Moms dealing with elevated lead levels - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 626 Old 06-22-2005, 11:56 PM
 
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We have a Eureka and it worked just fine, according to our personal experience and the opinion of the certified state environmental lead inspector that examined everything. I don't know what model it is, it does have a cannister. I'm sure it doesn't work as well as the very expensive one, but my aim was not to remove every micron of lead- that's not the direction where I point my anxiety. And, we would not have had money to move if we spent it on a perfect vacuum. Lead poisoning is more prevalent in lower income housing, so I encourage any poorer mamas who might read this thread to still go for the Eureka if it's all they can afford. We were in quite a dangerous lead situation at the time, and dd's lead went down 9 points in one week after we got the Eureka vaccuum. I concur with the previous assessment of the filter on it. It really is no big deal to take it outside, put the cannister in a plastic bag, seal it and shake, etc. The first few times we went very far from the house, and washed hands and clothes afterwards. Now that our lead situation is better, we still go outside, but don't have to be as paranoid. Those vacuums you all described sound awesome, though.
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#62 of 626 Old 06-30-2005, 10:25 PM
 
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Hi All-

I finally bit the bullet and got the Nilfisk vacuum cleaner. It was thanks to Gardenmom that we found it and I thought I would add to what she's said about the vacuum cleaner. It took me forever to find a private consumer vacuum cleaner that is TRULY adequate for lead clean up. We are doing construction on walls this coming week that have lead paint, and later in the summer will be doing work on windows that are very high in lead. So we HAD to find an adequate vacuum cleaner.

The Nilfisk "Family Vac" is the only consumer (versus industrial) vac that really filters out the lead. What Hoover, etc. claim is very misleading, IMHO. They claim "true Hepa filter" but it is not true HEPA *filtration.* Very important distinction in a lead situation. There is a real hepa filter in their vacs. However, the vacs bypass a lot of the intake and the lead/allergens just get reblown around the room. For us, that would be a nightmare.

The Nilfisk is expensive, (close to $500). However, it is made by a great company that is the number one industrial vacuum company in the world. And, it is ANSI certified for lead removal. When looking for a vacuum cleaner to deal with lead, apparently you need to see that it is:

certified for lead abatement, per ANSI z9.2 standard for OSHA and the EPA and it must have a *sealed* cannister.

If you bought something commercial, it would cost $1500-$2000.

The other great thing about this vac is that it has the strongest suction of home vacuum cleaners ( a CFM of 275). To me, that is very desirable in dealing with lead dust and chips.

Hope this helps.

BTW, we ordered ours from Aller-caire (800) 547-8095. They do not have a website, just phone orders. Their prices were equal or better to web prices, and their shipping is in 2-3 days. Their customer service was very, very knowledgeable. Refreshing!

Hope this helps parents who are in our situation.

Thanks again to Gardenmom for her tip-off to the Nilfisk. A real find. Will update once we get the vacuum cleaner.

Liz

Kids. I got two of 'em.
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#63 of 626 Old 07-08-2005, 11:42 PM
 
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Levels went down 2 points

Not that 16 is really something to celebrate but it's the right direction at least! Also we are moving somewher ethat is totally lead free. The nurse I was speaking with when I called for the test results said to definitely still test around september again, but she wouldn't be surprised if when we move we see a drastic drop-like possibly being below 10 next time we test

I am so happy.
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#64 of 626 Old 07-09-2005, 11:20 PM
 
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Sarah --

So happy for you!! Glad you're moving somewhere else, too...

Keep us posted on your progress!!

Liz

Kids. I got two of 'em.
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#65 of 626 Old 08-01-2005, 11:17 AM
 
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Just checking in to see how everybody is doing.
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#66 of 626 Old 08-01-2005, 07:46 PM
 
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Hi Gardenmom
We love the Nilfisk -- wonderfully built. We used the vac when we did reno on two walls with lead paint on them. We'll be using it again later this summer when we do the window replacement. We're doing OK. I'm nervous about the windows, but will lay down plastic over everything, vac like crazy, and wear a respirator as I do the clean up (to protect me and my breastmilk). They cost under $50 and are well worth it. Then, we'll be done. At least the inside of the house! More outside, but less worrisome. Lulu's blood levels are still normal hopefully, we'll retest in the fall.


