Is dipping sash sin? If so, The Brown Ooze is pergatory
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mrsludge



Joined: 28 Jan 2009
Posts: 8
Location: GA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:56 am    Post subject: Is dipping sash sin? If so, The Brown Ooze is pergatory Reply with quote

OK, I'm being facetious. And I'm not talking about Skoal.

My first 2 sashes (out of 12; '49 vintage) have been kind of slow going. And SWMBO is getting a bit annoyed with the amount of time it's taking.

I built a steam box and I'm using a 1200-watt steamer with it. It does a good job of softening up the glazing to make it easy to remove. But it doesn't do the trick at all on all the old paint.

I've been using Smart Strip to get the paint off, which works pretty well when I slather it on, cover w/ parchment strips, and let sit for 2-3 days. I know I can up my productivity as I get the hang of this, but the effort is pretty significant (and the Smart Strip, at $42 a gallon, is going quick). And I know I'm making some scrapes/gouges that I'll just have to fix later.

I looked into getting the sashes dipped, and the price isn't too outrageous. And the time/labor savings is pretty attractive.

So here are my questions:

1) Is there anything I should ask to find out more about what they're doing/using?
2) Is there any extra prep required after getting this done?

Thanks. Just trying to figure out getting this done while working around a full-time job and trading toddler-watching responsibility between DW and me.
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rncx



Joined: 21 Jun 2008
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Location: Little Rock, AR

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the ones i've used have used a hot dip, followed by a pressure washer.

for old growth, tight grained wood this is fine.

for delicate wood, absorbant softwoods, etc....it might just destroy them entirely. my results have been hit and miss. i brought a few sets of old growth pine 2" exterior french doors on my last trip to the paint dipper, and they turned out great. only needed a light sanding and they were ready to refinish. my old weathered windows on the other hand, not so great. they were too delicate from weather exposure and the pressure washer frayed the wood pretty badly. i had to build replacements.

either way, if they wash them with water after the chemical, they'll take several weeks to dry again. i would not recommend doing this with the glass removed if they use water. since you could introduce the tendency for the wood to warp without the glass to hold it straight. you might wind up with a crooked window.
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Historicdoor



Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Posts: 94
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:52 am    Post subject: Dip Tank Stripping Reply with quote

Mrsludge, do you still want more thoughts on this subject, or have you done the deed?
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mrsludge



Joined: 28 Jan 2009
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Location: GA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure. I've been busy w/ work/family/life and haven't made much progress. My first 2 hand-stripped sashes are basically ready to glaze when I get the Hillman points in the mail and have time. I think I need to get the remainder dipped just to keep this from dragging on for the rest of '09. That and $35 a sash to dip isn't a lot more than the $42/gal I spent on the Smart Strip (used about 2/3 so far between sashes and sills).

Hand stripping was super labor intensive for me. And I felt like scraping the layers of paint, particularly off the inside profile on the mullions, left a lot of loose fibers, etc that I need to pull off before final painting.
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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
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Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've heard about and seen too many horror stories when it comes to dipping doors and sash...i know the cold dip is safer but still, i would be hesitant...

i have been using steam for years to remove the glass and putty from sash and have yet to have issues with wracking or warping...i use a dry heat to remove the paint once the sash has set over night after steaming...i find the wood is typically dry enough after just two or three days....

as far as the profiles being a bit ragged, don't worry, the hairy threaded wood will sand off quite nicely...i only use a chemical stripper on wood that is attached to a building because it is a rather messy ordeal...

anyway, that's my two cents of input......
......jade


Last edited by jade on Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Historicdoor



Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Posts: 94
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:03 am    Post subject: Dip Tank Stripping: Cardinal Sin or Big Mistake? Reply with quote

Good, we still have the chance to try to discourage you from dipping your window sash...Jade has put in her two cents; I've got a penny's worth or so to add, too. You may already know this stuff, but I was sure glad when someone explained it to me some years ago, so for all those who don't know......

