Told you I'd be back
We moved into our current apartment when ds was 3 months old. It's a pretty old house, and we knew coming in there was lead paint in the trim still. Doorways, windows. Our landlord(who is so fabulous) made sure we knew before formally agreeing. It's law here to test rental properties and inform tenants of hte results, also she has young kids so had everyhting tested when they moved in. Their youngest was a toddler at the time and they tested her levels pretty often to make sure her levels weren't elevated. it wa snever an issue, and that child is 3 1/2 now....
Also, htis apt has been completely redone since they bought the house. The tenant at the time was filthy and awful and everyhting had to be cleaned up. Like, floors ripped up and replaced due to cat boxes not taken care of, bag and bags of trash and cigarette butts, etc... Really gross. So the whole place has been completely cleaned, fresh paint, etc..
So, knowing there was lead paint we tested a little early. Our doc does it routinely at 12 months but we asked about it so we tested at 9 months. That was..let me think...September. His lead level then was 11. Just barely over 'acceptable'. We tried not to panic. Made a bigger effort to wash his hands and face more often, clean everyhting more regularly. He was just starting to be more interested in solid foods so we made sure he was getting good healthy foods. Also at that time, we were just coming into a new england winter. We always plastic our windows up for the cold season(saves a TON on heating bills) and we thought that would help a lot too. This apt has lots of windows, the really low ones. We assumed that not having access would help reduce his exposure.
At his 12 month appointment in December, we tested again. Up to 13. Ok. Wash hands and face before eating every time, also started the habit of wiping hands and face at every single diaper change. Wipe everyhting down with damp rags at least twice a week. I have a rotating schedule for this so the whole house gets done twice weekly. All the windows and doorways and stuff like that. Also cleaning hte kitchen floor more often, vacuuming more often (buying hepa filter bags for the vacuum). Learned that iron and calcium can help the body process lead and get it out. He already eats lots of yogurt and cheese and loves green veggies like broccoli. I also added green leasfy veggies. Spinach, kale, etc.. He can't eat them raw so what I do is cook up a bunch all at once until it's really soft, stick it in the blender, and freeze in an ice cube tray. In addition to other foods, try to get one or two cubes a day into him. Luckily he loves it. Then I read that lead is absorbed the most in the lower intestines and regular bowel movements help push it out before it's absorbed. So I monitor his food to make sure he poops at least once a day. Oatmeal and applesauce. Also raisins, he eats a lot of those and I hear they're good for iron.
So then we just tested a couple weeks ago, at his 15 month appointment. Since December his levels have jumped to 18. Now I'm really freaked out.
I just read(somewhere here I think) that when dealing with lead, yes you need to damp dust often and damp mop and vacuum-but you should be using paper towels, not rags that you wash and reuse! I had no idea! Still not sure why, maybe it stays on the cleaning rags even after washing? I don't know, but here I was feeling so good about not using as many paper products and stuff. That's out the window. If it'll keep my son healthier I'll have an extra bag of trash each week.
I just don't know what else to do now. We're trying to get in a good, thorough, spring clean. Wash every damn surface in our home. Vacuum out every nook and cranny. Wash everyhting that's washable. My husband is going to put together a few friends to help him put a fresh coat of paint over all the trim. Ds and I will just have to plan a whole day out of hte house so they can get it done, that's easy enough for me. We're trying to find ways to rearrange furniture so he has less access to the windows. We're planning to move(we were planning it before we got the most recent results, but a lead free building is a must now for our next place(cheap, lead free, good location, 2-3 bedroom apt in new england, lol. yeah right, we're dreaming) but not until fall.
We've been in touch with the health dept. More accurately, they've been in touch with us from the beginning. Over 10 they contact you. I'm not sure at what point they actually come out to your home. The woman who is our contact there has been very nice to us. She is sending a kit so we can test the water. In the meantime I've switched ds to bottled water just in case. If there is lead int he water from the pipes that might expain the jump in his levels, as he eats a lot more now so drinks a lot of water too.
I don't know what else to do. Should I supplement with iron and calcium? What is a good brand, or does it have to be Rx? How much? What kind of natural solutions are there? I'd be very interested int hat, can you post it here? I'm sure lots of people would find in helpful.
Stinks being part of this tribe, doesn't it?