Anyone know the time between exposure to lead and measurable levels? I heard three months...

Otherwise, we've doing great. I had my gall bladder out so am sort of convalescing. How are you?

Liz

Kids. I got two of 'em.
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#67 of 626 Old 08-17-2005, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We just received Anorien's lead level - 16. so the progression since November has been 31 - 30 - 25 - 21 - 19 - 16.
Sound average?
she is sleeping/nursing in my lap right now, hard to type, just thought I would share our latest number.
anyone else had recent tests?

Narnia, mother of Anorien (10/03) and Ford (5/07)
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#68 of 626 Old 08-17-2005, 10:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandrajoon
Hey, I understood that blood lead levels are not an accurate indicator of the total exposure to a heavy metal, and in fact only gives a picture of the last three weeks exposure. The body stores & accumulates heavy metals in the fat (this is called the 'body burden') and that is much harder to test. Maybe that info that changed as the book I am referencing is about 7+ years old (Turning Lead Into Gold http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...27215?v=glance )

In essence I gleaned that typical heavy metal tests are not very reliable. Any info on this from others?
Yes, for example, blood tests for mercury are this way... useless beyond a few days. Mercury is stored in the body organs, not in the blood, and even when challenged (which is a very dangerous procedure), the metal doesn't necessary dump out into the blood right away. This has been proven over and over again with autistic kids.

Myself and my son have ordered a specialized hair test to check for mercury exposure in both of us. It tests all heavy metals as well as minerals.

The Autism-Mercury Yahoo group is the best source for information about chelation issues and hair testing information:
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Autism-Mercury
See the Files section for a wealth of info in addition to searching the archives of posts.
(For those who have read "Evidence of Harm", the Group was started by Lyn Redwood, one of the moms who was a central character in the book.)

I ordered the "Hair Elements Test" from DDI, it was $69 if you are a member of the Yahoo list.
http://home.earthlink.net/~moriam/HOW_TO_hair_test.html
The relationships between the metals and minerals are more accurate indicators of which metals are being excreted and which are being absorbed and stored in the organs. For example, mercury in the brain stays there unless it's chelated out. Some mineral deficiencies are hallmarks of metal poisoning.

The key with chelators is that they should be taken on a constant basis... if you take a large dose at a time, like just once or twice a day, it mobilizes the metals and then the body reabsorbs most of them back but in a new place, like more into brain. If you take a chelator every 3-4 hours, then the level in the body is constant and most of it is excreted. This is based on the research into mercury chelation by Andrew Hall Cutler: http://www.noamalgam.com/

He is a participant on the Yahoo Group, but there are a lot of very knowlegable parents there too re: supplements/testing/chelation and some are dealing with high lead as well.

Seaweed can be dangerous for a person with high metals, as it can contain mercury from the oceans. Same with chlorella and mercury, which has also reports of being dangerous for moving metals around and redepositing them back in organs/brain.

Cilantro really hasn't been proven or clinically tested. And also the same principles for dosing could apply. Just because something is natural doesn't necessarily mean that it is safe...

For example the best chelator of mercury from the brain is alpha lipoic acid, ALA. Every health store in the country carries it. Dr. Perricone recommends it to combat wrinkles. And if you have mercury fillings and take it... it is very dangerous... it chelates even more mercury out of your fillings into your brain.

Sorry to be so... "inflammatory" here.

I don't know how I'm coming across but like I said, we are dealing with mercury poisoning I believe. DS has gut and behavioral issues and I have many symptoms as well. I will start chelation on myself as I have gotten all my fillings out by safe protocol with a holistic dentist. I need to decide whether I will do chelate DS. We'll see what hair tests say first.

