Toy Box Roulette: Cleaning Up Toys After Finding Lead

Well, you are going to want to make sure that there isn't any lead dust present in and around your child's room and toy box.  The risk of lead dust from toys may be small, but  you might want some comfort.  Some studies have estimated that infants ingest 0.02 to 10 grams of dust per day, depending on their mouthing activities.  So cleaning up that fine dust is important.  How do you do that?  You need to wet wipe all exposed surfaces.  Start from the top, and work your way down.  Make sure you use a clean surface for each pass – you don't want to recontaminate as you go.  The easiest method is to use a spray cleaner and paper towels.  Don't reuse the paper towels (your inner environmentalist may cringe, but necessary).  Dispose of used paper towels.  You can wet wipe or wash toys, depending on the material.  Once you have wiped down the surfaces, vacuum with a HEPA equipped vacuum, preferably with a dirt sensor.  Vacuum from the farthest point, working towards the main door.  According to dust expert John Roberts, you need to make 16 passes over high traffic areas and 8 passes over all other areas.  This is time consuming, but will significantly reduce fine dust levels.  If you have hardwood floors, wet mop.  If you have a throw rug, vacuum in place so that you don't disperse dust by moving the rug outside. 

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