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Old 06-16-2013, 12:32 PM   #1
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Lead Paint Follow-Up


Since my last thread seems to have incited a long and ultimately euthanized debate, I thought I'd post a follow-up.

As everyone predicted, my blood lead levels were zero. Good news. Bad news: I'm still pretty concerned I've somehow contaminated by house with lead dust/shavings.

1. I imagine that despite changing my shoes on the back porch, my socked feet still picked up some dust, which in turn was brought into the kitchen and then trafficked into the rest of the house.

2. My vinyl gloves kept falling apart, which means I used the bathroom faucet with paint-gooped hands--and kept touching the faucet for each subsequent hand wash, contaminating everything I've touched.

3. Clean-up on the porch was with a shop vac that is NOT HEPA, which means I was blowing lead dust into the air and at my front living room windows and front door--all are shut, but not airtight, as a fly somehow found entrance through my storm door this morning.

Yes, I know I'm way, way overthinking this--but two things concern me. One, I keep reading that a half-penny's worth of lead is enough to contaminate an entire football field, which means it takes only a tiny molecule of the stuff to poison a 1500 sq. foot house. I don't even know how that's possible, but that's what "they" said.

I also have a history of environmental/chemical allergies, which frequently disrupt my sleep--and I've been having lots of trouble sleeping lately.

I used some D-Lead wipes on my kitchen floor so I don't continue to track any dust or debris through the house. I also ordered some Ledisolv, which apparently renders the dust relatively harmless, and plan on mopping my back porch with it. I also need to seal the front porch--ground zero--with EcoBond, but have to wait until a few rotted planks are replaced this week.

What other steps can I take? Should I buy a HEPA shop vac and go over every inch of my floors and wipe every surface with D-Lead? Would a HEPA air purifier help at all, or does lead typically fall to the ground quickly? I read about a contractor who had poor remediation techniques and somehow a "lead dust plume" penetrated the house walls and made its way into the living area. How is that even possible? Poor sealing with windows or doors?

Even after all that, I'm bound to miss a few particles, and that's apparently enough to poison my living space and then some. It's giving me quite a bit of worry and grief.

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Old 06-16-2013, 12:50 PM   #2
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Lead Paint Follow-Up


You are over thinking this, and worrying about it without any real cause.

If all you've heard about lead was true. 80% of the country would be contaminated.

I did a lot of soldering with 50/50 solder. Yep, 1/2 of every pound I used had lead in it. And i used 100's of pounds.

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Old 06-16-2013, 01:22 PM   #3
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I've been in the painting biz for 34 years, scraping and sanding for many of those years without any knowledge of the lead danger not to mention all the exposure to asbestos and God knows what else. I'm still here and healthy as is my family. Precautions should always be taken, that's for sure, but, to be honest, many of the hazardous materials listed by OSHA and other gov't agencies is not as bad as they make it out to be. Now, if someone is exposed to lead or asbestos EVERY DAY for YEARS AND YEARS sure, they are in real danger. But, then again, what are we exposed to every day in our homes that we don't yet know about that could cause health issues. What about the factory 30 miles away that spews "treated" air up threw a smokestack and that is carried by the wind into your community, etc.? Like Beenthere said, don't over think it. Be cautious and vigilant, but, don't scare yourself into a problem that really isn't much of a problem.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
a half-penny's worth of lead is enough to contaminate an entire football field
You need to get rid of that source. It's dated.
10 cents used to get you up to 16 ounces of cola. Today, you are lucky to get an ounce for that price.

And NO, a tiny molecule of the stuff does not poison a 1500 sq. foot house.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:40 PM   #5
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RD, someone has scared the dickens out of you. You are being way too concerned about this. As a small child out in the country before people knew lead had any affect on a person, my sister and I would pull the lead off leadhead nails and chew it. I worked with lead later in life, many days my hands would be gray with lead dust to the point of making me sick to my stomach.

Gas had always had lead in it so the air was saturated with lead and I am sure lead is in every inch of soil everywhere right now from the leaded gas in cars. I am 69 my sister is 72 and we are still going strong, ok scratch the strong thing. We weren't warned about lead, and today I still am not too concerned with it. I can't speak for anyone else, only myself.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
I keep reading that a half-penny's worth of lead is enough to contaminate an entire football field, which means it takes only a tiny molecule of the stuff to poison a 1500 sq. foot house. I don't even know how that's possible, but that's what "they" said.
"They" have been known to be wrong, and to overhype things, yes, in theory one gram of substance could contaminate an entire football field, but that's not a real world statement, it also means that gram is so thinly spread it's like clorine in the water, we all know drinking clorox out of the bottle will kill you after it burns your mouth, throat and stomach out, it's caustic, but when the same clorox is added to drinking water:

Chlorine is present in most disinfected drinking-water at concentrations of 0.2–1 mg/litre
Most people can smell chlorine when levels reach 0.02-3.4 ppm
The proposed federal drinking water standard for chlorine is 4 parts per million (ppm)

We know clorine is toxic when drunk out of the bottle, we also know at LOW levels, below 4 parts per MILLION as drinking water has, it kills harmfull bacteria etc but not us.
The amount consumed, duration, and frequency is the critical part! not that a substance is toxic.
That 4 ppm means that out of 250,000 gallons of water, ONE gallon of clorine is added, it's diluted by 250,000 gallons of water, it becomes harmless.

