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Moms dealing with elevated lead levels - Page 31

post #601 of 624
Are there any vacuums under $150 that would do the job or does it have to be one of the expensive ones? Even if I found a vacuum at a local shop I would have no way of getting it home with the kid and no car it would be impossible so shipping is my only option. I am pretty good at finding deals online or free shipping if I know what is good enough.
post #602 of 624

Any way to find out if this is acceptable?
post #603 of 624
just giving this thread a
post #604 of 624
Originally Posted by smeisnotapirate View Post
Yeah, definitely dealing with the guilt here, especially DH.

We bought the old house last April. DS's lead levels were fine before that (we have him tested regularly because DH works on pipe organs, with lead pipes). We've been refurbishing the house, and have tried to be really conscious about lead (we only moved into the house in October because we wanted to do as much as possible without living in the house). We've kept DS outside when we were doing work over the summer, and have put down new floors in the kitchen and bathroom and carpeted all the bedrooms. We've been covering all the paint in the house with new paint, but the process is slow.

I guess PA just recommends Early Intervention for anything over 15, so I agreed. DS originally got blood tested because we're suspecting some food allergies, but his abdominal pain could be tagging along with elevated lead levels from what I'm researching.

It's good to hear your DD is normal. That makes me feel a lot better.

Right now, I'm just wondering about how to reduce his lead levels. We're getting on top of the environmental stuff, but I'm wondering if there's specific nutritional or supplement things we should be doing to stay on top of this.
our pedi recommended using http://www.bioraynaturaldetox.com/ (NDF...and Liver Life, if needed based on his pH levels)... I can't tell you if it worked or not, as his blood levels were already ok by the time we did the chelation and we didn't do a 6hr urine sample before the chelation, just afterwards. BUT...it was nice to be able to try a chelation that was herb/mushroom based. And our pedi has used it often with kids that had other heavy metal issues (mercury especially) with great success.

(to let you know--ds had level 21 three months after exposure (we believe)...so who knows how high it was to begin with...

otherwise, like others said--push iron and calcium.
post #605 of 624

I’ve read through many pages of this thread, still working through the rest.
My daughter had a venous draw just about a month ago (at 1 yr age) and her result was 4.3. I know this is not much, and the Dr was not concerned… However… WE were concerned. We mentioned it to our landlord since our lease was coming up, and she came over. We talked about getting a grant from the city to test/replace the windows totally, but in the mean time she was really concerned and wanted to paint. Sounds great, right?

Well… we moved the stuff out of our bedroom and she started there. She was hacking and dry scraping the sills, no dropcloth, paint chips going on to the carpet, etc. After a shocked moment, I handed her a spray bottle of water and asked her if she’d like to use it. So she sprayed down the sills. My boyfriend and I then reconsidered and asked her to just stop what she was doing. She insisted on painting all the sills (she stopped scraping, thank goodness, just went right over the peeling paint), and then she vacuumed up the paint ships with what she claimed was a HEPA vac. I do not know if it was, it was a big shop vac with a bag inside and then a filter on top. I know she meant well.

I left the house with the baby while the paint dried, and then when we came home, we just shut the door to that room and have not gone in since.

We will be moving at the end of the month. I am a little (ok A LOT) perturbed, since I went to some lengths not to disturb the paint on the windows. I am wondering if we should ask for another lead test for our daughter.

Also, I would like some advice on seeking a lead-safe home. We were looking for a place with new windows and doors and hardwood floors which would be easier to mop and keep clean vs the carpet we have now. Our three requirements are that the place be affordable, in a safe neighborhood, and lead safe.

We just talked to one landlord who has a house that apparently was totally remediated after his own daughter had a lead test high enough that the health department got involved. The exterior paint was apparently lead, but it was encapsulated.
Would this be a good place to move into because we know it’s been remediated? Or bad, because, for instance, the soil around the house is probably contaminated? What sort of documentation should we hope to get from the guy? I haven’t talked to him, but my boyfriend said the guy sounded like he was going to cry when he was talking about his daughter.

If we should keep looking… do we look for houses with stone exteriors, new doors, new windows, and not even ask about the lead paint? I feel like I can’t really trust landlords to know what they are talking about, so what should I know? Most places in my city are not lead tested. They just give you a sheet that says, “This house was built before 1978 and probably has lead.” But maybe it’s different renting with children? There is a big public health push in our city to deal with lead, and a lot of grants for landlords to do remediation.

