Lead Test? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 08-08-2007, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wasn't sure if this is the appropriate place to post this...but wondering what other mamas' thoughts are on the lead test when baby turns one. I am not a big fan of doing this unless it is necessary. Any thoughts??
Thanks in advance!
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#2 of 20 Old 08-08-2007, 10:54 PM
 
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I think it's a valuable tool. I am in Michigan in a county that is one of the highest in terms of blood lead levels for its inhabitants. My son recently at 9 months tested with levels of 3 ug/dl where 10 is the "high" level. The nurse at the dr's office mentioned that typically kids come in with levels at 0-3.

Even though his levels are technically not high, I am concerned nonetheless. I wonder why the *&^% my son has any lead in his blood and have become more vigilant about the types of toys he chews on, our drinking water, and our vitamin c intake. Without the test I would have been blissfully yet woefully ignorant. We now plan to repeat the test at perhaps 14 months or so to make sure his levels are not increasing. There is some evidence that levels below the cutoff for concern are problematic in terms of effects on intelligence and risk for heart attack/stroke.
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#3 of 20 Old 08-08-2007, 11:32 PM
 
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We're doing this, but we live in an area where this is a concern. I don't see the benefit in not doing it, unless you object to blood tests on principle.
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#4 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 12:55 AM
 
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Lead (even in doses less than 10 ug/decilieter) causes permanent damage. This is damage to learning ability, IQ, and more. For more info check out the internets. http://www.leadsafe.org/ and http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/ are good places to start. The only way you can prevent further damage from lead is if you know your child is being exposed so that you can stop the exposure.

Here is the web site for New Hampshire lead exposure prevention:
http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/DHHS/CLPPP/default.htm

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#5 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 01:10 AM
 
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I think every one should have this done. We live in a place with no risk factors and my DD's level came back at 50! She had no symptoms. We have no idea when she ingested the lead. It took months to figure out where the lead came from. Months of oral chelation therapy after the initial in patient hospital stay of IV chelation agents. This was 2 years ago and he level is still 13. I don't know if it's from the hospital stay trauma or the lead, but she's never been "the same" and she has some ADHD/listening/behavioral issues that we contribute to the lead. Luckily she's not brain dead and she's alive.

We are VERY lucky. Lead poisoning is really serious and most of the time there are no immediate symptoms.

Get the test done. It's a finger prick test to start out with.
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#6 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 09:36 AM
 
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i had dd1 tested when she turned 1, but did not do it again when she turned 2 because a)she had no lead in her blood.....and b) it's NOT a finger prick it's a blood draw, in the arm, that she did not handle well and i was pregnant when she turned 2 and just did not have the energy to deal with the hassle!
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#7 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 11:36 AM
 
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I'm glad that you are magic and KNOW that your DD has no lead in her blood. This isn't something to mess around with.
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#8 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 11:49 AM
 
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Some clinics do a finger/heel prick first and a vein puncture if the initial test shows an elevated level. You can ask for a topical numbing cream if you are concerned about the arm draw (the vein sample is more accurate so some care providers just do that).

Lead can be "silent" in that your little may have no obvious symptoms. And lead can be found in so many places. The "soft" plastic in extension cords and holiday lights, dust in the home or dirt on the street, crayons and toys (as recent toy recalls have shown even wooden toys aren't exempt)...

We do an annual lead test since lead is serious but treatable if caught early. I hate when dd is upset or in pain, but this is one of those situations where the benefits are pretty clear.

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#9 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 01:14 PM
 
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I agree with doing the lead test, this is one thing I would NEVER pass on. Does anyone test before 1 year? Our house was built in the 80's but as a PP said it is in lots of things still... I plan to ask our ped next week when we go in.
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#10 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 03:05 PM
 
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Moving to family safety

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#11 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 03:55 PM
 
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I do the lead tests. As some one starting a career in public health some of the saddest stories I have heard about children with lead poisoning. Every time we have move I have had my DS tested for lead. Thankfully he hasn't had any elevated levels.

Some of the links that have been posted are really good starting points for lead safety.

Denise
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#12 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 04:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emma's_Mommy View Post
it's NOT a finger prick it's a blood draw, in the arm, that she did not handle well and i was pregnant when she turned 2 and just did not have the energy to deal with the hassle!