Is it a "sin" to dip?...last time I checked, the Holy Scriptures reference "dipping" only in terms of baptism and sacramental washing ...no sin there:)

I happen to have three dip tanks...they are a dying breed in the wood stripping business. I keep mine because they are very useful for certain things, but I hardly use the hot tanks. The question you need to ask of the stripperman is whether he is going to dip in a hot or cold tank.

The "cold" tank isolates the heating element from the solution working as a kind of double boiler. The "cold" tank solution usually consists of methylene chloride (MC)...it works best between 72-75 degrees F, so in the winter months it actually does need to be heated. We usually use the MC in a flow over tank so the item being stripped is never actually immersed. But the MC dip tank is also fine.

Depending on the item, it actually is easier/faster to dip in the MC solution than to "flow over". The MC will not harm your wood (might darken it if it is oak, but an oxylic acid bath takes care of that quickly)...if it is a water rinse MC stripper, your stripperman can just wash it down with clear water and you are good to go after an over night drying. NOTE that the MC stripper can come in an acid, neutral or alkaline base (pH 2-14).

The "hot" tank is sodium hydroxide (lye) and is kept at around 130 degrees F. The solution is always alkaline and can be made very strong or weaker by adding more or less of the chemical in solution. It takes care of paint very quickly; however, I was warned when I first started in the business that lye is a major ingredient in turning wood into paper! That's right...not a good thing for your wood window sash. So, between the hot solution and the lye, you can take care of the paint, but there are several problems created with the wood that remains. Here are the two biggest ones:

#1 The "lye" stripped wood must be neutralized in an acid bath...no exceptions. But even then, to quote the USDA Forest Products Lab: "Neutralization is difficult because acids and bases penetrate wood differently. If considerable amounts of acids and bases are used, even if the proportions are correct, much salt will remain in the wood. Since salt is hygroscopic, the wood will be wetter than untreated wood [and for a much longer period of time] and too much moisture is always a problem."
That alone ought to be enough warning to scare you away from the hot tank. I have personally had items that took over a week to dry, and even then it still didn't feel "dry" (moisture meter said "acceptable", but....). If you don't get the salt out of the wood, it will continue to draw more moisture than the wood normally would even after being finished.

#2 The damage to the lignon (glue holding the wood fibers together) is significant. We are not talking just raised grain here, we are talking lots of damaged wood on the surface. Like Jade said, you can sand it off, but it is way more work than normal grain raising (which is all you get with the MC stripper). Of course, don't even think about a veneered product in the hot tank!

The stripper that you were using to hand strip is an MC stripper most likely, but if you purchased it from a box store it is probably has a neutral base...much less effective than the alkaline base (which has shelf life issues...not good for product management in a box store). The commercial stripperman has access to the alkaline base MC. You've got to watch out for the fumes with MC...no mask, unless fresh air supplied respirator. Air movement is key.

So, unless you or your stripperman is set up properly for MC as described above, I agree that the SilentStripper heater or steam is your best bet. You can get the SilentStripper for less than $500 new, and then sell it used to someone like me when you are finished with it for 1/2 price and you've only got $250 at the most out of pocket and everybody's safer and happier!

I don't now what John and Jade thinks about this, but I'd recommend finishing your sash as soon as you can following stripping (and drying). Stripping all the windows at once and then taking a year or more to get around to finishing them is not good. The SilentStripper would allow you to work at your own pace as you have time for finishing.

No, I'm not a salesman for the SilentStripper heater...sure sounds like it though doesn't it?

You have been warned by Jade and me, too. Hope you can make progress on those windows this year...I have a few projects that have lingered myself!

