Lead Paint in an Apartment - Help! - Mothering Forums
Family Safety > Lead Paint in an Apartment - Help!
dinahx's Avatar dinahx 03:07 PM 12-02-2012

So we just moved into an Apt. Our things are there already. Including mattresses. For whatever reason, this really seemed like the spot for our family, even tho to date we have been religious about avoiding anything built before 1980 . . .


Anyway, I just inspected yesterday. The apartment was just fully painted with VOC free paints but not the window frames Which aren't really flaking all over the place but the paint IS NOT in great condition. I thought they would paint the frames (old wood painted), but um, they didn't. I did put in a request to have the frames painted & the maintenance company is lead safe trained (as required by law). However I WILL have to close off rooms while this happens, provided it happens! . . . And Lead Safe training is only as good as what actually happens.


I just want some feedback on this . . .

*I just had my 2 year old's blood drawn for a baseline level. I plan to follow up in 3 months.

*I talked to someone who does lead inspections & he really seemed to advise that I skip it and just act like it is there. (Practicing housekeeping practices, like HEPA vac, weekly wipedowns with Cascade/TSP, shoes off, handwashing, etc.)

*I have a HEPA vac. That is sealed. DH vacuumed the whole apartment yesterday.

*I am going to buy Floradix and extra Calcium for the children & myself.


I guess I am just nervous. I really am anal about things like this. Any suggestions? Feedback? Thanks! (Most if not all of the affordable housing here was built before 1978 and has similar issues).


I can't really enjoy our home until I feel confident that my plan is rock solid and my LOs are safe! Please any feedback or support is welcome!

dinahx's Avatar dinahx 09:49 PM 12-02-2012

Okay another idea I have had is to use that shrink wrap plastic insulating tape to enclose all windows prior to them coming to properly encapsulate the paint . . .

maryeliz's Avatar maryeliz 08:04 AM 12-03-2012

 I also have a 2 year old.  We have only lived in properties (rentals) built before 1930 since she was born.  Our first rental had windows that were not in great shape, and we did cover the worst ones with plastic, and then taped around the outside of the sill with duct tape.  It wasn't pretty, but it worked.  In our next rental, which was in good, but not perfect shape, we did nothing beyond making sure that things were swept/moped/wiped down.


My daughter had a lead screen of +3 at 1yr and +1 at 18m.  I think your friend who does the lead inspections is correct, you should try to keep things clean, but beyond that just make sure your kids are getting screened and don't worry too much.  I also have a friend who works in lead/public health.  He lives in house built in 1920 with his young child and doesn't do anything special.

jmarroq's Avatar jmarroq 06:27 PM 12-03-2012

We lived in old home. Son started having symptoms of pica at about 8 mos. He witnessed a relative's child pick up a cracker crumb from the floor and eat it. He imitated her, realized it tasted good and it became a habit...whether it was a food item or not. Picked up every little spec of dirt on floor and ate it. He was also a nervous chewer. He ate books, toys, clothing, and chewed holes in his crib. Eventually started eating window sills. Had him tested because we lived in an old home. Had lead level 17! We were really careful about letting him get to window sills after that. Tested again 3 mos later and down to level of 3. So, if you are careful, damp wipe surfaces, clean toys frequently, etc....you should be OK. Most kids don't eat dirt off floor like my son did. Talked to a neighbor, and her kids tested sort of high too for a while. If I could do it over again, and I had kids with pica, I would just not live in an older home until my kids were a little older and past the pica stage.

mariee's Avatar mariee 06:50 PM 12-03-2012

It sounds like you really have all of the basics covered!  


You expect the maintenance people to fix and paint the windowsills, then, right?  Just waiting for them to actually do it?


I think the advice that you got from the lead expert guy is probably the most useful.  The weekly wipedowns of floor and windows is supposed to pick up the regularly accumulating dust.  I got the same advice when living in a non compliant house!


the only other thing I would add is that your outdoor soil is likely contaminated, too.  I'd avoid planting vegetables or anything you intend to eat in the soil. Do you have other places you can take your toddler to play?

dinahx's Avatar dinahx 09:47 AM 12-05-2012
The backyard is full of grass & a lot of it is not near the house. I want to plant but my plan was raised bed & bring in soil. Does that sound reasonable? I haven't heard back from the landlord but I don't see why they wouldn't paint the frames . . .