Post # 1
Hi bees, I like in an old apartment right outside of Boston. We just found out we are pregnant. I know we will need to get our apartment tested, but I am a little overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. Has anyone been through this process?
Post # 3
Since it’s an apartment not a house you should talk to your landlord about the testing. I lived in a house built in 1920, and the inspector tested for led paint. They use the dust on the window sills, dust on any surface, so don’t clean for a few days before the test. Obviously they test any chipped paint.
Post # 4
@HisIrishPrincess: Thanks for the reply–how did it turn out for you?
Post # 5
If you live in any apartment or house built before the mid 1970’s in the US, you should assume that you have lead paint, and you may not want to bother with testing. Before the ban on lead paint went in, it was pretty much the standard type of paint all over the US, and if the house has been around since before that ban, chances are pretty good that your tests will come back positive. It is *extremely* difficult to remove lead paint as it needs to be stripped from the walls and not just painted over; painting over it is just a temporary work-around, as in time the lead will leech into the next layer of paint. it also leeches into the walls, depending on what they are made of, meaning you can strip away all the paint and still find lead in the walls themselves.
Removing lead paint is very dangerous and you should not attempt to do this yourself, as the airborne lead dust will be everywhere and can make you very sick.
Lead paint is not a real problem for children till they start crawling. Most of the time, lead enters the toddler’s body when the toddler crawls on the floor, gets lead debris on their hands, then puts their hands into their mouths. So you have some time before you have to worry.
Given how hard it is to remove lead paint, you really should focus on either preventing lead contamination to the child, which would involve keeping the home very clean once they start crawling, and doing what you need to do to keep the house from getting dusty; covering/sealing any exposed walls at toddler-height (you can get some pretty nice wainscoating panels from Martha Stewart Living); and making “baby safe” zones. The other alternate is to move to a newer, post-1970’s home.
What I would have tested would be the water supply, as lead in the water is far more dangerous than the lead paint, and many city utility companies will cover the costs of replacing the water pipes.