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Chris C.
Chris C., Nurse
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1079
Experience:  Nurse with with 10+ yrs. in wellness care, geriatrics, hospice and acute care.
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Lead poisoning question. can one get lead poisoning from doing

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Lead poisoning question. can one get lead poisoning from doing a gut reconstruction on an old house.?lots of dust, debri.. Could lead levels be most accurately tested by taking urine samples after chelation therapy with a complimentary physician? How about fishing sinkers made of lead, can just handling them increase lead concentrations? a normal blood test will show levels in blood, is this enough to clinically rule out future problems?

Chris C. :

You most definitely can get toxic levels of lead from lead based paints when working on an old home. If the lead is cracked and peels in think layers it is likely lead. It is is most older homes. The dust can collect in the air be breathed in and will collect in the body. Lead from sinkers, tire weights, bullets, etc can contaminate the hands and if you put your fingers in your mouth you can contaminate your body.

Chris C. :

However

Chris C. :

It would take handling hundreds or even thousands of sinkers to be exposed to as must lead as you would from sanding down lead based paint and breathing the dust.

Chris C. :

So occasionally handling lead sinkers, etc is of little risk.

Chris C. :

The best way is a lead blood screen to detect and the sooner it is done the better from contamination time to know what you have in your body and so you can use appropriate measures to reduce further exposure.

Chris C. :

Lead based paint should never be dealt with if not wearing a respirator mask and closed off so it does contaminate the air.

Chris C. :

Can you see my reply?

Customer:

yes

Chris C. :

Ok, it showed you offline.

Chris C. :

Did you have other questions?

Customer:

if one does get a blood test and iy shows within normal or high normal should a person have chelation therapy?

Chris C. :

Not necessarily. It depends on the amount of anticipated exposure. If it is in the normal high range but you are going to be exposed again frequently then probably yes this is best. If it is limited exposure in the future then no. It varies upon the exact circumstances.

Customer:

I read that many people feel complimentary doctors take urine samples to prove that lead/metals are being released. some feel its jaded or a little hoaxy because ther is no real baseline

Chris C. :

Urine samples are not really needed.

Customer:

should one be worried about working or touching tools used in working, for example could there be "contaminated" tools, or work shoes. Clothes to be concerned about?

Chris C. :

If you are stripping paint or sanding it then the tools, clothes, your hair, the floor, the walls, etc all get covered with lead pain dust so yes it is all contaminated.

Customer:

How far do you have to protect yourself once leaving the job? can floor mats or rugs be trouble/

Chris C. :

The pain contains the lead so and paint dust contains lead.

Chris C. :

Normally a tyvek jumpsuit with approved respirator is safe and shoe covers.

Customer:

so what do you do?disguard any objects potentially contaminated? can they be cleaned? washed?

Chris C. :

When the work day is done you strip off the jumpsuit, gloves, mask, and shoe covers, and place them in a sealed bag. Then take a good shower.

Chris C. :

You have a few options but in my opinion and I have worked on a few old houses I owned is to remove the lead paint. You can't sell it without disclosing it exist in the home and this hurts the market value a lot when trying to sell.

Customer:

is it good to do chelation therapy at mid age just to rid body of metals?does this work?

Chris C. :

It does work but for the general population it is of little benefit. If you work in a high risk profession (like working with lead paint, etc) it is probably not a bad idea.

Customer:

when your working on an old home its hard to contain all the dust. if your stripping an old door, okay but when taking out moldings and such, chips are everywhere and even if you sweep up, now the dust is in the broom and could create lead aerosol again. every time you use that broom. Is this type of thinking taking things to an extreme in your opinion?

Chris C. :

No you are correct. Everything that has the paint on it is contaminated. This is how children get exposed with the chips. Often they are not getting them from outside on the house but on the inside moldings, doors, etc. and chewing on them.

Chris C. :

Any broom should be used for the project with dust pan and then tossed when done.

Chris C. :

Tools can be cleaned and re used.

Customer:

how do you best clean the tools?

Chris C. :

A tyvek suit will keep the paint off the clothes and prevent bringing the pain home with you.

Chris C. :

Depends on what the tool is.

Chris C. :

The shoe covers also keep the paint dust from spreading.

Customer:

hand tools

Chris C. :

Scrapers and items like that can be washed with water and dried to prevent dust. Some dusted off by hand (while in the jumpsuit)

Chris C. :

The main thing is to prevent large amount of the dust from spreading.

Chris C. :

It is not super toxic like some heavy metals but you want to limit the exposure as much as possible

Chris C. :

You will never get rid of it all.

Customer:

what is the best protocol if you have to go into the basement of a home that had major renovation like this? tyvek or at minimum shoe covers? will washing of clothes with minimum exposure work or would you discard?

Customer:

How much exposure would be to much so to speak?

Chris C. :

If the home already had the paint removed then there should be little dust left as long as they cleaned it up properly. In this case shoe contamination would be the main concern. Shoe covers and rubber gloves should be fine as long as there is not mold or a similar issue. If there is mold then a mask as well.

Chris C. :

The clothes should be fine to wash and wear again.

Chris C. :

Most dust is generated using electric sanders etc.

Customer:

so washing will remove any small particles.if its heavy then discard

Chris C. :

Yes

Customer:

shoes with particles could be brought home and on rugs I quess. if this happens would a vacuum be not a good idea?

Chris C. :

This is the reason you wear shoe covers when you enter the area and then remove then as soon as you exit the area. This will prevent then from getting into your home.

Customer:

what would be a high blood level value to show concern both immediatel after an exposure and several months later?

Customer:

any other signs /symptoms to be concerned with?

Chris C. :

Blood levels of lead should be less than 20 micrograms/dL regardless of the time taken.

Customer:

what can long term exposure lead too?

Chris C. :

Long term symptoms would be

Chris C. :

Irritability

Chris C. :

Loss of appetite

Chris C. :

Weight loss

Chris C. :

Sluggishness and fatigue

Chris C. :

Abdominal pain

Chris C. :

Vomiting

Chris C. :

Constipation

Chris C. :

Learning or memory difficulties

Chris C. :

Other symptoms can occur as well but these would be the most common.

Customer:

do I haave to request a lead profile fro my gp whentaking routine blood analysis or it routinely given?

Chris C. :

If you get a decline in mental functioning, numbness or tingling of the extremities, or muscular weakness this would indicate a serious lead problem.

Chris C. :

You can have your gp run the test.

Chris C. :

Just explain the situation with the older home and they should have no problem with it.

Customer:

any last thoughts or suggestions/

Chris C. :

No I think we have been all over the subject. Just wear the safety gear and keep the dust in mind and you should be fine.

Customer:

thanks

Chris C. :

You are very welcome!

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