Your paint similarly only contains a small amount of lead compounds, out of the gallons of paint used, the lead comprised only a small percentage of it to begin with, and that was further diluted by spreading it over entire walls, each square foot of paint would have a very small amount of lead. Lead is not PAINT, it was only an additive to the paint much like the colorants are.

With that being said, I work for a firm who handles a LOT of lead sheets and solder every day, there are workers who cut, file, solder, clean, drill, mill, melt, cast and handle the stuff all day as the regular course of them employment every week, they go in for periodic blood tests, and the tests are always NORMAL.
This is for people who work with and handle this stuff 9 hours a day on the job, why is their blood normal? because they WASH THEIR HANDS, ingestion is the primary route of entry for lead, it doesn't absorb thru the skin, it doesn't just jump up off the floor and inject itself into your legs like snake venim!

What you have done so far for cleaning sounds fine, if you want to satisfy yourself, get a HEPA vac and go over every surface- especially carpets, you could have carpets professionally cleaned, mop hard floors and sponge hard surfaces, and then RELAX!

Handling the faucett handles etc, the paint is not like the plague or smallpox here where you simply touch a handle and the next guy gets smallpox from it, you don't need hospital surgery room cleanup here.

Lead is toxic, BUT if you have elevated blood levels they have medication for it, called chelation therapy, the medication removes the lead in the bloodstream, it's an antidote of sorts.
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Last edited by RWolff; 06-16-2013 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 06-16-2013, 01:51 PM   #7
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Lead Paint Follow-Up


If it makes you feel better get a real HEPA vac and do your house like you said. Couldn't hurt right? And living in an older home you will likely have use for it in the future.
Ryobi makes a real hepa vac for around 4-500$
Depending on the extras you get. A good regular vac for your home can cost more than that.


I like so many others ate lead dust for breakfast on job after job in ignorance of what I was doing. The symptoms of mild lead poisoning are so common to other ailments that they often go unrecognized. I'm still alive and healthy also, but I fully intend to never again expose myself (or others) to lead dust. All the more so because i have in the past. However big or small the risks actually are, there exist. And there is no reason (for me) to be exposed, or expose someone else,ever again if I can help it.

Isn't there some middle ground between fear mongering and just saying to heck with it? Should we frighten people by overblowing the issue?......no. But I do think people need to be made aware of the potential danger.
Although I did know about lead paint, and that it was bad, I had no idea what the real dangers were, or even really why it was dangerous before RRP.
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWolff

Your paint similarly only contains a small amount of lead compounds, out of the gallons of paint used, the lead comprised only a small percentage of it to begin with, and that was further diluted by spreading it over entire walls, each square foot of paint would have a very small amount of lead. Lead is not PAINT, it was only an additive to the paint much like the colorants are.





























I believe this is a misleading statement. While this may be true for some lead paints. The lead paint commonly used on early 20'th century houses had high concentrations of lead. Up to 50%. Dutch Boy lead paint was composed of two things, white lead and linseed oil.
That's why it was/is such a tough coating, its literally a layer of metal(lead). The linseed oil was mixed in to help it spread.
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:37 PM   #9
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Lead Paint Follow-Up


To preface this--I'm a hypochondriac

Look, people, it doesn't matter to hypochondiacs to hear what experiences other people have had with their partiicular 'poison-of-the-day", so it makes no difference what we all have experienced with lead.

In fact, that's one of the classic symptoms of hypochondriasis: the failure to take into account the real experiences of others...

My question to the OP is are you taking any medication for this? If not, why not?
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Old 06-16-2013, 02:40 PM   #10
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CC is right on. I may be a hypochondriac, but I'm at least self-aware about it. And yes, I do see a therapist and take medication. One of my biggest issues is fears of "contamination"--bringing in pesticides or mold on my shoes, getting food bacteria on the countertops, etc. So you can imagine what lead dust is doing to my psyche.

I plan on ordering a HEPA shop vac and going to town, along with some wet wiping. We'll see what happens after that. I do appreciate everyone's responses, both here and in the other thread.
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:09 PM   #11
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I am sorry about your affliction...

Having done years of work in chemistry, I play in a world of products and concentrations. I started with mercury poisoning in fish off Japan (Minimata disease) and daily evaluate the conundrum of what is a "safe" chemical.

Don't know if I have an complete answer for anyone - let alone you - that isn't really just one point of view.
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoughDraft View Post
CC is right on. I may be a hypochondriac, but I'm at least self-aware about it. And yes, I do see a therapist and take medication. One of my biggest issues is fears of "contamination"--bringing in pesticides or mold on my shoes, getting food bacteria on the countertops, etc. So you can imagine what lead dust is doing to my psyche.

