Trying to stick it to my landlord re: lead paint and clothes dryer..... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 01-30-2012, 07:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really need help thinking through this... I am pregnant and have an almost three year old. We moved into this place in October as a temporary apartment. The house is super old and lead paint was a big concern for me, but the landlord ignores me and refuses to respond to my requests to test. In our state there are no public programs that will test a home. I bought those swabs myself and swabbed dust/paint in our immediate living space and it came up clean, which makes sense because it was added on and wasn't originally a living space, so new drywall and plaster went up....

 

Now I am freaked out about the basement, because it has brick walls painted with chipping, peeling, dusty white paint and the washer/dryer are down there. The dryer IS vented to the outside for the air coming out, but don't clothes dryers suck in air and therefore dust from the room they are in? Am I correct in thinking that the dryer is sucking in air from the basement and depositing lead dust on our clothes? Is that a valid assessment of how dryers work? 

 

Please help!


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#2 of 18 Old 01-30-2012, 07:34 PM
 
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we dealt with lead and I can tell you (not about the dryer) but each state will do lead testing on your child and where your state does not have a law (in most cases) the federal laws will kick in- in certain situations 

 

 

so much depends on the child's lead level!!

 

there are lead hotlines you would need to contact

 

it is important to have your child tested so that you know there current level and test (as recommended) in the months to come - no one (state or federal) will do anything unless your child is tested and there is a real lead level of concern 


 

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#3 of 18 Old 01-30-2012, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He was tested before we moved into this space and it came back fine. He doesn't play in the basement or anything and I know he is not in danger within our apartment. That's why I am wondering about the dryer specifically, because that is the only route of exposure I can think of, but am not sure if it is valid....

 


 

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Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

we dealt with lead and I can tell you (not about the dryer) but each state will do lead testing on your child and where your state does not have a law (in most cases) the federal laws will kick in- in certain situations 

 

 

so much depends on the child's lead level!!

 

there are lead hotlines you would need to contact

 

it is important to have your child tested so that you know there current level and test (as recommended) in the months to come - no one (state or federal) will do anything unless your child is tested and there is a real lead level of concern 



 


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#4 of 18 Old 01-30-2012, 10:31 PM
 
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have him tested again now that you've moved in to the place you that you suspect has lead issues. 

better to find out now if there is a problem so you can take steps to reduce the impact... including accelerating your time frame for moving out if need be.

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#5 of 18 Old 01-31-2012, 09:23 AM
 
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Can you swab the paint in the basement to see if it is even an issue?

 

Even if it is , I would think the concern wouldbe minimal if you don't disturb the paint


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#6 of 18 Old 01-31-2012, 02:54 PM
 
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What happens if it tests positive? We had to sign a waiver acknowledging that our home (built 50+ years ago) has lead paint.

Did you not have to do that too?

Maybe it is different per state?


 

 

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#7 of 18 Old 01-31-2012, 06:24 PM
 
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What happens if it tests positive? We had to sign a waiver acknowledging that our home (built 50+ years ago) has lead paint.

Did you not have to do that too?

Maybe it is different per state?

 

 

actually that "waiver" can go right out the door (depending on HOW high the child is and if the federal regulation might supersede it)--TEST TEST TEST!

 

MOST waiver acknowledge that there "could" be lead- having a child under 6 test high means a whole set of regulation take effect and things can be done--depending

 

I can not stress it enough! You do not know (you are just assuming OP everything is OK)- if you even live near a road and you don't have double pane windows your child can have high lead levels, for example-not just thinking about the dryer- at this point you have nothing to go unless you know what you are dealing with--just because you signed the waiver doesn't mean you loose all your rights

 

start by contacting you local state rep and find the correct phone numbers for you CITY and state - many local authorities do oversea this and you may not be fully aware, get the state numbers and the federal numbers and start calling and please do the testing 


 

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#8 of 18 Old 02-01-2012, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone for your input....

