Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Get the Lead Out. Seriously.

Lead is a metal found commonly throughout the environment... it is found in pre-1978 paint, household dust, soil, plumbing, cosmetics, pottery, and all of those lovely "made in china" toys that we keep hearing about. Lead poses the highest risk for young children and pregnant ladies. Lead exposure is linked to lowered IQ and mental retardation, as well as kidney problems. Lead can also be stored in your bones and released throughout your life! Yuck.
So, how to reduce you and your family's lead exposure? Here are a few tips:
  • Run the water from your tap until it becomes noticeable colder (usually about 30 seconds) before drinking. Also this is contrary to my save-water preaching, it will reduce your chance of lead exposure.
  • Use cold water for cooking (never consume the hot water out of your tap as this is where the lead will lurk).
  • Boiling water will not remove lead. However, there are water filtration systems that will. We use the New Wave Enviro 10 Stage filter and love it.
  • Get your water tested for lead. Many cities, like Portland, will test it for free. Check to see if your city does.
  • Don't let your child eat paint, soil with paint chips, and use all painted toys with caution. Seriously, it is a scary lead-world out there. It's nearly impossible to keep up with all of the recalls, but try to avoid toys made it China and do some research (if you can find the time!)
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1 comment:

  1. Where did you get your filter? I've been looking for a new filter since ours broke, and I've heard good things about the New Wave.

    Around here, you can have your kids' lead levels checked for free at the health department. Doctor's offices will test for you, too. It only takes a few minutes, and it was reassuring to me to learn that both of my kids are "low exposure." Especially since our house is somewhat older, and we've done significant remodeling with lots of dust.