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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 785
Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for sharing your experience gregory...i have a question, how the heck does one get rid of a vat of mc after it has lived its useful life? transport it to yucca mountain?

i had a silentpaint remover/speedheater (it is my understanding that the speedheater was the original and the spr looks almost identical) but ended up trading it for some other tool...it works wonders for flat surfaces...i found that it worked too fast for me to go at a comfortable rate of speed so i went back to my trusty heatgun--wagner 2-speed at a whopping $24.95....

mrsludge, have you considered building a steam cabinet to remove glass & putty? works like a charm...total cost about $300 for the box and steamer and a few hours of your time...the steam bubbles the paint which makes it easier to remove with a heatgun and/or speedheater...i would stick to a ph balanced stripper (soy gel, smart strip, peelaway 6/7) to remove paint from any surface that is attached to the house...the risk of fire is significant...

indeed, this work is very labor intensive...on the other hand, when the sash are finished and installed you will be able to admire them for years and brag about your efforts to neighbors and visitors!

....jade
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sswiat



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
Posts: 231
Location: Cambria, New York

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gregory:

Brilliant! Great explanation. I am in agreement 100%.

I am now printing out your posting for collection in my reference material.

One concern I have always heard is the stripper (MC) penetrating end grain deeper and never being able(or at least for sure) being fully neutralized. Thus when exposed to moisture (as exterior doors and windows are) there is a chance that the MC will become active enough to start working again on the paint.

I once saw some exterior french doors that the owner told me were dip tank stripped of the paint 2 years earlier. He was complaining that the paint was starting to peel at the bottom (primarily on the lower portion of the stiles). My thoughts were attributing that to the stripper never fully being neutralized in the lower stiles and reactivating when exposed to moisture.

Your thoughts?
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Historicdoor



Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Posts: 94
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:51 pm    Post subject: More on Wood Stripping Reply with quote

Great questions back at me.

First of all, I should not have singled out only one of the infared paint remover machines...I don't own either YET (am hoping to this year so that I can show my students what they need for home use). I understand that there are in fact differences between the machines that should be considered as you choose which one to buy... the point I was trying to make is that they appear to be an excellent way to strip paint from window sash in particular. Jade, I was glad to hear about how fast they work for my purposes to be honest. There is a health risk using the heat gun because of the high potential of burning the lead paint and breathing in the fumes. The EPA says heat guns are ok if the wattage is below 750 (or is it 1000?), but they still warn about burning the lead paint. The infrared heaters operate at much lower wattage minimizing the burning potential.

I also want to get a steam stripper this year...we'll see how business goes so that I can afford one. I use different strippers and methods depending upon the task at hand. They ALL have advantages and disadvantages. In that regard, Jade raises the point of the MC stripper and its disposal.

MC is listed as a hazardous waste and must be disposed of properly. It is important to remember that the MC chemical evaporates very quickly (you've heard about wrapping an item to be stripped in plastic to keep the MC from evaporating). I recycle the stripper by capturing all the waste run off and straining the solution. I save and dry the solids and sludge for standard removal. Then I add MC (one gallon of chemical to four gallons of old stripper) and an alkaline (or acid) booster to rejuvenate the solution to good as new condition for reuse minus what has evaporated. You may be surprised that I have in my possession less than ONE 55-gallon barrel of MC based stripper liquid that I need to dispose of...that was generated over the past 5 years! The cost of having it (one barrel) hauled away for incineration is $250. Ask me about removing the lye based stripper someday. (I'm feeling like my posts are getting too long and I'll save that for another day.)

Steve, your concern about the MC "penetrating deep" is misplaced; it is the lye stripper that leaves the salts deep in the wood and keeps the end grain wet for a very very long time. And as I said in my original post, it is very dificult to get all the salts out. [By the way, I've been asked why I keep the tank and continue to use the lye stripper: answer, it is absolutely the best way to get the difficult last 1-2% of old paint off the wood I am stripping. The key is to not leave the wood in the tank for longer than a few minutes and then acid bath immediately and rinse with water immediately after that.] I'd want to know if the person you spoke of had the french doors actually dipped in a MC solution. I think not.

