Before I get in to the heavy (metal) stuff...first, the good news: there's free stuff in your future! For a few more days, the no-cost (like, FREE. No money needed. Because it's free.) real food bundle is still available. Enter your email to get it, and unsubscribe any time. Click here.
Now, the bad news. I decided to write this email as a little PSA. Or, a whine session disguised as a PSA. Because we found out recently that there's lead paint in our house.
My stomach dropped when we found out. We live in an old (oooooold) home. A home we thought had such great "character."
And then we found out that our molding and baseboards - the cool-looking, old-school ones - were saturated with lead paint. And they're all. over. the house.
We have a baby in the home. We couldn't just ignore it and hope it stayed in good condition.
So as we steeled ourselves for the cost of getting the issue addressed (there was no WAY I was going to do this without professional help), I (of course) started to do two things.
1. Research the hell out of lead paint and lead exposure
2. (Okay, I actually did this first) Flip out that we missed this when we bought the house.
Wasn't somebody supposed to test for this? The inspector, the appraiser, the mailman? How could they sell us the house without telling us about this? WHO IS RESPONSIBLE for letting us saddle ourselves with this old money pit that seems no longer charming with "character," but dangerous and littered with heavy metals?
(I kept it cool on the outside. But cortisol was basically shooting out of my pores.)
As far as #1, I found out some fascinating yet completely disturbing stuff about lead poisoning and the connection between violent crime and lead; I found a heartbreaking movie called MisLEAD; and I also found out that THERE IS LEAD IN EVERYTHING. (More on that in a minute.)
I also found out something super messed up: all the government offices I called about lead paint remediation said that your kid has to be confirmed poisoned before they'll do anything to help you.
So until my kid starts eating paint chips, we're on our own. (NOT funny. But what else can you do at a time like this, when you realize what humans are doing to themselves?)
Really, though, we are fortunate to be able to handle this on our own. But there are THOUSANDS of children exposed to lead paint every day whose caretaker(s) can't just cash in some savings and call a contractor. Those kids shouldn't have to be poisoned by a known hazard before somebody'll send help.
As far as #2, sadly, it's OUR fault. We expected that somebody else was "supposed" to do the legwork of ensuring we bought a safe home for us. We failed ourselves, really. Never again.
All that said, with what I've learned about lead, our lead paint situation feels like a small thing compared to the ubiquity of lead. In fact, our lead paint is in great condition. (I just couldn't risk a surprise - it all had to go.)
Through my research, I learned that unsafe levels of lead are everywhere. It's not just in paint. In fact, kids are probably just as likely to gnaw on a lead-filled toy as they are to be exposed to lead from flaking paint. Lead is in toys, artificial turf (yeah.), costume jewelry, even dirt. It's in the water in Flint, Michigan and many other cities. There's even a legal limit to the lead content in candy.
Not to mention...lead is even in MAKEUP.
Yeah. Makeup. Unlike candy, there is actually no legal limit to how much lead or heavy metals can be in makeup. I just...can't. Ugh.
While I've been a natural skincare activist for years now, and I LOVE the safe, natural makeup lines from Primal Life Organics and 100 Percent Pure, I DO splurge on fancy, high-performance makeup now and then. But until now, I didn't realize that my HP makeup could actually be a source of heavy metals.
(To address this, I've started using BeautyCounter's H/P makeup, since they do independent third-party testing for heavy metals.)
We've now combed through our toys to ensure everything is safe (we mostly buy Montessori-type toys and toys from Nova Natural, so hopefully we're good there).
Sadly, toys from places like "dollar stores," secondhand toys and family heirloom toys can be contaminated - test them! You can order FREE tests through Lead Safe America.
Nutrition-wise, there ARE a few things we can do to keep our systems strong and resistant to any lead that DOES enter our bodies: eat a diet high in vitamin C (I also supplement with the whole foods vitamin C from Dr. Schulze) and get adequate dietary iron, both of which help guard against lead poisoning. Thankfully, we've got those bases covered.
Clearly, I've learned a lot from this experience. It is taking some serious adulting to stay cool, though. I'll be sure to keep everyone posted.
Until then, PLEASE share this information with others!You can forward this email or share ANY of the links above with whomever you choose.
For more information about lead, testing your home, and protecting your family, check out Lead Safe America.