So I know how difficult it is to be a mama facing this kind of thing. There is so much I didn't know until only recently. I want to make sure I do the right think for my DS and make sure others have the opportunity to research for their babes as well.

to everyone
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#69 of 626 Old 08-18-2005, 01:07 PM
 
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No time really to type- my research confirms much of what you said. Lead is stored in the bones, too, as it mimics calcium too. I have been wanting a hair test for my dd. One of the problems I have encountered is that allopathic doctors (and their egos) toe the standard line. Blood tests, and if it's not high enough for serious damage, then no big deal. We need to sue our landlady in order to cover dds healthcare, and it's hard to prove any damage- is hyperactivity damage, etc. Does anyone know what is in PCA-Rx? I've seen it advertised in Mothering and don't know. I am not one to think that because cilantro's effects aren't proven by the medical/ pharmaceutcial/ academic elite machine that they can't also be real and valuable. I think that there are brands of seaweed which are tested for mercury. Anoriens mom- we were at 27 in November and 14 in March or April. But we moved from a high lead house to a contained lead house, if that makes any sense.
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#70 of 626 Old 08-18-2005, 04:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by provocativa
One of the problems I have encountered is that allopathic doctors (and their egos) toe the standard line. Blood tests, and if it's not high enough for serious damage, then no big deal. We need to sue our landlady in order to cover dds healthcare, and it's hard to prove any damage- is hyperactivity damage, etc.
A DAN doctor might be able to help you. They don't just work with autistic kids. Plus, they are well versed in chelation as well as behavioral issues.

http://www.autismwebsite.com/ari/dan/dan.htm
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#71 of 626 Old 09-05-2005, 05:14 PM
 
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Hi mamas, just wanted to chime in here, having read this whole thread and taken notes. I'm so happy for you seeing lowering levels. I just got my kids the prick test, and was surprised to see my baby's come back at 8. I see from reading this thread that perhaps a venous test would come back lower. One of my kids was 3. Still I find it rather alarming. If they can see measurable problems at 10, I don't want my kids at 8. Or even 3.

One question I have for y'all. We were thinking one of the things we'd do to kick-off our lead abatement program here would be becoming a shoes-free household. I suspect a lot of our lead is coming from the dirt in our yard (we had a lot of lead paint sand-blasted off our peeling garage last year, in order to be able to paint... figured that the peeling paint chips were worse?). Are any of y'all thinking of shoes-free as a part of your new cleaner lifestyle, or would it just track in by your socks from the shoe removal area (which we would have on our porch)?
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#72 of 626 Old 09-06-2005, 11:35 AM
 
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Becoming a no-shoes house is definitely a good idea. There is still a bit of tracking from socks for sure, but not nearly as much. Also, is your entry area set up so that you can baby-gate it off? I do that at my house, just to prevent people from passing through there more than neccessary and tracking in even more dirt.

If you haven't yet, I'd suggest getting your soil tested for lead, and keeping the kids out of the highest areas. Also, you should be sure to plant grass, or put down mulch over any bare dirt that has lead in it.

HTH

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#73 of 626 Old 09-06-2005, 12:09 PM
 
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I know there is no lead anywhere in our home- it's been freshly painted before we moved in- we're OK- right? No paint chipping or anything like that.

BUT- I do notice that we have an old metal gate that probably has lead paint on it. DS likes to push it open- will get some dust (paint) from the gate onto his hands. I never noticed it before. Last time I was at the Dr- she didn't think I needed to test for lead- but now I'm wondering. Can you get lead poisoing from this?
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#74 of 626 Old 09-06-2005, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoraJadesMama
Are any of y'all thinking of shoes-free as a part of your new cleaner lifestyle,

The first thing we did was install a no-shoes policy. We definitely have lead in the soil all around our house. One thing we did not consider that the health department pointed out later was the fact that we have cats. They love to sit on the back porch peeling paint and then bring the dust inside on their little paws and bellies. I just locked them out of our bedroom to atleast count down on the lead in there.

