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(Topic ID: 181592)

Lead Exposure Question


By Soonerbrink

3 years ago



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  • 51 posts
  • 29 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by arcademojo
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#1 3 years ago

I do not know if this is the correct section, so please move the topic if necessary.

Question: Could you get lead exposure through the air by activating the flippers from a lifted playfield.

My thought: Perhaps there is lead in the dust associated with the coils and the flipper action releases it into the air?

Reason for concern: My daughter went to the doctor and had a high level of lead in her blood. One of the ways lead can enter the system is by breathing in dusty that contains led. Just trying to figure out what could be causing this and eliminate any possibilities.

The backstory:
The pin has been in our home (house built in 2005) for about 6 months. It was in our garage about a year and half before that. Over the past 6 months, it has been worked on about 2 nights a month and I have repopulated the entire playfield and the flippers. There has been no soldering inside the house during these 6 months. (There was one time I soldered a few wires on a part in the garage after the kids were in bed for the night). The pin is really close to being completed and I was doing some final tests to see if everything was working properly. I was testing out the flippers (had not tested them since I rebuilt them) and I was doing this while my 4 year old daughter was awake (if I would have waited until she was asleep, she probably would have woke up from the noise). We were both standing next to the game while the playfield was elevated and the flippers we tested for about 30 seconds. This was a single event, but my daughter went to the doctor the next day for her 4-year checkup and we were informed about the results. My other daughter had no levels of lead in her system when he she was checked the previous month during her 1-year checkup. I know to some it might sound like a ridiculous inquiry, but I am simply concerned with the health and safety of my kids. We are being extra observant, and will be having another test again soon to monitor any changes.

#2 3 years ago

What game from what year? Possible lead painted cabinet? Has she been touching it?

Any antiques in the house that have paint?

#3 3 years ago

Doubtful. While there is lead in solder, coil dust is usually going to be ferrous. I'd be looking at other possibilities unless the game is old enough to have lead paint.

#4 3 years ago

Really seems like a stretch to be the pin. Do you have any old painted toys or things around the house she might be playing with? Also there have been some cases of kids toys (new ones) and jewellery containing lead. That seems much more likely to me.

https://www.cdc.gov/features/leadintoys/

#5 3 years ago

Extremely doubtful. If the test was accurate, I would be looking at other sources. Did they repeat the test to make sure it was correct. Is you daughter staying in a daycare or pre-school in an older building? If you are really concerned about the pinball, you could have yourself checked for lead. It is doubtful that it is the problem that they had in Flint. There, the problem arose from the older pipes in the homes with lead in them that leached the lead into the water when the acidity of the water changed when the source of the water changed. The city itself was not putting out lead-laden water.
Things to look for are are sources of peeling older paint and toys, etc from questionable sources.
Best of luck. Hope you can get to the bottom of it.

#6 3 years ago

You're probably over thinking and analyzing everything but I don't blame you. Elevated blood levels will return to normal in a few months or so if the source is removed. Like others have said, it's unlikely the pin. If one daughter has it and the other doesn't I'd look into her toys first.

#7 3 years ago

Thanks for all of the great feedback!

The game is 1997 Starship Troopers.
House was built in 2005 (pex water lines).
No old toys, but I will check the link provided for newer toys.
No antiques really. We have an older wooden buffet that isn't painted and it is a room the kids are never in. I also have an old pachinko she will walk by and push the handle down once every week or so.
We are checking with the Mother's Day Out Program she goes to twice a week to see if any other parent have reported concerns as well.
I am going to get tested to check my own levels, and my daughter will be retested as well.
We are the over analyzing, 'hovering' parents... so just really surprised and concerned.
And definitely want to make sure I have all the information before making any uninformed decisions on hastily getting rid of a pin!

#8 3 years ago

We also had some lead concerns regarding some coffee cups glazed in a cobalt blue color. We purchased some lead testing
swabs from a local Walmart that can be used to determine if lead is present in a surface that can be swabbed.

