lead or only certain ones. I'm thinking of getting the slim model (DC 14) or the complete model (DC 18), because I can buy them here at Costco. Also does the the Nilfisk have a 5-year warranty like the Dyson? I didn't see that in the specks. Which is easier to use? Which is better for low pile carpet and bare floors? Can anyone help with experiences, opionions, or pros and cons of each? Thanks so much. I just feel overwhelmed by this research sometimes.

I used a cheap $50 shop vac with a hepa filter for 2 years in our old house not knowing their was any difference :
post #482 of 624
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to post a happy update!
My daughter recently turned 4!!! And seems to be doing developmentally ok. She defintely does not have ADHD!! She still does not sleep well and is very defiant at times, but I will never know what is just her personality and what is because of the lead. To recap, her 12 month routine lead test came back at 31, it took over 2 years to get it below 5. It is a relief to not being thinking and worrying about it every day now. We recently moved to the west coast and are living in a much newer house.

Hugs to all of you that are currently living the nightmare
post #483 of 624

Should I buy an old lead house or a new house full of chemicals?

I posted this question in Mindful Home Management, but I really want to hear from people who know how serious lead can be. Thanks.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...=1#post9872569

Also please see vac question above.
post #484 of 624

Hi! I was happy to find your 'tribe'

First off- big HUGS to those of you mamas who have dealt with really high lead levels in your children. Scary!

I'm pretty minor on the scale of things... but my boy just came back with a level of 6, and when my daughter was tested at the same age she was only a 2.

So, I've started the usual investigation of what could be different and dh is having our water tested.

I'm looking at:
1. toys- I noticed that M&D is a culprit- wow, but not surprising at all, and ds does chew on dd's puzzles, some of which are M&D I think
2. water pipes
3. water heater (dh refurbished one a year ago... maybe not such a good idea)
4. paint from the exterior (we do live in an ancient farmhouse- the shoes off rule seemed like it might help)

I know I'm totally minor on the scale of things- but I am concerned. I'm going to have myself tested and my daughter. If the levels decrease over the winter, I'm going to think it might be our exterior paint (interior is all new walls and new paint). If they don't I am going to have to look closely at our toys. Apparently, the danger of MIC applies to everyone- which I find annoyingly ironic, being that I am so anti-plastic.

Other ideas for me?

Also, how long does it take the levels to decrease, what can I do to aid that and where is the 'danger' level- although having heavy metals in your body at age one just can't be good!!

TIA. Meg
post #485 of 624
Hey, just reading the old posts and answering a lot of my own questions- thank you!

What a great thread and yet it is SO WRONG that we have to discuss this at all.
post #486 of 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by harmonymama View Post
I'm trying to decide between a Nilfisk and a Dyson. Sounds like the prices are comparable, and the Dyson has continuous suction, but the Nilfisk says powerful suction, so I'm not sure how important that difference is. I really don't know how to figure out which is better. Also are all the Dyson models good for lead or only certain ones.
I have a Nilfisk Family Vac that I looked into carefully before purchasing, about 3 years ago. The Nilfisk is a sealed Hepa filtration system. There is a paper bag (with a 'self closure' system for removal), then a rubberized cotton dust filter, then a cartridge style hepa filter in the vac. All air must be forced through all three "filters" before passing out through the hepa filter. The canister is tightly sealed. Though they make no claims on the literature for lead removal, it is nearly the same system that is sold commercially for that purpose (or so a rep from Nilfisk told me before I purchased mine.) It is probably the best dollar value of any appliance I've ever purchased. Also if you have carpets, you really need to spend the extra money on the power rug attachment.

Here's a great lead/hepa vac info sheet from someone I've spoken to/friends have hired (for mold services), and I trust:
http://www.createyourhealthyhome.com/HEPA-vacs.htm

I believe that the Dyson vacuums are not sealed, so despite how good the suction may be, it's still possible that they might redistribute lead dust out the exhaust. Also, imo if you have to dump a bagless canister, you are definitely handling and dispersing lead during that process. Releasing dust back into the air can create a more hazardous condition than you started with...

I think Miele sells one model of vacuum that is a true sealed hepa system as well, but I have no experience with that one.

feel free to PM if you need more info...
post #487 of 624
YES! i was just about to post this! we too have a nilfisk family vac. the sealed container thing is critical. i got mine from allercaire (can't recall the specific sp, they were recommended on this thread). they were great and it was at my door in three days. i did crazy research and believe this is the best vac for lead in the home, for daily cleaning and important places like window gutters. we live in a hundred year old house. we rent. we have deferred matinetance. it is scary. we vac, wash hands, shoes off, eat good diet with iron and calcium. i hope the lead in toys publicity brings back up the lead paint in old houses concern. lead makes me wanna scream!
post #488 of 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by harmonymama View Post
From my understanding, blood is the most accurate test of current/recent lead exposure. Hair and/or urine can measure (though imperfectly) lead stored from past exposure.
my pedi said that hair can only measure exposure over the past months, not more. my ds had a high lead level (21) two years ago. it is currently under 5, but my new pedi wants to do an herbal chelation to remove the stored lead from his tissues. when i asked about a hair sample he said it wouldn't tell us what is in his tissue. so i'm starting the chelation (today, actually) and we'll do a urine sample in about three months to see if we are still removing some, or we'll assume it's all removed then. :
post #489 of 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by counterGOPI View Post
hey mamas!! so i dont know if you remember or not but my dd had high lead levels a year ago and we did eveything we could, even hired a lead inspector and he found nothing in our house.but her levels werent going down.
then from something i heard somewhere and just an odd gut feeling i got rid of all our MELISSA AND DOUG TOYS. that is the only thing i changed and removed from our home. we went back in and her lead level dropped to 3 she was in the clear!!! i thought maybe it was just a coincidence but then my friend's dd had high lead levels, she too only removed melissa and doug toys from her home and VOILA! lead levels dropped to the safe/normal range.
NOW, a diferent friend of mine went to her local tv station b/c they had an expensive lead testing machine and she brought a few toys including MELISSA AND DOUG and what do you know- trace amounts of lead were found!
now knowing it's not just a coincidence I felt like I should let everyone know!!!
i've always wondered! thanks!! when i get my notifications of recalls, i get nervous b/c of the wording---"lead exceeding the allowed amounts" or something like that. which means those trace amounts are "legal"! bye bye m&d... looks like i'll be sticking with my euro toys!
post #490 of 624
Rather hard for a poor mama who doesn't have any euro toys, or euros to get any.
post #491 of 624