The MC tanks are small (3'x4') unless one was made custom for doors...possible I guess but unlikely. You see, a large tank (3'x8' or 4'x8' or 5'x10') requires 250 to 500 gallons of solution and it does not have the double boiler construction to keep the heating element off of the MC. That much MC stripper would cost any where from $4,500 to $2,500 (in a large tank) and $1,250 (in a small tank) AND remember, that stuff evaporates (yes even though we cover it)! Talk about dollars out the window! To fill a large tank with the lye stripper, however, costs about $150 and it is useful for years.

So...I suspect the doors were stripped in a lye solution (not an MC solution) and your customer did not know the difference. MC stripper can have a solvent rise formulation or a water rinse formulation. I almost always use the water rinse product. The stripper actually has a surfactant in it that cleans the wood nicely as it is rinsed. You can smell the MC stripper if it is left in the wood. I have NEVER had a problem getting my wood very clean and dry using the MC stripper.

Finally, remember that it doesn't have to be STRIPPER that causes the paint failure; the excess moisture attracted to the salts in the wood from the lye stripper will do the damage. Also, and a big FYI, I can count on two hands the number of exterior doors that I have seen that have actually been properly sealed along the bottom (end grain on the two stiles in particular) whether they were stripped properly or not. Keeps me in business I guess.....

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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 569
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,
This is a very interesting topic. We do a fair amount of sash and window restoration here in Northern Indiana.
We use steam for removing very tough glazing, but mostly we use dry heat. Wagoner 2 speed heat guns to be exact. We are procedure/technique oriented in our shop. And we like things to be simple. This allows the sash to move right to a repair table when the paint removal is complete.
In our shop we have a negative pressure room to melt paint off of window sashes and doors. The air filter we use has a Hepa filter with a charcoal filter and a couple of pre-filter. We estimate that at the Hepa filter's peak we exchange air about 60 times an hour in this room. We expell the air from the Hepa machine to the rest of the shop and comes back into the paint-off room through regular furnace filters. Our table top has a work station on either side with the Hepa air filter at table top level, at one end. This allows an air flow accross the table carrying the very small particulars through the filter. The heavy stuff from scraping falls through small openings in the table top and our caught in a plastic bag whisch is periodically disposed of and a new one added.
We like heat guns because they are fast. An average time for de-glazing and removing paint on a one lite sash (including sanding profiles) is about an hour.
We train everyone that works in the Paint-off room as thoroughly as possible, with attention paid to technique. You'll be surprised on how quickly your hands can learn a good technique for removing paint from profiles. Everyone working in here wears a Hepa face mask and wears vinyl gloves and eye protection.
On nice warm days we abandon this Paint-0ff room altogether and set up a table outside. But we still wear our protection.
This is just how we do it. It's simple, it works.
Steve S.
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Historicdoor



Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Posts: 94
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:19 pm    Post subject: HEPA and lead dust Reply with quote

Hey Steve...good for you...having a system is certainly key to making money in any business. I need to do better in this area!

I just wanted to make that you and others reading this posting understand that there is HEPA filtration and then there is HEPA filtration. As I understand it, not all HEPA filtering meets the standards for lead control. I ended up a couple years ago spending signifcant dollars (read $3,000!) to buy a vacuum that was true HEPA for lead. Same thing with dust masks. "3M" sells only two disposable paper masks that are safe in a lead environment. They are about 3-4 times the price of the regular dust masks, but certainly worth it. Unfortunately, I had to buy them in quantity from "3M" because they are not carried by most suppliers of dust masks. You might want to call their customer service (toll free) and see what they have to say about the masks that you are using (just to make sure). Of course, you may already know all of this....

In these days of litigation for the smallest of things, employers can't be too careful when employees are involved.

I can't put my hands on an article I read a few years ago about lead contamination of shops...I'll keep trying to find it. Dry stripping of lead paint is very dangerous; it is nearly impossible to get all the lead dust safely vacuumed up from all the corners and shelves of the shop even with the right equipment. I am by no means THE expert on lead and its removal, but there are others who are...for your health, the health of your employees, and the investment you have in your shop, I'd urge you to re-think dry stripping of lead paint...and make sure about your HEPA.

Love to visit with you if you ever get to Indianapolis...drop me a line.