 

I think testing DS is kind of pointless at this point, not to mention very invasive. DP and I have to hold him down while he screams to get his blood drawn...We DID have him tested before, but I really don't wish to test him once a year (which is approximately how often we've moved in the last three years...). Our last apartment (pretty much where he grew up) was tested by the city and lead was found in the walls, but his blood test was fine nonetheless (probably because I'm neurotic about wet-mopping and the paint wasn't peeling anywhere). My understanding is that lead is not a danger as long as it's in good condition and hand to mouth activity is monitored (ie handwashing before eating and bed). When we moved into this place, there was no waiver and the landlord says that he is legally supposed to disclose presence of lead paint if he knows about it, but that he doesn't know, and is not obligated to test. The buying another pack of swabs and swabbing the basement makes the most sense to me. No one seems to be able to tell me how a dryer works, but Im not freaking out since I'm pretty sure if it was designed to suck in dust it would soon overheat and maybe even catch on fire, since the air moves through the heating element before getting to the clothes. I DO appreciate the extreme caution, but it isn't healthy for me to think that way (I struggle with occasional anxiety) because it leads to catastrophic thinking. Like the double pane window near a road thing is a little much for me. I can't keep my kid in a bubble. orngtongue.gif Like I said, I DID swab our apartment (dust, walls, baseboards, etc) to make sure he was safe here and he has no contact with the basement (we are on the third floor). If the dryer thing is not a danger, I really don't see how he could be exposed to anything more than background levels. That's why I was asking about the dryer specifically. I was thinking if it posed a risk to dry my clothes in it, I would get a better response and some support from the landlord. 

 

 

 

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Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

 

 

 

actually that "waiver" can go right out the door (depending on HOW high the child is and if the federal regulation might supersede it)--TEST TEST TEST!

 

MOST waiver acknowledge that there "could" be lead- having a child under 6 test high means a whole set of regulation take effect and things can be done--depending

 

I can not stress it enough! You do not know (you are just assuming OP everything is OK)- if you even live near a road and you don't have double pane windows your child can have high lead levels, for example-not just thinking about the dryer- at this point you have nothing to go unless you know what you are dealing with--just because you signed the waiver doesn't mean you loose all your rights

 

start by contacting you local state rep and find the correct phone numbers for you CITY and state - many local authorities do oversea this and you may not be fully aware, get the state numbers and the federal numbers and start calling and please do the testing 



 


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#9 of 18 Old 02-01-2012, 06:46 PM
 
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My understanding is that lead is not a danger as long as it's in good condition and hand to mouth activity is monitored 

 

Quote:
Like the double pane window near a road thing is a little much for me.

 

 

sorry you are having so much trouble - you do know next to eating paint chips -what the other way are? this is not mention to scare you put to inform you there are other ways and just wiping down is only one thing

 

if you are concerned you can't do anything without testing and trying to take care of the problems if you know about the levels 

 

really - just because an apt was tested that does not mean you are free from other way of getting lead

 

 


 

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#10 of 18 Old 02-01-2012, 07:16 PM
 
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I can not stress it enough! You do not know (you are just assuming OP everything is OK)- if you even live near a road and you don't have double pane windows your child can have high lead levels

Serenbat, this is very concerning to me. Do you have any info linked to this?


 

 

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#11 of 18 Old 02-01-2012, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My understanding is that this used to be a big issue when gasoline contained lead. Ever since gasoline has become unleaded, the exhaust does not have high levels of lead. Now, theoretically, if there is a dusty road by your house, cars could kick up the dust and the lead deposited in the soil from exterior paint or old gasoline, but I don't think this is likely. It is true that in most places there is a background level of lead in the dust from the outside. That's why windowsills and such are a target for wet cleaning.

 

 

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Originally Posted by dovemama View Post

 

Serenbat, this is very concerning to me. Do you have any info linked to this?



 


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#12 of 18 Old 02-01-2012, 08:01 PM
 
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Serenbat, this is very concerning to me. Do you have any info linked to this?

 

 

I am in PA and we dealt with this a year ago-they assessed our situation (we lived near a major road and cars "idled" in-front of our home) - we contact local, state and federal - in the end we moved because of it - it was the state that told me, regardless that lead has been removed in gas - it is one of the greatest way (besides eating) that children inhale lead-asphalt fumes and truck diesel fuel contributes to this - we were advised to seal the windows shut or replace with double pane plus wiping - even prior to leaving we sealed (culked) the windows shut and still the amount of dirt was high 

 

I would contact your local state rep - ours helped a lot- when you are dealing with kids - they act super fast!

