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QUESTION: How do I make sure my child and I are safe during old lathe and plaster and paint removal on wood floors and molding? 18/06/09   New York, USA - United States of America

Our home is undergoing some renovations in anticipation of our first child, old lathe and plaster and paint removal on wood floors and molding, how do i make sure i and my child are safe?

ANSWER: Jun 19 2009

Dear Autumn,

the first thing I recommend is that you ensure the work is being done by lead-trained contractors. Do a websearch for a register of lead licensed contractors in your area or phone your local health department to ask where such a list exists. Then ask your doctor to test your blood lead level. This is a test that can be done when blood is taken for iron studies or other tests during your pregnancy, and it's a highly recommended though not commonly offered test. After the work is done, if the lead abatement professionals don't do clearance testing (collect dust wipe samples and send them to a lab for lead analysis), then you could purchase a LeadSmart kit to do that yourself. Ask your state health department if they sell the kits or otherwise contact the kit supplier, Gian Cossa in Largo MD, on 017514364. The remainder of your question is well-answered by our info packs on lead abatement and pregnancy. So I'll email you those two, in separate emails. All the best with the work and with your pregnancy.

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O'Brien

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