Anorien is still doing great, growing like she should, and likes washing her hands A Lot!!!

Narnia, mother of Anorien (10/03) and Ford (5/07)
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#75 of 626 Old 09-06-2005, 11:53 PM
 
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Hi All

Just wanted to let you know we finished replacing all our lead filled windows with new ones. Man, it was stressful. I wrapped the entire house in plastic! All the floors and furniture! Then we did a clean up with our nilfisk vac. Me and the baby left while the windows and clean up was going on.

In a couple of days we should get the results back from the lead tests we had an inspector do after it was all done. Wish us luck! Perhaps our lead nightmare is almost over. (and we are almost broke!)

Liz

Kids. I got two of 'em.
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#76 of 626 Old 09-07-2005, 10:37 PM
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Lead Poisoning

Sorry, I didn't see this earlier. My children had lead poisoning. My ds was 47, my dd was 52.
Stayed away from chelation and treated by changing diet. Lead levels were down to less than 5 in six months.
Will post more later...
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#77 of 626 Old 09-09-2005, 08:03 AM
 
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Thank you so much for this thread. Even though my son's lead level has tested in the "safe" zone, we live in an old house and worry that increased lead exposure is always a risk.

In addition to the many good ideas in this thread, I haven't seen anyone mention that old dust gets trapped in window screens. It doesn't seem like much until you run a wet paper towel over a dirty screen--I was amazed by how much came up. I'm assuming much of the dust is from outside but it surely contains particles from what was rubbed off from the sills. We also have a box of TSP in the basement and never knew what it was for, but I'm bringing that up today to go over the sills and screens again this weekend.
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#78 of 626 Old 09-09-2005, 03:19 PM
 
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Hi all,

CatskillMtnMama--that sounds like so much work. go mama go! AnoriensMom glad Anorien is doing so well.

Thanks for the responses on no-shoes. We'll be implementing that this weekend. I also ordered a nilfisk. We have a cat who likes to sleep on my pillow...hmmm....

Also the lead guy from county health came out yesterday and did some swabs and soil test. his xrf was malfunctioning, so he'll have to come back for that. he was supposed to charge us $125 to come, since our child isn't above a 10 yet, but somehow he managed to fanagle us a referral so we got it for free. phew! it seems like the county should be willing to help prevent children from GETTING to a 10! anyway he totally agreed.

I hope to get some answers. at this point it's still pretty mysterious where exactly the baby is getting it from. the lead guy said i should get tested, that it is quite possible that he got it from me in utero and now through breastfeeding (not that he was anti-bf, he wasn't). if that is the case, probably my other two had elevated levels as babies. they're low now. hmmm. taking all three kids to county health so i can get tested doesn't sound too fun. any input, mamas?

we're developing our lead-abatement plan:

have dh wear a mask and carefully dig up soil that got paint dust/chips on it when we pressure washed the garage last year; replace with new soil and plant grass.

become a no-shoes household

hepavac the heck out of the house (floors, bedding, furniture) when the vac arrives, wash all sills and floors with cascade in that throw-the-paper-towel-away fashion

get all cords as out of baby's reach as possible

weekly hepavac floors, and do the wipe thing on sills and wet mop floors (we may get disposable attachments for our sponge-mop)

get kids to wash hands every time they come in from outside (which they pretty much do anyway) and allow no food when playing outside; wash baby's hands and face with every diaper change

get new window screens

(their diet is already high in calcium and their iron levels tested well, so i won't change diet)

...hmm i guess that's it for now. other than being vigilant about toys with lead, crayon chewing, stuff like that.

mamas, i got a LOT out of this thread. thank you so much. i'll update when we have more news. i enjoy your updates so much.
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#79 of 626 Old 09-09-2005, 06:54 PM
 