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sschoberg



Joined: 29 Oct 2008
Posts: 569
Location: Plymouth, Indiana

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't it awfull we have to deal with the bad products our predacessors used in our building products. Why should we have to deal with lead paint, just to repair windows and doors. I guess we could choose another way to make our living.
Problem is, that's not how I'm made. My passion is my passion. Someone's got to deal lead paint. It can't stay on our windows. It's not safe there at all.

Am I concerned with the lead paint I deal with? Are you concerned with the 55 gallons of liquid death you deal with? Of Course! the thing is we deal with it. We follow guidlines given to us by Occupational Safety and Health Administration. How great is that! Someone is showing us how to have a lead safe work environment and a lead safe home environment.

I am not afraid of our daily hazards in our work places. There's to many resources available to educate and guide our efforts to provide a safe place to work not to learn from them.

!. We have a general company policy (written) on how to protect ourselves from possible repiratory dangers. It is written and we conduct inservices for our employees on how to comply to our policy.
2. We also create a Respiratory Protection Policy for each time we work in someone's home and at each comercial project we work at.
3. part of our policy requires our employees to have a lead level blood test periodically. This shows us how much danger we are exposed to in our work place. To date we are OK.

There is only one type of Hepa filter. The kind that filters 99.7% of particulars that try to go through it. As these filters get full they plug up. When they plug up the air (as in a vacuum cleaner) still trys to get the air to go through---or around the filter. That's why it is not acceptable to put a Hepa filter in a regular shop vac. It allows some unfiltered air to be blown past the Hepa and into your work space.

When you use a Hepa face Respirator, either disposable or a real one with disposable filters, regulations say the wearer (in the workplace) needs to see a health professional to ensure that it is fitted properly to that particular face. Usually this means not very much face hair.
The problem with 3m dispoables, either P100 or N100 (These are the Hepa types) is it is too easy to contort your face to bypass the filtering. So if you use these types, be sure you can truct your employee is breathing through the Hepa and no from his chin. Of course ,if his/her blood lead levels are elevated above the allowable, you'll know why.
In our shop practicing unsafe work habits is a fast way out the door.

Don't be afraid of lead, get educated.

Did you know that your body expells most of the lead (along with other contaminate) that your exposed to. It can collect, though with continual unprtected exposure.
I have not read this but it was just told to me by a supplier. There a new major reg starting next year that says anyone remodeling or repairing inside a residential home will have to be licensed for lead abatement.

It is important to us at Schoberg Restorations Inc. that our customers and potential customer know that we practice safe work practices for respiratory protection when working in their home as well as in our shop.

Have a safe day.

Steve S
Schoberg Restorations Inc

NOTE: Steve Schoberg is not an expert in the field of respiratory proection. The policies and opinion in this field mentioned above have developed for the use of Schoberg Restorations Inc. We urge all who deal with possible respiratory dangers to do their own research and develope their own Respiratory Protection Policy
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jade



Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 785
Location: Hawley MA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i bet my putty knife (embee, rosewood handle, curved blade) that in 25 years from now the EPA will institute guidelines on vinyl removal protection...the villians who manufactured and sold the products and the government who turned a blind eye to the dangers of PVC will be living a comfortable retirement...the vinyl window removers will be covered head to toe in the latest spacesuit, googles and pure air respirators as they transport the poison to your backyard dump...

if we didn't live in such a litigious society, i don't think we would be going over the top to protect ourselves/our clients from the dangers of lead...since the government allowed lead/vinyl in the first place, shouldn't it pay for abatement? and shouldn't our classes and certification be free? still, in the end, it would be us the taxpayers footing the bill...

in our shop we use common sense practices in dealing with lead...hepa filter vacs and respiratiors...a separate room is used for dry heat paint removal...

diet and exercise has a lot to do with ridding our bodies of lead...i am a vegetarian and do a lot of walking and hiking...my highest number was 14 when i wasn't being as careful as i should around lead (years ago)...a friend who protected himself fully had a much higher number than me...his diet is lousy and he doesn't get out and about much (i'm not referring to you steve!)...another friend didn't wear a mask at all and only used dry heat methods...his number was 47!!! in three months it was back down to about 5...