It turned out the coffee cups indeed did have lead present and should only be used for decorative purposes.

I would go out and buy some of the lead testing swabs and swab away on suspect surfaces to eliminate speculation and reduce concerns.

#9 3 years ago

They say some dollar store stuff can have high lead levels as well.

#10 3 years ago

I would test the water at school. There is an "acceptable" level of lead in drinking water that isn't zero, and tests of the water system are done statistically at various locations. There could be elevated lead levels in the school's water and it just hasn't been tested. Lots of places are having problems lately, not just Flint.

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2017/01/20/Water-tests-find-lead-again/stories/201701200101

#11 3 years ago

I've worked in lead abatement for a long time my parents owned one of the largest sandblasting and painting companies on the east coast Brickwood Contractors an repaired water tanks and bridges working alongside OSHA. In 1978 lead was taken out of paint nationally, if you feel like you may have lead based paint first get a test kit. Any irritation of flaking or falling paint can certainly atomize it, thankfully you have protective glass there. However if it's flaking from your pf then I would say the condition of the cab is no better. Paint dries out slower or faster depending on how the object is stored, once the encapsulation is broken your at risk.

#12 3 years ago

Lead is not good for any human body, but in order for you to be affected by it after 24 years of age you would have to ingest it or absorb it threw your skin or lungs in a large quantity or over a long period of time. However if your a youth it can be extremely harmful to a growing body causing permanent brain damage and other serious side affects. I'm glad you brought this up, lead was mainly used in brighter color pigmented paints. If your restoring a cabinet or pf you should test all the colors most companies got rid of it in the early 70's. If you find that you have lead based paint you need to responsibly restore the cabinet by collecting all the material in a controlled confined space vented by a hepa lead filter. Protecting yourself is equally important using disposable hazmats suits w/hood, rubber gloves duct tapped to the wrists of the suit and a good respirator. The material must be collected and disposed properly with your local landfill, otherwise you risk hefty fines and endangering yourself and family for the years to come.

-9
#14 3 years ago

Additionally soldiering is one of the worst ways to get led into your lungs, even tho you might be using led-free silver solder which is a must, it's hard to speculate if the company that built the boards or the line tecs actually used silver solder or led solder. You can use a hepa led respirator for long periods of repairs in a well ventilated ares like your garage or shed.

"Lead-free solders have been increasing in use due to regulatory requirements plus the health and environmental benefits of avoiding lead-based electronic components. They are almost exclusively used today in consumer electronics" - Wikipedia

#15 3 years ago

Growing up in New England we certainly have heard horror stories. It is most likely paint or dust from paint. The other place to look believe it or not is the soil. I have a friend in Boston who did thousands of dollars of lead abatement only to find that the soil in their backyard tested off the charts for lead.

One exposure lifting a playfield wouldn't do it.

#16 3 years ago

Sorry to hear about this, there is nothing scarier than potential danger with your kids.

I hope you find out what is causing the elevated levels.

#17 3 years ago

It's not from lifting the playfield, because if it was, I'd be made of lead by now.

I took the lead scanner from work and scanned a bunch of stuff in my house.

The vinyl window blinds, and the vinyl windows themselves were off the chart lead.

#18 3 years ago
Quoted from gmkalos:

Additionally soldiering is one of the worst ways to get led into your lungs, even tho you might be using led-free silver solder which is a must, it's hard to speculate if the company that built the boards or the line tecs actually used silver solder or led solder. You can use a hepa led respirator for long periods of repairs in a well ventilated ares like your garage or shed.

That is not true regarding lead from soldering getting lead into your lungs.
Soldering does not get lead to the boiling point which is the temperature needed to vaporize lead from solder. The issues with soldering are the fumes caused by the chemicals found within the flux, not the content of the solder itself.

#19 3 years ago

My inlaws had high level lead contamination issues with the soil of their yard. Apparently somebody hauled in topsoil for their yard sometime in the past and it was contaminated -- probably got it real cheap. They ended up paying to get the top several inches of topsoil removed from their yard and replaced with non-contaminated topsoil.