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what is the risk of crayon-chewing? are nontoxic crayons ok?
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#80 of 626 Old 09-09-2005, 08:35 PM
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Crayons, even ones labeled non-toxic, sometimes have cadmium in them, which is one of the metals that sit atop the brain.
Cadmium, mercury and lead are the three most damaging to the human body, especially children. They are easily absorbed and because of density, travel to the top of the body to the brain.
I think in my pp, there is a link that talks about those three and how they work.
Also, in one of the link there is a site that lists everything that is dangerous, including Barbie and Disney toys, since soft plastic often contains cadmium to make it pliable.

I, personally, would never use chelation on my children. It is just too dangerous. Using the healthy eating guide, i was able to naturally lower my children's lead levels within six months.
I, also, cut out all food that made it harder to digest, like dairy and bread. They had cheddar cheese and Keifer(sp?), but no yogurt, butter, milk, or ice cream.
Tons and tons of veggies. They both love asparagus, artichokes, collard greens, tabouli, and salads.
For fruit, tons of blueberries(those are the best as they contain almost everything a growing body needs), raspberries, cherries, etc. No juice, just water and fresh fruit.
Yellow vegies are important, too. Red peppers, yellow peppers, tomatos, corn, squash, pumpkin, and many others that I cannot think of right now.
My children never eat hot dogs or anything high in nitrates. Ham and white bean soup is a treat on Mother's Day(because that is my favorite ).
Oh, and beans, beans, beans! Not just standard Red Kidney beans, but a variety.
Check out some of the recipe boards. Our favorite is refried black beans. Yummy! Yellow split peas, green split peas, white beans, etc. We have made everything from the Ethiopian dishes to plain ole Chili. Guatemala and Ecuador has some yummy recipes for beans, too.
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#81 of 626 Old 09-10-2005, 06:43 PM
 
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thank you for the warning about crayons. ds is past the age of putting things in his mouth, but i'm putting away the crayons andwill only let him use them under supervision. what do you let your children draw with?

sorry for all the questions, but I may have missed the "healthy eating guide"--is there a link upthread? thanks!
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#82 of 626 Old 09-10-2005, 06:53 PM
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My older children say I am a mean mommy because I threw away all the crayons and markers. I live in an apartment and just cannot afford the writing on the wall, so to speak. :LOL
My children have a MagnaDoodle(?) tha they draw with. No paper to waste, no marks on the walls or anywhere else. If it's something really cool, then I take a picture with the digital camera.
Can you tell I love trees? :LOL
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#83 of 626 Old 09-11-2005, 09:24 AM
 
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we're renters, too, but luckily ds has not been that interested in drawing on the walls (though occasionally the floors ). and yes the trees love you back!

we have a small magnadoodle, too, and are thinking of getting a chalkboard. do you know whether chalk is safe? it seems there are heavy metals everywhere...
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#84 of 626 Old 09-11-2005, 10:16 AM
 
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I'm an artist, so not letting my child experience color and creativity in multiple mediums is an anathema to me. We ordered Stockmar beeswas crayons from Germany. They might still have cadmium, though I trust that company more than crayola. I make food based paints. It is ridiculously easy to find paper headed for the recycling bin that has only been used on one side- so we just re-use it then recycle. Just ask an office drone to save some for you. We have also gotten the ends of butcher paper rolls from a restaurant that uses them on their tables. I don't question the pp mama's knowledge of cadmium (I think it's not used in every color, though).
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#85 of 626 Old 09-11-2005, 12:00 PM
 
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Nora- sounds like an excellent plan! I can't think of anything else to suggest.

Our windows and sills (NEW) failed the lead swipe test. The floors were OK. I was disappointed! But it turns out my husband FORGOT to wash down the new windows after construction. : He did do the floors, though, so those were OK.

So we are back to scrubbing the new windows and I am actually going to paint the old wooden sills to make them easier to clean. They are beautiful but not in great shape, and hold the lead dust.

