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Parenting Bringing up the shorties so they aren't completely messed up

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Old 10-03-2004, 07:29 PM   #16
xoxoxoBruce
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Or triclorethylene 1-1-1. Wash the parts then hold it in your hand and blow it off with 90psi air.
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Old 10-03-2004, 08:22 PM   #17
footfootfoot
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I have a can of "film cleaner" 1-1-1 tricloroethylene, I love it. I thought about selling it on ebay, but nothing cleans quite like it.

When I was a bike mechainc I'd regularly scrub down at the end of the day with safety clean (safe right?) now, just a dab of mineral spirits and my whole hand and arm goes tingling for several minutes.

Fun!

I also have some white lead down in the cellar somewhere. But the baby hasn't been anywhere near it, it's packed in a crate somwhere.

I dig the photos of those cans though. There is something authentic about them, I can't put my finger on it. When I was a kid I melted a bunch of sinkers on the stovetop when the parents were at work (latchkey kid) and poured the lead into a mold that I had made by pressing a medallion into a chunk of plasticene.

Holy Christ! what a frigging mess that was! I was probably in sixth grade, didn't quite grasp the whole temperature difference factor.

subsequent lost wax experiences went more smoothly.

I'll post an update on our visit from the "lead lady" tomorrow.
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Old 10-05-2004, 11:26 AM   #18
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Here is an Update for anyone who cares:
The "lead lady" came for a visit and was shocked to see actual fresh fruit and vegetables in our house. She went on to tell us that E.B. should be on a lowfat diet, plenty of calcium and iron. It seems that most people she visits eat scottish food at least one meal a day (i.e. McDonald's).

She thought he seemd fine and then she strolled through the house and said it didn't look all that risky for lead.

Next week the "lead guy" will come with an xray fluoroscope and he'll tell us where the lead is. (apart from inside the baby)
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Old 10-10-2004, 12:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
and my whole hand and arm goes tingling for several minutes.
I know the tingle, I often wondered if my brain was numb just before I did it.
Any updates from the pros?
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Old 10-14-2004, 10:02 PM   #20
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Here is the latest skinny:
Technically, right now I should be doing lead abatement since Bedwe'er and Mrs. are out of town. But I am unwinding tonight after teaching 13th graders photography.

Here is a report in a mix of scientific lingo as I remember my HS physics and the patois of upstate NY:
So the state senior sanitarian (real title) came by with this very cool gizmo that had a chunk of Cobalt 47? (47, 48 whatever it takes) inside which directs a beam of radiation (we're already eating a bunch of lead, so what's a little radiation right?) at the paint surface. The radiation gets the lead's various electron shells all jiggy (this is a slight departure from pure science) and the machine reads the jiggyness of the K shell and the L shell, thus determining how much lead is in the paint. I think this is in µ/cm2.

The reading of the K shell indicates the lead level below the surface and the L shell indicates the surface. I think.

When I say cool gizmo, the business end had to be cooled to –40şf. Anyway, The guy measured just about everything in the house and the levels were from .8µ/cm2 to 40 or 50µ/cm2. The house is over 150 years old. See map from 1886.

I suppose if I were body grinding piles of sinkers in the kitchen, there'd be more lead around but the paint chips he pointed out were so damn tiny, smaller than poppyseed tiny, that I figure I need glasses.

So I ma supposed to strip all the window sash and door jambs and repaint. Also the stairs. Tomorrow is paint blitz.

Then the nurse came to do a developmental eval on Bedwe'er who is 10 months, t o be sure he is not developmentally delayed. So he checks out at 12 months. Which leads me to wonder: If he hadn't chowed all that lead would he be writing his piano concerto about now (or advising bush on foreign policy–did I just type that?) or is all this lead stuff a big red herring?

It seems that developmental delays and high lead levels are most prevalent in inner city/ poor families. I wonder how much good nutrition plays a role in this?

The other thing I wonder is (and this is where I get cynical) maybe it is safe to go after lead in a big public way since no major corporations are using it much. It is a kind of safe target, any culpability is lost in the mists of time.

Frankly, I'm much more concerned about antibiotics, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides in my water than a bit of lead. I'm pretty sure we won't be seeing anyone from the state or federal gov. getting their knickers in a twist over what monsanto or dupont want to do. But now until Bedwe'er's lead levels go down to <9µ/dl he has to have blood drawn every 12 weeks.

Just to put it in perspective where we live is in the heart of dairy country, I can smell when fertilizer is applied to the corn fields around here (I don't mind it, I actually like the apple cidery smell, just want to give an indication of proximity) The soil around here is clay and sand, and the water table is about 12 feet down.

Oh did I mention that there is no town sewage? We have a 150 yr old cess pit, as do most of our neighbors.

I envy your water filter, right now we have a PUR tap thing. Maybe better than nothing.

So tomorrow is Methylene Chloride day! Hooray!
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Old 11-03-2004, 04:22 AM   #21
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Hi fff, hope your abatement project is going well. I want to chime in on the chelation discussion, as I have had some experience with this. While chelation therapy is unproven and occasionally abused for treatment of a wide array of ills, it is well proven safe and effective for reducing levels of heavy metals in the bloodstream. This article has more info on how and why it works: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/Organiza.../chelation.htm.

The business about kids eating paint chips is a bit of a myth: yes, some kids eat paint chips (due to curiosity, or a condition called 'pica' (related to OCD) in which non-food is compulsively ingested), but the vast majority of kids who are lead-poisoned in older homes are inhaling large molecules of airborne lead which are leaching off the painted surface. Lead-based paints are highly unstable, with the surface coating constantly sloughing off, releasing ingestable/inhalable lead particles. These particles become airborne even if several layers of non-leaded paint has been applied over many years.

This is why the method of abatement you choose is very important. If you've got vast expanses of wall surface painted with lead-based paint, you're not going to be sanding or stripping; you'll be 'encapsulating' -- and not just with a few coats of paint. The most effective method is a new layer of drywall. Short of that, various sealants are known to be effective. If you choose to remove lead-based paint from a surface, be aware that heat guns actually release more inhalable lead particles than scraping, chemical peeling and even sanding.

As far as dismissing the medical effects of elevated lead levels; don't. I have been involved in enough cases to see that in houses (in formerly nice but now rundown neighborhoods in Baltimore) where one kid is in a room with lots of airborne lead (on deteriorated sills, for example) and another is in a room with little or no detectable lead, the first kid is likely to have elevated levels. Guess which kid is 'borderline-dull?'

The diet advice is not quackery or related to any preconceived notions the 'lead lady' may have had correlating poverty with poor diet; in fact, diets high in iron and calcium inhibit absorption of ingested lead, while fats increase dietary absorption. Here is a pretty good consumer-level article about lead poisoning: http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/FL/00068.html

I wish you and your family the best, and urge your wife to get her levels tested, particularly if you are planning on having more kids -- the only effective way to reduce lead levels in bone marrow (where lead gets stored once the blood levels reach a certain point) is for a woman to get pregnant, and pass her bone-based lead to the fetus. Uggh.

Thanks for listening -- I needed something to do while occasionally checking the Electoral College tally. When I started this reply it was Bush: 254, Kerry: 227; now it's Bush: 254, Kerry: 252, and I may not have to move out of the country after all!
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