I just don’t want to move from an ok but concerning situation to a really bad one. We are of course taking the usual steps of washing more, and being super clean. I have not been back to her usual playground, either.

I just don’t want to wait until she has a big problem (10+ level) to do something.
post #606 of 624
Also I have searched high and low for a phosphate containing cleaner. There is none. Even the TSP at the hardware store is phos free. So we got simple green.
post #607 of 624
There's no harm in asking for another lead test, especially if it will give you peace of mind. I highly doubt your landlord will get a grant for a 4.3 lead level. My daughter, too, was high enough to get the county involved (level of 47--immediate hospitalization), and still, any remediation done was done by my mom (DD's was poisoned while we lived in her house).

I can't offer you any advice for finding a new place to live, only that you should continue to research and know that the insane fear does start to wear off a little bit so that you will feel like it's safe to take your little one out in the world. It's hard to get over it--DH still asks to get DD's lead levels tested every time she has a temper tantrum (I'm like "Um, have you met your father? Wonder where she gets it?"), but you do lose that sort of panicky feeling.

I think you're probably OK not using a phosphate detergent. There seem to be some new studies that support the idea that non-phosphate detergents are just as effective. Definitely use the 2 or 3 bucket method, though.
post #608 of 624
Thanks, staceychev!

Lucky us, in our city, any apartment with children under 6 in it is eligible for grants as long as they meet income requirements (which we do), regardless of BLL. I guess it is probably a lower level priority. They are really pushing prevention here which is good.

But I just don't trust my landlord (who is really nice! but!) after I watched her scrape the paint in my bedroom. It's easier for us to just move.
post #609 of 624
Originally Posted by cyclamen View Post
Well… we moved the stuff out of our bedroom and she started there. She was hacking and dry scraping the sills, no dropcloth, paint chips going on to the carpet, etc. After a shocked moment, I handed her a spray bottle of water and asked her if she’d like to use it. So she sprayed down the sills. My boyfriend and I then reconsidered and asked her to just stop what she was doing. She insisted on painting all the sills (she stopped scraping, thank goodness, just went right over the peeling paint), and then she vacuumed up the paint ships with what she claimed was a HEPA vac. I do not know if it was, it was a big shop vac with a bag inside and then a filter on top. I know she meant well.

We will be moving at the end of the month. I am a little (ok A LOT) perturbed, since I went to some lengths not to disturb the paint on the windows. I am wondering if we should ask for another lead test for our daughter.

I just don’t want to wait until she has a big problem (10+ level) to do something.
I am so sorry our landlord went about things so poorly. Personally (I am a landlord myself) I think you should get a sense of her before you decide to move. She sounds great but really ill informed. Do you think getting her some more info would help? I don't know what state you are in, but here is MA this a very tricky legal issue. Even getting the windows done is tricky, since there hasn't been a lead inspection. I just know that here, it is pretty hard to rent with children due to lead laws. It is technically illegal to discriminate, but it happens all the time.
post #610 of 624
alacrity, I have a Eureka hepa vac, different model than the one you posted. I have no idea if it works 'okay' compared to the standards of the mamas who say only a certain special vac will do. That sort of talk is simply irrelevant to my life. I am poor; my car cost $1, how can I spend 600 I don't have on a vacuum? It has worked well for years, though it dh bent something in it and i have to replace the belt once every few months.

