McKenzie has high levels of lead in her blood stream

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mandy called me last night and informed me that her doctor has done a couple of routine blood tests and she has come back with high lead levels. Mandy wanted to know if the health dept could come check our house. Uh, no. Number one its a disaster zone but also my mobile home was built in 2001 and it wouldnt have any lead paint in it at all. From what I understand, they stopped using lead paint sometime in the 70s. I dont buy any wooden toys from China, even wooden toys from yard sales and I dont have any used cribs or used playpen or portacrib. Nothing I have ever used with her is older than a few years old. Most of her toys are either new or name brand. I dont have any antique furniture that is painted. My few pieces that are antiques are stained. The are certainly not chipping and she doesnt go in the room that they are in. I dont even have painted headboards. In fact I dont have any headboards in my house.

    Mandy said she has a few old cabinet type things in her house that were handmedowns which have some chipping paint and maybe the baby has been getting into the paint chips. She has no idea if they are lead or not. They live in an older house that they have been remodeling. Cory has been putting up new sheetrock over all the walls. They are hoping its not the windows because they dont know what they will do then. They arent exactly renting this place. One of Mandy's relatives gave it to them on the condition they fix it up. I have a sneaky suspicion that once it is fixed they will be told to leave but what do I know. Maybe not. I have no idea what type of pipes are going into their house and I dont know if lead could be getting in that way. I dont think so to be honest. I think that would be really old and this place really isnt that old. I dont even think it is old enough to have lead paint on the walls unless someone had some old gallons of lead paint hanging around and painted it illegally.

    I asked Mandy if it could have happened at the place where they lived when the baby was first born because it was really old and she said the doctors said no because the levels are too high.

    They are going to test the baby one more time to see if the levels are at the same level and if they are then they will go out to her house to check for where the contamination is coming from. I know it cant be from here. She really isnt here often enough to get it anyway. We only get her maybe once a month if that. Gas is unleaded now so even if she smelled fumes while we were filling the tank that couldnt account for it. I have no clue.

    Could breathing cigarette smoke increase lead levels? Surely not. I raised three boys and smoked like a chimney around them and never had an issue.

    I swear, I raised my boys in some old dumpy houses that were barely fit for people to live in and none of my kids ever had lead poisoning or got lice. I was not a great housekeeper either. We lived by the three second rule. If it hit the floor and it got picked up within three seconds you just blew it off and continued eating it. We that applied to things like cookies and dry food. Not to a plate of spaghetti.

    I just dont get it.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    It's somewhere the kids are almost all the time - home or school. High lead levels can also cause difficult child-type behavior as well as the general damage they cause.
  3. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    It could be in almost any coating (toys, other things) that a child can get her mouth on; also water pipes are a possibility. Lead is a real threat to health so by all means, let the community health people check. Could be on toys, imported dinnerware (there's lead in many glazes and if dishes are fired properly during manufacture, lead can leach out into the food), it's in pewter - so if there are pewter cups or spoons being used, that could be a source. If they live close to a heavy traffic area, there may be high lead levels in the air from exhaust (even with 'lead-free' gas these days). So many possibilities, but the bottom line is the source needs to be found and eliminated, for everyone's safety. Small children are most vulnerable but everyone can be affected. It's good that they found it now, and the baby won't have to endure exposure all through her toddler and preschool years. Good luck ... I hope they find it.
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    It may be being released into the air as they are remodeling. Their home needs to be tested asap.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    katya is right. Could be coming from nearly anywhere. Does Mandy enjoy yard sales? Are her dishes 2nd hand? (doesn't even have to be 2nd hand, you have to watch some dinner ware for lead just based on where it's made) Toys made in various places. Maybe not the actual house plumbing but there might be lead pipes in the yard leading up to the house. They do need to find the source. It's important for the baby's safety. And that "source" can turn out to be the most innocent looking item.

    If the baby doesn't visit often, you're most likely not the source. You said before Mandy likes to go "out" and hang other places. Does the baby tag along? Could be one of those places are the source if she frequents it enough. She may find herself stripping those family hand-me-downs and repainting them before this is done. What does the baby like to chew on a lot? Anything?

    The house we rented before buying this one was a younger house (this one is like 1880, that one was 1900) but still quite old and not exactly what I'd call a winner as far as looks are concerned. We signed the lead paint waver when we rented. Landlord had just purchased the house (I knew that for a fact, my friend nearly bought it) and wanted to rent it right away. I didn't worry about it because there were no small children in the household. I never gave it a thought when Katie came to live with us, I'd forgotten about it. But we'd repainted much of the house..........and was never an issue, Kayla's tests all came back fine.

    I hope they find the source of lead quickly.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have pewter but it is never used. In fact its packed away in a closet in a tupperware container in a closet. The water pipes coming into our house are all pvc pipes. I dont know about them. I doubt seriously they have pewter. Now plates maybe.
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    FYI - lead paint was banned in 1978 and lead water pipes were banned as late as 1987 in some areas. Tin toys also contain lead as well as bath tubs -- there was a story in our town of a little boy who was tested for high levels of lead and it was found that the family bathtub was the culprit.

