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Lead Poisoning Prevention Month 2014: Baby Ashlin

December 6, 2014 Update;

By Mama Jennifer in Minnesota
October 9, 2014

Our long awaited sweet baby girl came into the world perfect. We named her Ashlin, meaning “dream”, as she is our dream come true.

A few weeks before her first birthday we took her to a neighborhood health fair where there was a booth for testing children’s blood lead levels, and for educating families on the dangers of lead, and some of the common sources of lead.  As I waited for her finger stick test to come back I perused the displays of beads, painted toys, and old dish ware that were found to have lead, feeling glad we didn’t have those things in our house.

The look on the woman’s face as she returned to me with results didn’t exactly register meaning to me until I walked away in a daze after she told me my daughter’s news. She told me that no level is safe, a level over 5 is of concern, a level over 20 requires a doctor’s visit and a veinous blood draw within a week, and reporting to the county.  I had already known that lead poisoning put children at risk for learning disabilities, emotional difficulties, and health problems. I knew that the damage from lead is not reversible.  Ashlin’s level was 24.


Baby Ashlin

In the weeks following, we found out that our 1936 house had lead paint on every window, the doors, and even the insides of our kitchen cabinets.  We also had a Timex sports watch that Ashlin played with occasionally, whose metal backing measured at higher levels of lead than the paint in our home.

When we bought our home 12 years ago we had no idea that there was lead or a danger of lead. Our oldest son (age 9) was found with a paint chip in his mouth when he was a toddler. A call to poison control, in hindsight, actually delayed our discovery of the dangers. The woman on the line told us “a child would have to eat a paint chip every day for months for it to be of concern.” With that, we incorrectly put the concern of lead far back in our mind. We used lead test strips from the hardware store on the paint on our windows, not realizing the paint underneath two layers was lead.  We didn’t know that every time we were opening and closing our windows that we were creating lead dust that floated in our house from the original layer of paint.

We’ve quickly turned into lead “researchers” and we are amazed at the lack of medical awareness and intervention that is available for lead levels below 45.  Our pediatrician told us there’s nothing they can do for her except tell us to keep her away from lead and come back in a month to draw her blood again. We research and read and hope that the natural remedies we are using will help clear the lead out of Ashlin’s body safely before it does too much damage.

Lead poisoning has become a nightmare for us. The guilt of not knowing and not protecting her, and the fear that it will harm her has been wearing.  We are so grateful for the screening to discover the lead so we could stop further poisoning. We are so grateful to both the community program (Sustainable Resources Center) and the county programs (Hennepin)  that have helped us. We are grateful for our school district that automatically qualified her for special education services to monitor her development. We just want our little girl to live her life, happy and healthy, and to reach her fullest potential that she was born with.

One Response to Lead Poisoning Prevention Month 2014: Baby Ashlin

  1. sarah October 13, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    thank you for sharing your story. Could you tell me what natural remedies you found out about to help the body rid of the lead?

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