cyclamen, cascade dishwasher detergent has phosphates. Spic and Span cleaner used to.
post #611 of 624
I actually read through this entire thread! I can understand the fear and the heartache expressed by so many here and it feels so good to find moms that care so much about their children.
My story may not be very extreme but I will forever be terrified of lead! In 1999, while pregnant with first ds, we bought our first home. It was built in 1953 and was close to my parents and friends. We felt we had hit the jackpot. I had no idea about lead hazards and was too young and naive to realize that lead could be an issue in our home. I breastfed both my boys and was super vigilant about their nutrition, their exposure to chemicals (eating organic etc.) but never knew about lead. Both ds#1 and later ds#2 were wee ones when we remodeled the kitchen and painted the entire interior of the home. We also replaced or refinished all the flooring. It was not until I was pregnant with ds#3 and we had lived there for eight yrs that I read about lead paint and immediately bought a lead check kit from Home Depot. I swabbed our window casings and the test was positive for lead.
After crying my heart out I tested all our blood lead levels and the results were levels of only 1 for each of us. 1, although really low, still meant we were being exposed to lead somehow since 0 is best, and that was horribly scary to me. We did not open our windows again and started cleaning recommendations. It was horribly stressful to constantly be cleaning like that! .
We found out that to replace the windows safely we would have to pay an exorbitant amount and I did not want to risk doing it ourselves. We decided to move instead and although the process of selling the home took two years, all our levels stayed at 1 the entire time we were there. We now live in a lead safe home built in 1995 out in the 'burbs but I confess I am still terrified of lead. We do not visit certain friends that we know have homes with chipping lead paint because of the fear our boys will be harmed and I test almost everything we buy for them.
I will never really know the levels my oldest two boys had while we did different things to the house when they were younger. We were so ignorant about the issue. I cringe when I think back to how I sat and watched while Dh and some friends tore out the old carpet when we first moved in, it had so much dust and I was eight mths preg with ds#1! The guilt sometimes really overwhelms me. On a more positive note ds#1 who is the one that MIGHT have been exposed the most is now 10 yrs old and is quite wonderful. He is intelligent, sensitive and caring. He does not have any issues with hyperactivity or impulse control in the least and acts very mature for his age. He does not have problems with his temper, is very obedient and easy going. Ds#2 now 7 yrs old is also intelligent (a young math genius) and has no other issues whatsoever. I try to focus on this and try not to think of what might of happened.
I really hope everyone can resolve their situations soon and I look forward to reading updates.
post #612 of 624

Reviving this thread as I have just joined this tribe.....ahhhhh.


I have read a lot of the thread but would like to spend most of my time cleaning instead of reading :)


My 15mo son tested had a venous test and it came back at 20 in early August. We just had the house tested and we have high levels of lead in most of our woodwork, windows, doors and stairs as well as exterior. We cannot afford to completely delead so we will have someone remove and replace most of what tested positive.


I am trying to come up with the best plan...so far I have...




-Lots of calcium and iron(with vit c)

-Iron Supplements (recommendations?)

-Organic Cilantro

-Organic Kelp



-Tack cloth to clean windowsills (and throw it out)

-TSP/Simple green to "wet" clean

-HEPA Vacuum (don't know if we can afford that one yet...)

-Use clear tape on peeling paint


Anything else I can do???


Has anyone here had an inspection, been mandated to make changes and not received funding? We are talking at least 50k to delead this house, so what if we don't qualify for funding?


Thank you!

post #613 of 624

PP, I never even thought about this and I am very concious of these types of things.  Was your DS having symptoms or anything, what made you choose to get him tested?  Did you see a naturopath or regular MD to have the test done?  Did they check for other contaminants as well?    Are the things that tested positive in your house pretty old things?


I am really sorry you are having to go through this and I am sorry I can not offer much advice!  But, I do like this vitamin even though it does not have high amounts of some of the nutrients you are wanting.  http://www.gardenoflife.com/ProductsforLife/THEVITAMINCODEsupsup/MultivitaminFormulas/KidsFormula/tabid/1995/Default.aspx 

I also recommend raw goats milk if its available to you, you might have to do some hunting for it!  I have a friend who mixes organic molasses into her DDs goats milk for the iron and calcium, among other nutrients that it contains.  Goats milk is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and protein than cows BTW, that is one reason why I prefer it. (it does have some vitamin C as well:) It is also close to human milk and its fats are more easily digested than cows (especially if you buy homogenized store milk)   Here is a link of its nutrient analysis, and remember heat treated milk from the store is depleted of its nutrients and beneficial enzymes.  http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=56 


Other than all that I would say LOTS of organic fruits and veggies. 


post #614 of 624

Hi there. 


I too am unfortunately a member of this tribe.  I also happen to be a journalist and am trying to use my own experience to get the word out (again) about lead, since, like many people on this thread, my DS was lead poisoned mostly through my lack of knowledge, despite my best efforts to educate myself about and protect my children from all the various hazards in the world.    


I am working on an assignment from a major national parenting magazine about lead poisoning, mostly related to cases of lead-based household paint.  I am including my own story--we live in a 130 year old brownstone in Brooklyn--but I need parents from other parts of the country and/or who live in newer houses, so readers will understand that it can happen to them too.  As this thread proves, this tribe lives all over the country and not necessarily in houses 100 plus years old.  If you are willing to participate, please send me a PM or email me at bliss.broyard@gmail.com at your earliest convenience. 