#20 3 years ago

Or if you ever had a wood deck, wood play structure, or a treated wood fence in the yard, the soil below it is an toxic wast dump of arsenic, copper, lead, chromium......the worst of the worst.

#21 3 years ago

download (resized).png

Some kids have a habit of chewing on pencils too.

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from gmkalos:

I've worked in led abatement for a long time

I'm less inclined to believe the lead information you've provided when you've repeatedly misspelled lead. Wouldn't someone involved with a lead abatement company be familiar with the language used in lead abatement?

#23 3 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

Some kids have a habit of chewing on pencils too.

Except pencils use graphite..........

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from Drewscruis:

Except pencils use graphite..........

I think he's referring to the lead paint on the pencils.

I don't think wood pencils ever had actual lead in them.

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from Drewscruis:

Except pencils use graphite..........

Oh yeah, then I'd see if there are any teeth marks on the tilt bob. If it is missing all together than maybe some x-rays are in order.

-1
#28 3 years ago
Quoted from G-P-E:

That is not true regarding lead from soldering getting lead into your lungs.
Soldering does not get lead to the boiling point which is the temperature needed to vaporize lead from solder. The issues with soldering are the fumes caused by the chemicals found within the flux, not the content of the solder itself.

Ok this is off of OSHA's website regarding soldiering... "Soldier when heated, lead oxide fumes are formed. Excessive exposure to lead oxide fumes can result in lead poisoning" You have no idea what your talking about.

Ignoring the grammar police...

-2
#29 3 years ago

The pig headiness in the air is sickening. Were trying to help this poor man with his sick daughter not continuously patting ourselves on the back crispos!

-5
#30 3 years ago

Since my last post was moderated for bashing the grammar police there which this is really a personal attack from said dork from a previous post. I will re-upload the pic of me in my truck parked under a water tank we sandblasted and painted as one of the many lead abatement contracts I worked in back in my 20's, and I'm sure I could find a bunch more pics.

Today boys & girls were all going to learn how to research and read before we just spout bs to someone in need!

"Lead-free solders have been increasing in use due to regulatory requirements plus the health and environmental benefits of avoiding lead-based electronic components. They are almost exclusively used today in consumer electronics" - Wikipedia

"Flux is a reducing agent designed to help reduce (return oxidized metals to their metallic state) metal oxides at the points of contact to improve the electrical connection and mechanical strength. The two principal types of flux are acid flux (sometimes called "active flux"), used for metal mending and plumbing, and rosin flux (sometimes called "passive flux"), used in electronics, where the corrosiveness of the vapors released when acid flux is heated would risk damaging delicate circuitry.

Due to concerns over atmospheric pollution and hazardous waste disposal, the electronics industry has been gradually shifting from rosin flux to water-soluble flux, which can be removed with deionized water and detergent, instead of hydrocarbon solvents.

In contrast to using traditional bars or coiled wires of all-metal solder and manually applying flux to the parts being joined, much hand soldering since the mid-20th century has used flux-core solder. This is manufactured as a coiled wire of solder, with one or more continuous bodies of non-acid flux embedded lengthwise inside it. As the solder melts onto the joint, it frees the flux and releases that on it as well." - Wikipedia

-2
#31 3 years ago

You want my overall advice to you it cant possibly the pin if it's a 1997, test the flaking paint just in case they may have cheeped out or something. I didn't see you response there I assumed this was a EM or something, go on immediate lockdown identifying and testing anything in you house that might meet the criteria of having lead or made prior to '78, certainly test that crappy China made pachinko. Test your water especially if you have a well just because the plumbing is new the house may have been built on an old site with an old well. Doing this will help narrow your difficultly searching for what is actually giving your daughter lead poisoning. There are many cases after 1978 with toys coming from Hong Kong and China containing lead material either in the paint or chrome surfaces. Remember the Voltron scandal of the 80's! And more recently the Thomas the train recall on the first wave!

