Brush with lead poison: finding the sources

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 06/05/2006 - 18:17.


Knowing I was having a child, I moved from a Cleveland apartment that had significant peeling paint in the window wells and dust in the yard to a "Certified" apartment in Shaker Heights (costing twice as much), where property is inspected regularly and tends to be well maintained. Now that my son is one, and I understand there is not a safe level of lead exposure, and I know blood testing for lead poisoning conducted by my pediatrician is not accurate enough to measure low level lead exposure, I'm looking more closely at my immediate environment and finding many causes for alarm.

I first tested around the apartment and found lead on old painted furniture and possible lead issues with window trim - I removed the furniture from the apartment and keep the baby away from rooms where there is suspect trim. But what is most alarming is what I found in the garage, where the above lead was identified (and is peeling and flaking everywhere).


The garage is a peeling, dust filled lead contaminated poison trap. It didn't occur to me the condition of the garage really matters until I learned more about lead, and about an associate's child who was lead poisoned playing in a garage like this. A young life ruined by a poorly maintained garage - who would figure? And why does Shaker certify property for some conditions without inspecting for lead hazards - this garage has clearly been a hazard for decades.

Who thinks about the lead dust from a garage blowing into their garden, and entering the home on the bottom of shoes, in either case possibly resulting in poisoning. Now I do, and I'm moving again - no sense living someplace where your children can't play.

I encourage anyone reading this to really look around your immediate environment for lead hazards and deal with them immediately - if not for you then for women who may be or become pregnant and for children in your environment. If you have any related questions, feel free to post here or email me at norm at realinks dot us and I'll refer you to experts.

More on lead poison testing and prevention to come... as I figure out this disgraceful mess. 

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