Not true. Depends on where you have it done. Most places ARE finger pricks, as in if it is sent to most state labs. Venous draws are usually the backup for a repeat if the lead level is high, or if the doc is susp. a high level to begin with.

And, personally, I'd rather give my arm than a finger. Fingers HURT more.

We do it, and wouldn't think of not doing it. Even if your house is newer, does that mean you never take your kids out...to grandparents, friends, etc?? Repeat exposures like that is all it takes.
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#13 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 04:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kiddoson View Post
Does anyone test before 1 year? Our house was built in the 80's but as a PP said it is in lots of things still... I plan to ask our ped next week when we go in.
We started testing at 9 months as we had been doing some construction and the lead status of the house was unknown....but, in a house built in 1900, its obviously there. As safe as we can try to be, dust still travels.
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#14 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 09:48 PM
 
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My DD is 3.5 and our family doctor NEVER ASKED US TO DO A LEAD TEST. I am still irritated about this. I didn't realize it should have been done until a few months ago. We live in an older house (50's) and DH works at alot of contimated sites. We will be getting one done at DD's upcoming physical.

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#15 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 10:09 PM
 
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DS was tested at a year old - I want to have him tested again soon because we live in a very old house and they are painting outside - sanding all of the old paint off! Not good, I have kept windows closed, kept him completely away from where the work was being done and have repeatedly cleaned our front porch as instructed by one of the lead safety websites. I spoke to his doctor, well the nurse, and she wasn't too concerned but thought we should wait a couple of months if I was concerned and wanted a test. Does anyone know how long after exposure it will show up in a test?
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#16 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 10:19 PM
 
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Stephanie, if you don't mind, could you tell us what the source of the exposure turned out to be? Glad you caught it and took action!

ITA that this test should not be skipped. DS's initial fingerprick level was 7, less than the mandatory venous retest level of 10. Since it should be 0 - there is no normal acceptable amount of lead in the blood - we made changes in our old house. Shoes outside, wet dusting of floors and window, I got on the CPSC email list for toy recalls and when we retested 6 months later, it was 5 (fingerprick). I know these results are within the error range of the (less accurate) fingerprick test, but the downward trend was somewhat reassuring.

I also have a packet of lead test swabs for toys and such, but honestly I don't know where to start and I am worried about getting a false sense of security if the items I test pass.

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#17 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 10:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ilovemyavery View Post
My DD is 3.5 and our family doctor NEVER ASKED US TO DO A LEAD TEST. I am still irritated about this. I didn't realize it should have been done until a few months ago. We live in an older house (50's) and DH works at alot of contimated sites. We will be getting one done at DD's upcoming physical.
I never got asked either, I had to specifically request a lead test when she turned one. I think I heard about it on here, actually. I need to get her in again for another one soon (just turned two).
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#18 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 10:33 PM
 
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Quote:
family doctor NEVER ASKED US TO DO A LEAD TEST.
Wow! In NYS they are pretty hardcore...1st bday and 2nd bday tests. Actually, our ped called us about a month after dd's 1st bday since we hadn't done the test (their office doesn't test, we were sent to the hospital but due to scheduling problems and no car we kept putting off the test).

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#19 of 20 Old 08-09-2007, 11:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jenmary View Post
Stephanie, if you don't mind, could you tell us what the source of the exposure turned out to be? Glad you caught it and took action!

ITA that this test should not be skipped. DS's initial fingerprick level was 7, less than the mandatory venous retest level of 10. Since it should be 0 - there is no normal acceptable amount of lead in the blood - we made changes in our old house. Shoes outside, wet dusting of floors and window, I got on the CPSC email list for toy recalls and when we retested 6 months later, it was 5 (fingerprick). I know these results are within the error range of the (less accurate) fingerprick test, but the downward trend was somewhat reassuring.

I also have a packet of lead test swabs for toys and such, but honestly I don't know where to start and I am worried about getting a false sense of security if the items I test pass.
Jenmary - where did you get the lead test swabs?
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#20 of 20 Old 08-13-2007, 07:38 PM
 
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i got some lead test swabs at Lowes. It turned out that most all of our mini blinds are FULL of lead, more so than the paint that i thought was very lead filled!

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