incorporate common sense protection ESPECIALLY AROUND CHILDREN, keep your work area clean and get lead counts once or twice a year to make sure your common sense is paying off....

i use this analogy about common sense safety issues: you strap your kid in a carseat where s/he can barely move, you fill the tank with 22 gallons of highly flammable gasoline and head out onto the highway doing 70mph...talk about a dangerous situation! put the cell phone, the mascara and the shaving razor down and focus on driving...

work hard, play safe.....
.......jade
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Historicdoor



Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Posts: 94
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:55 am    Post subject: Not to Beat a Dead Horse Reply with quote

Steve raises good points about not fearing the environmental hazards we work around...I prefer to think of it as respecting the dangers and taking responsible steps to protect ourselves and the environment from those dangers, as he has done.

He is right about the shortcomings of the disposable paper masks (though many don't know that the two 3M disposable masks are the ONLY ones rated for lead). If you are going to dry strip lead paint, however, these masks are at least some protection for persons (if the fitting is right, like Steve pointed out) who can't afford to buy a fresh air respirator.

Of course there remains the matter of possible lead contamination of the shop. I could have been clearer when I said that "There is HEPA and then there is HEPA." What I meant to say was that although HEPA filters are standard in many applications (even household vacuum cleaners), not all are rated to safely remove lead (or asbestos, etc.) even if they remove very small particles. [My HEPA filters remove particles of .3 microns at a level of 99.995%.] It is my understanding from industry experts that only HEPA filters that successfully pass what is known as the DOP Test (stands for Dioctylphthalate) are rated for lead. I understand that very few filtering systems are DOP tested and rated for lead.

The issue of how the body deals with lead is controversial. In my own family, my brother was found to have signifcant lead contamination (we believe from the improper use of a heat gun stripping lead paint) which was responsible for decades of a lingering illness that could not be diagnosed by the many doctors he saw over the years. He had the blood testing for lead...nothing showed up there. [I get tested that way myself, though I found it interesting from your comments, Jade, that the numbers rise and fall suggesting that perhaps the body is indeed expelling lead in the normal course of things.] Turns out that in my brother's case the lead found its way into his tissue and it stayed there....they found it during a routine test of his tissue for an unrelated surgery, after years of going undetected. Granted this is antedotal, but some believe that this is why lead is so insidious.

The older I get, the less it seems we can know with a fairly high level of certainty. I'm going to continue to study the matter of lead and the body's ability to expell it because I am not convinced either way at this point...the new required lead training programs coming down the pike will be a good place to raise this issue in more detail. Even so, for me, I'll probably be over-protective when it comes to lead, just because....

Good discussion. Thanks for all your perspectives!

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sswiat



Joined: 01 Sep 2004
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Location: Cambria, New York

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greg:

Great points.

I believe somewhere we have had the HEPA filter conversation in the past.

From my research there are true HEPA filters (DOP tested) and HEPA "type" filters (which are the same material but not tested). The vacuum I have has a HEPA filter which is certified and serial numbered. It shows the DOP testing results on it. Whereas my air scrubber for residential site work has a HEPA but not certified. There is a substantial dollar cost between a certified and non-certified filter.

The lead health question has always been an interesting issue. I grew up in a lead painted house. Every summer we scraped, feather sanded and repainted the siding. The doors and windows all had lead paint. My parents grew up in lead painted houses Every house of my childhood friends were in the same category yet none of us have any lead related illness.

I have treated for high lead levels although I use a properly fit respirator whereas I am aware of others who wear lesser masks. I have worked for clients who have one child with high lead levels yet the other child does not. So the lead related health issues have always been a mystery to me.

I agree that caution should be taken to protect yourself as well as others but not to be in fear. I imagine most of us ingest more poisons in our system through our daily diet that we will ever get from lead.
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