I plan on ordering a HEPA shop vac and going to town, along with some wet wiping. We'll see what happens after that. I do appreciate everyone's responses, both here and in the other thread.
RD, I am really sorry that you suffer from this, I can't imagine how it must make you feel. I did have a similar situation years back. My work got really slack back during a recession and I went to work in a cabinet shop in a major hospital. We also had to do other things throughout the hospital, including working in the operating rooms. I never was concerned with germs until then.

I became so concerned with germs I finally quit that job. If I went in a quarantined room, I would go immediately and wash all my tools shoes and everything in a strong disinfectant.

I guess I do know a little of how you feel.
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:30 PM   #13
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You were not really paranoid there Jim, hospitals are nasty reservoirs for all kinds of antibiotic resistant bacteria and diseases and it's only getting worse!
There are people going in for surgery and comiing out with everything from colds and flu to that flesh eating bacteria.
Legionair's disease outbreaks in NYC was traced back to air conditioning systems.
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:59 PM   #14
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You were not really paranoid there Jim, hospitals are nasty reservoirs for all kinds of antibiotic resistant bacteria and diseases and it's only getting worse!
There are people going in for surgery and comiing out with everything from colds and flu to that flesh eating bacteria.
Legionair's disease outbreaks in NYC was traced back to air conditioning systems.
I totally agree, I am afraid of going to a hospital now days, even for a visit.
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:02 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jmayspaint View Post
I believe this is a misleading statement. While this may be true for some lead paints. The lead paint commonly used on early 20'th century houses had high concentrations of lead. Up to 50%.
That applies to WHITE paint, I assume the white house paint used on the exteriors where you'd need weather resistance, pre 1955 per this:

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR):

Quote:
White house paint contained up to 50% lead before 1955.

Federal law lowered the amount of lead allowable in paint to 1% in 1971. The CPSC has limited since 1977 the lead in most paints to 0.06% (600 ppm by dry weight).

EPA has established 400 ppm for lead in bare soils in play areas and 1200 ppm for non-play areas for federally funded projects. This may be used as a guidance level elsewhere
Quote:
Lead is used to make paint last longer. The amount of lead in paint was reduced in 1950 and further reduced again in 1978. Houses built before 1950 are very likely to contain lead paint while houses built after 1950 will have less lead in the paint. House paint today has very low levels of lead.


The danger of the lead paint depends on:

the amount of lead in the painted surface
the condition of the paint, and
the amount of paint that your child ingests.

Lead levels in paint are measured in parts per million (ppm). The greater the amount of lead in paint, the higher the ppm number. The federal government currently allows 600 ppm of lead in household paint. 5,000 ppm or over is a high amount of lead in paint.

Lead paint or lead-based paint is paint containing lead. As pigment, lead(II) chromate , chrome yellow and lead(II) carbonate white lead are the most common forms. Lead is added to paint to speed up drying, increase durability, maintain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture that causes corrosion.


Lead paint is especially hazardous to children under age six, whose developing bodies are susceptible to lead poisoning. It causes nervous system damage, stunted growth, kidney damage, and delayed development.


In January 2011 the US Environmental Protection Agency required that all renovators working in homes built before 1978 and containing more than six square-feet of lead paint be certified.
So we know the feds allow up to 600ppm of lead in todays' CURRENT paints on the shelf. Since the document I found specifically mentioned WHITE house paint before 1955 could have up to 50% lead (again assuming from the rest here- by DRY WEIGHT which doesn't include the liquid solvent which is where much of the actual weight in the can of paint comes from)

Of course CERTAIN paints had a lot of lead, but you didn't usually paint your bedroom walls with red lead! you'd find red lead on bridges, steel I beams and supports, old car bodies etc to protect steel from corrosion.
Certain colors had more lead- the white paint cited, but if the walls had light blue paint or peach colored paint it wouldn't be 50% lead.

Dutch boy, the white paint was actually named "Dutch Boy white lead"

They are saying that over 5000 ppm is high while allowing up to 600 ppm and 400ppm in bare child play area soils.
The primary route for exposure is INGESTION, again- the vast majority of us here are adults not children, the OP did not mention children in his house and I have to assume he doesn't eat paint chips and his blood test came back zero.
He's already done a real bang-up job cleaning up, any minute amount left now is going to be miniscule, I would say even under that 400ppm allowed in child play areas.

Children are the ones who *EAT* paint chips.
by getting rid of all the paint chips you've gotten rid of the majority of the whole problem right there.

Also, another important thing is, the lead is not the common metallic metal you see in solder, and much like the mercury in vaccines scare- it's not the silvery metal form found in thermometers, but a compound;

lead chromate, chrome yellow and lead carbonate- white lead

Lead(II) chromate is a chemical compound, a chromate of lead. It has a vivid yellow color and is practically insoluble in water, and as a result, is used in paints under the name chrome yellow

Up to the late 1800s it was used to impart a bright yellow color to some types of candy. It has also been used in the paint to color school buses.(Chrome Yellow)
Lead(II) chromate can be produced by reacting sodium chromate with lead(II) nitrate, or by reacting lead(II) monoxide with a chromic acid solution.
Lead carbonate is manufactured by passing carbon dioxide into a cold dilute solution of lead(II) acetate.

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Last edited by RWolff; 06-16-2013 at 05:14 PM.
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