As for my story, we think my DS was exposed from the dust created from opening and closing the windows in his bedroom.  I knew to encapsulate the paint on the inside, but I didn't repaint the outside frame, since we were planning on replacing them as soon as our home loan came through.  Very painful lesson learned.  His veinous draw two years ago at his one year well visit was 18.  We've finally gotten it to five.  And we're still trying to get all the lead out of our house, since abatement is so darn expensive, and are relying on interim measures in the meantime.   I don't need  to tell you all about the anxiety and guilt from wondering what the long term effects will be.


Thanks.  And I hope you will contact me.







post #615 of 624
Hi Mamas! We are about to move into an Apt built before 1978. My oldest had a level of 5 @ one year altho we have no idea how he was exposed.

The apartment is carpeted & was just painted over with VOC Free paints. Our plan is: leave windows alone. Remove any questionable doors. Have family sleep in room without painted windows. Test water (IDK how?) but also perhaps install a carbon based filter. Buy all drinking & cooking water (really cheap locally, we would do this anyway to avoid Fluoride). Give children Calcium & Floradix daily. Buy HEPA vac.

Anything I am missing? This plan is probably only for 6-9 months, while our house is on the market. I *wish* we could test before move in but I don't see how, I heard the Lowes kits are not reliable for this.

I would love some insight! Thx mamas!
post #616 of 624

Hi Everyone,


I am hoping to revive this thread because it is the most informative one I have found on the treatment of lead poisoning in children.


Last Tuesday, my son had his 1 year well-visit.  His finger prick blood test showed a BLL of 84.  My pediatrician told us not to panic; that it was possibly a lab error due to the very high number.  She suggested we have a regular intravenous blood draw within a week.  No true sense of urgency there.


My husband and I did plenty of online research that night and deduced that a false high of that magnitude would more than likely mean his BLL would still be very high.  Why couldn't our pediatrician figure that out?


We had him retested, and his BLL is 54. 


We suspect the culprit is the very old farmhouse we were living in; we moved our son out of that house and are now staying with the in-laws.


Tomorrow we have a follow-up appointment with our pediatrician to figure out a course of action.  Again, no sense of urgency from the medical center.


We bought foods recommended for natural chelation.  I'm very worried about the propsect of lead chelation or lead chemotherapy.  Our son appears symptomless, but will there come a time when his body just breaks down before our eyes?  What is his long-term prognosis?  Could he turn out just fine?  I wish I could read stories of children who had high BLLs who are now doing incredibly well in school. 


My husband and I are well-educated, intelligent people.  I don't know why we were so naive about our living quarters.  We were living there for free, trying to bide our time to find the perfect new house for us.  I am now pregnant and must say I am less than thrilled about having a second baby now; it's hard to be excited when this unborn child may possibly be exposed to lead.  I will get my blood test tomorrow to see what my levels are...


Hoping to hear from others.  Thanks.

post #617 of 624

I am just discovering this thread today and am so grateful! I've been feeling devastated about my daughters' lead levels, and alone in my feelings. It helps so much to know I'm not alone, though I wish with my whole heart that none of us was going through this at all!


TKC2011, like you, my husband and I consider ourselves fairly intelligent and well educated, and we have always been very careful and mindful about toys, foods, cleaning products, etc. regarding toxicity. So I was shocked when at her 9 month appointment in October, my daughter's lead level came back at 11, and at 12 months in January, it came back at 8 - lower, but still too high. My older daughter also had her 3 year lead test in January, which came back at 3, up from <1 a year ago.


We did a major renovation on our house and moved back last June, about 7 months ago. We knew there was some lead in a big picture window, but we had the window replaced during renovations, and pretty much everything else in the house except the hardwood floors on the first floor was either replaced or is brand-new. So it seemed impossible it could be the house, but we couldn't think of anything else, so we contacted a lead inspector. What we've learned that we should have done is to get the house professionally cleaned of any lead dust before moving back in - particularly in the basement. We're doing that now while the kids are with their grandparents, and getting everything retested and recleaned until no lead is detected, but I'm really feeling awful about the elevated levels in my girls and the potential long-term side-effects. In particular, I'm feeling awful about the fact that we caused this by renovating the house and being ignorant about lead-cleaning it before moving back in.


TKC2011, I too am anxious to hear stories of kids who were exposed at a young age and later turned out to be more than fine. I really just want to hear that everything will be OK - just like everyone else on here, I would guess!