#32 3 years ago

It is extremely unlikely that the pin is the source here. The odds of measurable, testable levels of lead contamination occurring from merely standing near a pin once or twice while the playfield was raised are practically zero.

I hope you find the source. I know if I were in your shoes, I'd be exhaustively researching every potential cause as well.

#33 3 years ago

My kids had a bunch of recalled tomas the train engines (around the size of matchbox cars) that were made in china that had lead paint in them. We sent them back for a refund. I could see dollar store toys containing lead paint, not as big of a deal with adult because we dont chew on them.

#34 3 years ago
Quoted from crlush:

not as big of a deal with adult because we dont chew on them.

Same goes with the soldering. Don't chew leaded solder. The fumes, while I won't dispute could contain lead, are more harmful because of all the other nasties in them besides lead.

Same goes for the pin, if you're not licking it - I would venture to say it is not the problem. Start by testing consumable products first. Test of water at school, perhaps even food, finding out if something is being chewed on, etc.... Then move to the more inconspicuous. Some medicines can contain lead. Certain hobbies...such as pottery making, stained glass. Playing in soil containing lead could be a source. There's a lot of possibilities.

I think testing yourself/other family members/friends is good detective work. While it is still like finding a needle in a haystack, if multiple people are exposed it becomes a slightly bigger needle.

https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/lead/exposure/childhood/risk_assessment.htm

#35 3 years ago

Something else to consider: Anything made out of brass that is handled (keys, candle holders, toys, etc.) will actually have a percentage of lead in the metal. All brass has somewhere between 2% and 5% lead, and since brass is unprotected, whenever you hold anything brass, it will be picked up in your skin, and eventually transferred into your body. Brass fawcets, brass plumbing on your kitchen and bathroom sink...it's almost unavoidable.

Think about brass. It's everywhere.

#36 3 years ago
Quoted from pezpunk:

It is extremely unlikely that the pin is the source here. The odds of measurable, testable levels of lead contamination occurring from merely standing near a pin once or twice while the playfield was raised are practically zero.

Agreed - or may be it could show transiently if the test was done the day after?

Have you repeated/confirmed the test? Is her lead level still high?
I know from experience errors do happen during biological/biochemical assays.

#37 3 years ago
Quoted from gmkalos:

Ok this is off of OSHA's website regarding soldiering... "Soldier when heated, lead oxide fumes are formed. Excessive exposure to lead oxide fumes can result in lead poisoning" You have no idea what your talking about.

Very Nice paraphrasing. But while you were forming that phrase, did you actually read at what temperature the lead oxide fumes are created? Hint - it is higher than what the extreme majority of soldering irons and wave soldering machines can do. Now soldering with a high temp torch - that's a different story.
2nd post regarding stuff from wikipedia pretty much said "yes, lead = bad". That entire post supported my statement about the chemicals released from the flux but said nothing about lead released in fumes during soldering.

Unlike 'led' abatement for a few days, I have been working with this stuff for nearly 35 years - yes, I do have a tiny bit of an idea as to what I'm talking about. We had to deal with a small outfit known as OSHA, you might have heard of them. We performed regular tests on our wave soldering air filtration. Lead was never the problem - the problems were the fumes from the chemicals in the flux. For us, the big problem with lead was what to do with the old lead and dross. Due to extremely high cost of disposing of the waste and the age of the wave soldering machines, we stopped using lead. Had to break down the wave soldering machines into barrels and hauled away as hazardous waste.

#38 3 years ago
Quoted from gmkalos:

Remember the Voltron scandal of the 80's!

That's why I couldn't ever find those damn things for sale until ebay?

#39 3 years ago

Ed is quite right with regard to lead and other particulates in the fumes during the soldering process. During the mid to late 80's I was an Instructor in the US Navy Micro-Miniature Soldering repair class in Norfolk, VA. As part of an air quality study, all of the Instructors in the classes were required to wear an device on our belts that constantly measured the amount of lead and other soldering particulates during our classes. The study ran six months and the results of the tests concluded that lead was not the problem with exposure during the soldering process, it was what was contained in the flux. Each Instructor taught for 8 hours a day, five days a week for 30 consecutive days for one class of 20-30 students. This is far more than a hobbyist would get in a much longer period of time.