    The safest option Janet, is for them to have their home tested. All surfaces and incoming lines will be tested. It is the best way to find out for sure. Since her levels are so high, it's highly unlikely it is your home, especially since it was built after '78 and probably has water lines that post-date 1990.

    I hope they find the source quickly.

    One idea, here in our city, there is a program that helps families, at no cost, remove lead from their homes. There are lead abatement specialists that bid on the jobs (we did this years ago) and then this company - who gets grants from HUD and other federal, state and local programs - has the work done and puts the family up somewhere until the abatement is completed. Have them check with their local housing authority or municipal agency to see if there is a local lead abatement program.

  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    One more thought - old dishes. If you have any old, passed-down or bought at an antique store or flea-market dishes the paint can contain lead. Some of the red colors even contain uranium!

    Most likely, though, they have been stirring up lead dust during their remodeling....whether in the paint or the plumbing.
  9. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Lead poisoning does such bad things to small children. They are concerned but they need to check the child's home environment soon and the places where she lived. If it doesn't turn out to be there then I would allow them check your home. Anything to help this baby get better and avoid further exposure. The health dept isn't going to care about how messy your house is. It's not against the law unless it's unfit for human habitation. The concern is the baby first and foremost. I know you adore your grandchildren. Anything to help is a good thing.
  10. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Saw a news report on this lately, a couple's child had high levels: one of the places they found high concentrations lead was the old bathtub they had. Poor child was bathing in that daily, they had no idea. Scary stuff.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Older venetian blinds - or ones made overseas - are often a source of lead.

    Glazed pottery may have lead-based glazes - especially if older or not from Canada/US.

    Lead pipes are usually not the problem - unless disturbed. The water deposits minerals on the inside of metal pipes (including copper), which provides a barrier between the water and the lead. But... IF there are lead pipes, and Cory is renovating... it could be a problem.
  12. Star*

    Star* call 911

    just sending hugs. Wondering if they're going to test Mandy and Cory too?
  13. Hopeless

    Hopeless ....Hopeful Now

    Of Janet that is scary. They need to get their house checked and themselves as well. Hugs and I hope they figure the source out ASAP.
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    She can buy a cheap lead testing kit at any home improvement store. It's a tightly rolled cotton swab with an ampule in it. When you break the ampule you rub it on anything you suspect may have lead. If it does, it changes color and you know.
  15. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Could for sure be in the air and also dust and soil if they're doing a lot of remodeling. Does she use a heppa vacuum to get stuff off the floor and to dust? They can look online for how to try to reduce it but they need someone in there for sure.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think their bathtub is plastic. If I am not mistaken this house they are staying in is an old double wide. I could be mistaken but that is what it looks like to me. Maybe not. Now dishes could be an issue. I think they have bought some at good will type places or had them handed down to them from her side of the family. I know I have some that are leaded but like all my other stuff from my mom, they are in that rubbermaid container and not exposed. I have no idea what I am waiting on We dont eat off of the antique plates. I eat off the corelle dishes.

    I am wondering if she has picked up any toys made in china. I know they had a recall on some for lead.

    Cory isnt doing anything to plumbing. He doesnt have that type of ability. He is just hanging sheetrock over what was there. I am completely comfortable with my water because we laid it all ourselves. It is entirely pvc. Over 900 feet of it. And we havent even painted so much as a picture frame with kids paints in my house. Ive never had paint here. So far we havent started renovating yet. The only thing I have done is replace a front door.

    I think its far more likely this is coming from somewhere she is going much more often than she is here or Keyana would have showed up with lead too. Keyana was here much more often. Its either at this new place Cory is living or in some toys she is playing with. I dont have any new toys here. Well I wonder, are cell phone cases safe? She chews on those. I have to keep taking mine away from her. One would think they would have to be non-toxic. Someone is gonna put them in their mouths.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    To get enough for it to be a problem... it's not going to be the occasional chewing of a cell-phone case.

    Cheap jewelery can be high in lead. "kids" jewelery coming out of China used to be VERY high in lead.
  18. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mandy might have cheap jewelry. That would be a distinct possibility. McKenzie isnt old enough for anyone to get her that yet. She doesnt get stuff for under 18 months yet.
  19. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If Mandy has jewelery with lead in it... there's a good chance the baby can chew on it. And it doesn't take much of THAT to show up. Not continuous but baby grabbing mommy's necklace or bangle or other interesting item available to grab, and anything grabbed goes into mouth...

    She may not know if her jewelery has lead or not.
    One gal I know of got rid of ALL hers except stud earings, her wedding bands, and anything not made of metal - so that her baby wouldn't be able to chew on any such thing.
  20. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Many lipsticks (even today) contain some lead. I don't know the amounts but if she's one of those kids that eats make-up or is breast-fed by someone who wears a lot of it... one more possibility.