Nora -- what prompted you to be so careful in your house? I forget... your kids had high normal levels?

Liz

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#86 of 626 Old 09-11-2005, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by late-night nan
we're renters, too, but luckily ds has not been that interested in drawing on the walls (though occasionally the floors ). and yes the trees love you back!

we have a small magnadoodle, too, and are thinking of getting a chalkboard. do you know whether chalk is safe? it seems there are heavy metals everywhere...
You can make your own chalk! There are recipes on-line...I made one with egg shells and food coloring and other stuff. It was a long time ago and I remember it being a PITA at the time. I think it had more to do with not having all the right utensils.
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#87 of 626 Old 09-12-2005, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just brought home the july/august issue of Mothering from the library and saw on the last page an ad for something called PCA-Rx. "A powerful, biologically active detoxification agent." Here is the link

http://ssl.maxamlabs.com/MAXAM_ASP_V...ProductINDX=47

Any one heard of this??

Narnia, mother of Anorien (10/03) and Ford (5/07)
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#88 of 626 Old 09-12-2005, 11:10 AM
 
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On crayons, our lead guy from the city said that he has tested a bunch. Yes, even crayola have lead, but only some colors, and, interestingly, only certain boxes. So a given color might have lead in one box and not in another. Variation at the factory?? I let my kids use crayons and markers, but I am now vigilant about crayons not being in baby's reach.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CatskillMtnMama
Our windows and sills (NEW) failed the lead swipe test. The floors were OK. I was disappointed! But it turns out my husband FORGOT to wash down the new windows after construction. : He did do the floors, though, so those were OK.

aagh! how frustrating! after all you did to make it better! I feel for you. I'm really impressed that you're getting back on the horse, as they say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CatskillMtnMama
Nora -- what prompted you to be so careful in your house? I forget... your kids had high normal levels?
I just happened to get them a lead test, all three, just becuase I'd been meaning to for ages. The older kids were 3. The baby, who I figured would be 0 was 8. So I am worried that he's only going to elevate from here unless we take action. I can't wait for the hepa vac to arrive, so we can give the house one big suction cleaning!

I'm now a big advocate for everyone getting their kids tested. I bet y'all are too!
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#89 of 626 Old 09-13-2005, 02:36 PM
 
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What about Dyson vacuums? Has anyone done research on them? We just bought one, and I'm tempted to return it and buy a Nilfisk, but wondered if it would work just as well. Probably not.

We're buying an older home, and there's chipping paint in it. We're in an apartment right now, and hope that we can get lead issues taken care of before moving in. We recently moved out of an apartment filled with lead hazards. I looked high and low for a lead-free apartment, and found our current one. We can only afford a one bedroom, but it was worth it to me to get the kids (6 mos. and 2.5 years) away from the lead.

I'm scared silly about the lead, and wish we could afford a home without it. No dice.

~Serina~
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#90 of 626 Old 09-13-2005, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by welldone
What about Dyson vacuums? Has anyone done research on them? We just bought one, and I'm tempted to return it and buy a Nilfisk, but wondered if it would work just as well. Probably not.

We're buying an older home, and there's chipping paint in it. We're in an apartment right now, and hope that we can get lead issues taken care of before moving in. We recently moved out of an apartment filled with lead hazards. I looked high and low for a lead-free apartment, and found our current one. We can only afford a one bedroom, but it was worth it to me to get the kids (6 mos. and 2.5 years) away from the lead.

I'm scared silly about the lead, and wish we could afford a home without it. No dice.
I would check with your county or state, because when buying a home, the homeowner or city is required to take care of the lead.
In MN, since the city owned the house, they were required to replace all the pipes, windows, etc before they could sell it. Of course, they tried to sell it to us anyways, until I called the Health Department and harrassed the city zone people(?)....can't remember off the top of my head what they were called.
So, anyways, no money out of our pocket for a problem that should have been taken care of years ago, kwim?
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