Bottom line, not likely from the pinball machine. I'd be looking for another source as others have already suggested.

#40 3 years ago

You mentioned your house is new and free of the possibility of lead paint on the walls, but what about grandma and grandpa's?

#41 3 years ago
Quoted from Soonerbrink:

My daughter went to the doctor and had a high level of lead in her blood.

Wow, I feel for you. I live in a 100 year old house and every flake of paint is a potential poisoning. I ended up buying an industrial HEPA vac just for cleaning up after any paint work; it's rated for lead and asbestos work. I also use it for cleaning the basement, because who knows whats down there.

We made sure the kids were tested a lot when they were little.

We tell them never to put any toy in their mouth. My kids will flat out tell you that if it's made in China, it's poisonous and will make you stupid. 100% true? Probably not, but there are real safety issues with toys made overseas.

We had friends who had an issue with lead exposure. It was some dumb upcycled antique with flaking paint. Their daughter would eat the chips, because they had a sweet taste. Her words not mine, I didn't taste them. They were quite panicked until they found that source.

I hope the levels drop and you figure out where the source of the lead is coming from.

#42 3 years ago

I had my blood test done yesterday and I should be getting the results anytime. We are going to have my daughter retested. I'll update with the results.

#43 3 years ago
Quoted from G-P-E:

That is not true regarding lead from soldering getting lead into your lungs.
Soldering does not get lead to the boiling point which is the temperature needed to vaporize lead from solder. The issues with soldering are the fumes caused by the chemicals found within the flux, not the content of the solder itself.

Yeah and it gives me a killer migrane. I have portable a smoke exhaust fan with a charcoal filter I use whenever soldering now because of it.

#44 3 years ago

I design car batteries and I live in a 106 year old house and I do a fair amount of soldering. I am literally surrounded by lead. My blood is drawn and tested regularly and it is always super low, almost unmeasurable.

Lead gets into your body by mouth. Suspect items are paint (old or new painted objects from suspect sources), toys, cheap jewelry, soil (especially near roads), water, fishing sinkers and bullets. On the toy front, in addition to painted toys, suspect any kind of kid's makeup or play jewelry, coins, anything metal or even shiny. Think of a kid chewing on a cheap toy necklace.

Some other sources: artificial turf or shredded rubber playground cover, candles with metal core wicks and one that nobody has mentioned: folk medicines. If you are into alternative or folk medicine, they often contain lead.

As others have mentioned, check the school, grandma's house, the friends and neighbors (maybe shooters/reloaders or playing w/ toy soldiers, renovating an old house), the playground.

Don C.

#45 3 years ago
Quoted from Don_C:

check the school

That was my first thought. And if the kid is drinking water out of drinking fountains at that school, that would be the first place I'd look.

Then there's always the chance the lab screwed up and gave the wrong report.

#46 3 years ago

Please keep us posted. As a father of two younger daughters, I'm very interested to see how this turns out. Hope all turns out positive for your daughter.

12
#47 3 years ago

I ended up doing a test for heavy metals, and all results came back normal. We had my daughter tested again and it came back normal. From my research, it seems the lead typically stays in the blood for a month (the recommended retest was 2 months, and we retested about a week and a half later). Most likely something was wrong with first the test. We plan on checking again in 3 months when we are at the doctor for the other daughter's checkup.

While there is some 'not very nice' behavior that stands out on this site occasionally, this topic has once again confirmed to me there are extremely caring and concerned people in this community. The numerous messages in this topic, as well as the phone call I received were very helpful in this concerning time. Thanks again for all of the suggestions, thoughts, concerns, and interest in the safety of my family. It was very much appreciated!

#48 3 years ago

Great to hear! Glad everyone's ok. Thanks for the update.

#49 3 years ago

Great news!! Very glad to here this. Peace be with you and your family.

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