Prevention help...

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...

Thanks again!!!
post #492 of 624
i was just reading about leaded gasoline, mainly b/c dd was playing in the dirt at my grandma's house, my grandpa used to have lots of cars, work on cars, they had 5 boys who had cars, so i was wondering if this was contaminated dirt. i asked her was leaded gas used, she wasn't sure.

so, does anyone know if it was common place everywhere for leaded gas to be used before it was phased out? or was this a special gas... like that stuff they use on race cars now... nitrous oxide or whatever it is called... (the stuff that was on that movie.. fast and furious)

according to wikipedia the phase out wasn't completed until 1986.....

i would have been 5 and 6 years old... this stuff could still be all over the place around there if so!!!!!!!
post #493 of 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrayn View Post
i was just reading about leaded gasoline, mainly b/c dd was playing in the dirt at my grandma's house, my grandpa used to have lots of cars, work on cars, they had 5 boys who had cars, so i was wondering if this was contaminated dirt. i asked her was leaded gas used, she wasn't sure.

so, does anyone know if it was common place everywhere for leaded gas to be used before it was phased out? or was this a special gas... like that stuff they use on race cars now... nitrous oxide or whatever it is called... (the stuff that was on that movie.. fast and furious)

according to wikipedia the phase out wasn't completed until 1986.....

i would have been 5 and 6 years old... this stuff could still be all over the place around there if so!!!!!!!
My understanding is that all cars used leaded gas until they came out with unleaded. Not sure of when that was, but of course there were still older cars using leaded gas till they discontinued it in 1986. I am not yet 30 and my first car was a 72 Buick LeSabre. It took leaded gas. :
post #494 of 624

Help me interpret blood rest results

Can anyone help me interpret lead blood test results? I have an appointment with his doc at the end of the week, but I am trying to understand his result in the mean time. His result is 0.021 ug/g (its not actually u, but a funny character that I can't type). ug/g=ppm (parts per million). Does anyone know how to convert this to the results we are used to discussing (1-10+ range). In other words is this result a 2 or a 21 or what? Help. BTW this was a blood test (not fingerprick). Thanks,
Celeste
post #495 of 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by harmonymama View Post
His result is 0.021 ug/g (its not actually u, but a funny character that I can't type). ug/g=ppm (parts per million).
Hi Celeste, the funny charachter stands for micro and can be typed as mc (as in micrograms=mcg) . The threshold level used by the CDC is 10 mcg/dL (micrograms per deciliter) of blood.

I am not in any way a medical expert, but I believe blood is measured in volume (liters) rather than weight (grams).

So in short, I can't really answer your question but at least I can bump up the thread....
post #496 of 624
Thanks, Loreana. Anyone else know?
post #497 of 624
it stands for micrograms per deciliter. my daughter's was 27 micrograms per deciliter, though probably higher when she was crawling, when they finally tested her she was 17 months old. i think at .02 mcg/dl you'll be fine. sorry i can't get her medical file out of her closet, they're sleeping, finally.
post #498 of 624
Well I did it, I ended up doing the hair test. My 19 month old is now bald on the back of her head. I am anxious to get the results.
post #499 of 624
I'm hoping someone can help me with some questions. I have a table that I believe might have lead, seeing that it came from China and has lots of different paint. Should I sand it down and repaint it, place a clear coat over it as it sits, or just get rid of it? If you say repaint or put a cleat coat, then do you have any recommendations for a paint? What should I look for in a paint so that it's safe, and will seal the lead in.
Thanks,
Shannon
post #500 of 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by shannyshan View Post
I have a table that I believe might have lead, seeing that it came from China and has lots of different paint. Should I sand it down and repaint it, place a clear coat over it as it sits, or just get rid of it? If you say repaint or put a cleat coat, then do you have any recommendations for a paint? What should I look for in a paint so that it's safe, and will seal the lead in.
Thanks,
Shannon

I'm guessing you have a child younger than six who might chew on it? If you don't there is probably no need to worry as long as the paint is intact, but if you do, I would personally get rid of it, to be safe, but I might be overly cautious.

You could also test it with a kit found at a hardware store and check for lead.

In any case
DO NOT SAND IT!!!!
The danger of lead paint is the dust, sanding it inside your home (or anywhere other than a clean room, imo) can be disastrous.

There is a paint that is used to encapsulate lead paint, but it is not regular paint... I have not really researched this myself

In any case, if you are going to handle any lead paint inside your home, make sure you review the following link...

http://www.epa.gov/lead/
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