 

the blood draw was nothing for us- just took seconds and my DS didn't even know what happened - get someone who knows what they are doing--it was no big deal because they don't need that much - DO NOT just do the stick (the state would also not look at stick tests since they tend to not be accurate) 

 


 

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#13 of 18 Old 02-01-2012, 08:05 PM
 
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this is just quick- you can find more it's easy - diesel fuel and road paints http://www.leadsafe.org/content/kids_and_lead/index.cfm?pageId=122

 

you have trucks you have diesel in most cases

 

It's not so much "dust" if by that you mean ground-unless that was contaminated 

 

ETA- could not since mothering was down right after I got off -

 

we steam cleaned and that did not get the imbedded fibers and also we could not get behind the heating fixtures - if you are doing lots of windowsill whipping - I would have that professionally tested-IMO

 

lead paint (left alone is NOT the problem) disturbed is - even if it happening next door to you-and IF you are dealing with and OLD building you could have asbestos - that is how we found out we had an issue was the asbestos first - this is not ment to scare you but to make you aware

 

and the trucks in my area (this is still rural but a two lane road) stopped about 1 1/2 blocks away because of traffic light to give references - this is not saying YOU have a problem it is to tell you that just because YOU don't disturb the lead paint on the walls does not mean your child doesn't get exposed 


 

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#14 of 18 Old 03-17-2012, 07:04 PM
 
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I highly doubt that the dryer could be sucking in lead paint dust and even if it was, it wouldn't harm any of you.  Lead paint only harms you when ingested.  Your landlord would likely be foolish to test for lead as then they would be bound to address it if they ever sold the property, without testing they can say they don't know and the prospective buyer can sign an addendum saying they are aware of the possibility.  As far as it concerns you and your children though, if there is peeling paint where the children may access it - do not vacuum up the paint chips, instead clean the area (when necessary) with a damp cloth.  Do not let the children place the paint chips in their mouths, and wash their hands before they eat.  These measures alone should keep you all safe. 

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#15 of 18 Old 03-18-2012, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks a lot! There is definitely no hazard in our living space where the kids are. I swabbed the whole place top to bottom. smile.gif

I thought it was also harmful when inhaled, which is why the basement was of concern to me, with the laundry being down there. But I think I am over it. I just make sure to not wear the same shows in the house as I wear to the basement, ad I keep dust off of the clothes if I wash/dry them down there. 

 

 

Thanks for your help!


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#16 of 18 Old 03-21-2012, 08:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talk2kara View Post

I Do not let the children place the paint chips in their mouths, and wash their hands before they eat.  These measures alone should keep you all safe. 


This is not true at all. Lead dust is very toxic and dangerous to kids. Many kids who have lead poisoning did not eat paint chips. It's miss leading to tell someone as long as they make sure their kid doesn't eat paint chips they will be fine. irked.gif

 

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#17 of 18 Old 03-22-2012, 05:53 AM
 
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From this NY times Article 

 

Lead is a very strong poison. When a person swallows a lead object or breathes in lead dust, some of the poison can stay in the body and cause serious health problems.

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Anyone living in a old building or a building known to have lead paint should have their kids tested year. You can do a very minor finger prick to screen. You only need a full blood draw if the finger prick comes back high. 

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#18 of 18 Old 03-23-2012, 06:43 PM
 
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I wouldn't worry about lead getting into the dryer unless you notice that someone's obviously been kicking up a bunch of dust in the room by sweeping with a broom or scraping the walls to paint them or something.  Even then, I'm pretty sure the dryer should have a filter on the air intake to protect the motor and fans.  

 

But it still would pay to test your child once a year.  We have absolutely zero risks for lead where we live - NONE, yet DD tested a 3 on a recent lead test.  It really upset me, even though that's below the level that they are concerned about (it's recently been lowered to 5), and we did some testing around our house and property.  The only positives were the soil at the base of the walls of an old house about 200 feet from ours where DD is never allowed, and the tool room in the barn where she is also never ever allowed - she's only 2, so we keep very close track of her.  We tested a month after the first test and her level had gone down to 2.1, so apparently it's not something she's continuing to be exposed to.  It drives me crazy though not to know where she picked it up.  My husband and I also got tested and came back as <1 (negative).


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