Big hugs to everyone here,


post #618 of 624

Hi Heather (and anyone else who is following),


We met with our pediatrician, and my son had an x-ray as well as a second confirmatory blood test.  Nothing in the x-ray indicated he may have swallowed an actual object, but his second confirmatory blood test revealed a BLL of 52.  Other labwork was performed, and we learned his iron level was low and his hemoglobin level was on the lower end of normal.  So far, his kidneys and liver appear to be functioning properly.


My pediatrician prescribed an iron supplement and a drug called Succimer, which is apparently difficult to find and compound.  Our Walgreen's couldn't do it, so a pharmacy in the next town over is going to order it and compound the formula.  We will not be able to get it until Thursday evening.  It's amazing how important this drug is, yet we have to wait to get it.  It is common for BLLs to spike after one course, as bones are remodeling themselves and will be pulling out the lead.  His BLL will be rechecked after 5 days on the medicine.  He'll be on the medicine for about a month.  Once his level stabilized to 35, he can go off the medication.  This is a form of chelation therapy.  I've been told the drug has a foul taste and odor.  It is scary to put my son on this type of medication.


Tomorrow, a risk assessment will be performed at our former residence.  I will also be meeting with a nurse case manager from the IL Dept. of Public Health.  They got in touch with me relatively fast, and the case manager appears to be very informative.  I'm hoping perhaps she can give me more hope that it is still possible our son will not suffer in any way as a result of his lead poisoning.  One thing to mention is that if i had a history of lead poisoning and passed anything onto my son, it is possible it will take longer for the lead to leave his body.  I should also mention that I was a religious EPer - I exclusively pumped breast milk and still have quite the frozen stash.  I was very conservative in the foods I offered to my son and when, as breast milk or formula should be the primary nutrition source until age 1.  So much for transitioning him off breast milk - we switched right over to cow's milk just in case there were any trace amounts of lead in my breast milk. 


We're also awaiting results from a lead water test.  Christopher didn't drink tap water, and I didn't cook with it for him.  But he did bathe and swim in it, so I am sure he took some of it in.


This is scary stuff, and there ought to be more public awareness, I agree.  I guess it's too expensive to test every child, but it sure is worth it.  One look at the toy and jewelry recall list, and any current toy could just as easily be on the list....I wonder how many don't ever make it onto the list.  Hopefully we two ladies can get others to chime in here!

post #619 of 624
TKC2011 - how are things? How is Christopher? I've been thinking of you.

We're at my in laws awaiting test results on our house, which we're not even 100% certain is the source, but it's the only thing we can think of.

I'm having a really hard time coming to terms with all this. I'm alternately heartbroken, angry, numb, and wracked with guilt.
post #620 of 624

Thank you so much for keeping my family in your thoughts. I will continue to keep yours in my thoughts. 


Surprisingly, Christopher has so far done very well with his chelation treatment.  I was terrified for him to start the medication, but he seems to be handling it very well.  The worst part for him is that we hold him down to administer the medication, but he bounces right back once it is done and over with.  Next week he will need to go back to the doctor's for more bloodwork, not only to check his lead levels but also to make sure his white blood cell count remains normal. 


While we are awaiting some test results, we decided to run some instant quick tests on a few items that didn't get zapped by the assessor's lead detector.  You will not believe this, but a very popular baby food making system component tested positive!  We used a test strip on a lead fishing sinker for our control, and the color appears to be the same with the baby food system's parts.  And yes, it appears a part that touches the food is either made of lead or has had lead leach onto it...  Here I was thinking we were doing a healthy thing for our son by making our own baby food.  I do have a frozen batch of food that can go to a lab for testing, and I do think further testing is needed to ascertain what these hardware test results showed...but if it in any way contributed to our son's high lead levels, I am going to be very upset.  Lead has no place in a system intended to be used to feed babies!  I suppose after we get confirmation, I will file a report to the CPSC.  But I do want to see if more tests can be run...   I'm not ruling out the house, but after what the assessor said...and now this...one must wonder.


I know staying at the in-laws' is not ideal for most, but I'm glad neither of our families have to stay in homes that may be the source of lead poisoning.  It's actually been quite helpful for me since I feel awful from the pregnancy, and Christopher loves being around his grandparents.  Eventually we plan to purchase a new home, but there's not much to choose from in our area since we are ruling out all older homes. 


I will keep you updated on further test results and what I learn about this baby food system!

Edited by TKC2011 - 1/20/13 at 9:12am
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