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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    3

    Default Window replacement & lead exposure?

    Hi all,

    I live in a very old house (built in mid 1800s) and although lead has always been in the back of my mind, I've basically tried not to worry about it too much (stupid I know). We've painted over almost everything, never use our windows, and only have exterior doors.

    Well, my in-laws offered to replace our windows, and I didn't think about it too much, until the contractors showed up with the new windows, and I did some googling. Now, I'm extremely worried. I'm currently 28 weeks pregnant. I stayed out of the house the three days they were actually doing the replacement, my mom thoroughly cleaned afterwards, and we used some of the lead check kits from Lowe's, and they all came up negative. So I moved back in (that was last Friday). However, yesterday I noticed a couple of paint chips in our kitchen floor (I guess my husband tracked them in on his shoes, he's cleaned the porch repeatedly, but there are still a couple of sneaky chips out there), I picked them up, tested them, and of course, they were positive for lead The floor around them was still negative. I'm having my cleaning lady thoroughly deep clean today, but I'm still worried because I feel like a paint chip or two might continue to be tracked in the next few days/weeks. How much harm does a couple of paint chips do to me and my baby? Of course, I'm not eating them, but I do feel like I need to pick them up and throw them away (while wearing gloves of course), if I see them. However, I'm currently freaking out about the ones I handled last night... I was wearing gloves and washed my hands immediately, but did I release lead dust that I inhaled, just by picking them up, testing them, and throwing them away? I'm a paranoid pregnant person anyways, and this situation is really freaking me out. Any advice would be appreciated on how much lead dust/paint chips you actually have to come in contact with/inhale/ingest to put yourself (and in my case, my unborn child) at risk. All this being said, I'm still glad those old lead coated windows are GONE, before our baby arrives and is crawling, chewing on windows, etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,694

    Default Re: Window replacement & lead exposure?

    You need to research vital information before you panic. Some of the questions you raised are very technical and are a matter of lab testing, so we can't comment on those.

    If you suspect that you inhaled lead dust, have your blood checked.

    When it comes to cleaning, try not to use a vacuum cleaner which might blow dust in the air.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Window replacement & lead exposure?

    I plan to have my lead levels checked at my next appointment. I think if I was exposed to lead dust it was very, very little - like I said, I moved out for several days, had the house deep cleaned before I reentered it, have only seen two paint flakes since I've been back in - but as I said, I'm a bit paranoid right now. I also plan to have our house professionally tested, but I think it's pretty thoroughly clean right now, so I'd rather wait a few weeks until some lead dust might crop up again from places I'm not thinking about (those exterior doors, for example).
    Last edited by farmwife; 08-05-2014 at 01:12 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    298

    Default Re: Window replacement & lead exposure?

    Quote Originally Posted by farmwife View Post
    I plan to have my lead levels checked at my next appointment. I think if I was exposed to lead dust it was very, very little - like I said, I moved out for several days, had the house deep cleaned before I reentered it, have only seen two paint flakes since I've been back in - but as I said, I'm a bit paranoid right now. I also plan to have our house professionally tested, but I think it's pretty thoroughly clean right now, so I'd rather wait a few weeks until some lead dust might crop up again from places I'm not thinking about (those exterior doors, for example).
    Take a moment and breathe.
    Most if not all of the lead dust has settled and been cleaned up. Change your air filters - better have your husband do it, have him shower and wash his clothes that he was wearing when he did it.
    That's really it. Paint chips are fine, sweep em up, don't lick them, just throw them away.
    You are in a lot less danger than you think, and your brain is working differently than it was 6 months ago or will be 1 year from now when you will be deciding of yo care that your child just picked up that spoon off the kitchen floor that hasn't been cleaned in 5 days and put it in his/her mouth before you knew what was happening.
    Mercury contamination from eating too much fish is a far greater danger to you and your pending child.
    It's this old house, not this built after your dad was born house.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Window replacement & lead exposure?

    Quote Originally Posted by function View Post
    Take a moment and breathe.
    Most if not all of the lead dust has settled and been cleaned up. Change your air filters - better have your husband do it, have him shower and wash his clothes that he was wearing when he did it.
    That's really it. Paint chips are fine, sweep em up, don't lick them, just throw them away.
    You are in a lot less danger than you think, and your brain is working differently than it was 6 months ago or will be 1 year from now when you will be deciding of yo care that your child just picked up that spoon off the kitchen floor that hasn't been cleaned in 5 days and put it in his/her mouth before you knew what was happening.
    Mercury contamination from eating too much fish is a far greater danger to you and your pending child.
    Hi function, thank you, this is what I needed to hear (someone kindly yet firmly telling me I'm overreacting). Being responsible for a little life is quite the stressful responsibility And Google is not kind, considering you can find all sorts of hysteria (over just about everything) out there. Not implying that lead is not a legitimate concern, in some instances, but I needed reassurance that taking the proper precautions eliminated the majority of danger for me and the baby.
    Last edited by farmwife; 08-05-2014 at 02:22 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,188

    Default Re: Window replacement & lead exposure?

    Lead is a concern in some instances, but you're not in one of them. If lead was as terrible as some make it out to be, then we would all be babbling idiots by now since heavily-leaded paints were common until recent times, as was the sanding of the same without filtering or masks. So yes, it's something to be aware of but not something to seriously worry about until the little one starts gnawing on the woodwork- that's one of those instances where lead is a problem!

    Phil

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,694

    Default Re: Window replacement & lead exposure?

    Just FYI, we may do everything that we can to protect ourselves from lead, yet we drink and cook with water brought to us by our cities in huge pipes which contain lead...

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