lead and carbon monoxide on the homestead

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mtnmom208, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. mtnmom208

    mtnmom208 Well-Known Member

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    I may have opened up a can of worms here, but I just got done with some research on lead poisoning and carbon monoxide poisoning and realized that I may have some dangers here at home. I know that being armed with a small amount of information is dangerous, so I am counting on you guys to perhaps help me shed some light on this topic. :stars:
    On lead:
    We are off the grid so it is not uncommon for us to fill our house with hurricane lanterns containing kerosene or mineral spirits. I know that kerosene contains lead and burning these also releases carbon monoxide. Are we in danger, what options do we have? Do you think I am filling my house with lead fumes?
    We just ate gamebirds and I had to pick the lead shot out before I prepared it, I just learned that if my kids accidentally ingest one it could cause some problems. Did I mention all the sinkers and lures that are around a house full of fishermen?
    On carbon monoxide:
    We use wood heat and wood heat alone to keep our family warm. And then, during the coldest months, we seal up the house for drafts. How dangerous are the woodstoves for producing carbon monoxide? Any ideas on how we can limit it? Is there such a thing as a battery operated CO2 detector?
    We have propane appliances that seem to be operating properly but it seems like they would give off CO2 also.

    I think we can all stand to beware of slow, invisible poisoning. Am I panicking here? It's hard not to when you have a house full of kids and you discover some possible dangers.
    I would love any ideas or info.
    Thanks
     
  2. tobo6

    tobo6 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I don't think you are panicking...more like a really concerned mom. :sing:

    They do have battery operated carbine monoxide detectors though. We have one in our motorhome. That will help you out with monitoring your woodstove.

    As for kerosine/lanterns, it would depend I think on how big your house is, and if it is small you might want to crack a window to let in fresh air.

    I do know that you can have your kids tested for levels of lead. That might put your mind at ease.

    Try to keep the kids out of the fishing stuff if they are little. I caught my son when he was little biting down on a weight making teeth prints because he realized it was soft enough to do that. :rolleyes:

    As for the lead in the game. I think if you make sure you get it all, you will all be fine.

    Isn't being a mom and armed with the internet fun at times? :rolleyes:
     

  3. ThreeJane

    ThreeJane Me Love Your Face

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    Hey Mama -

    As far as the lanterns, can you use lantern oil instead of kerosene? They make/sell odorless oil, bought mine at KMart...burns a bit cleaner too (as long as the wick isn't too high).

    As far as the lead shot...hmmm....maybe boil or shred the gamebirds first so you can see the shot?

    Sinkers and lures...we know the hubbies WON'T pick their stuff up and put it away. Just gotta be vigilant (I feel a rant coming on here :D )

    Battery powered CO (carbon monoxide) detectors:

    http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/parts/lp-gas/battery-powered-co-detector.htm

    http://store.yahoo.com/safetyfirstdmk/digcarmoncod.html

    http://www.safetyemporium.com/ILPI_Site/WebPagesUS/detail.htm?09013

    If you want to find others,just put "CO battery detector" into Google and a plethora of stuff comes back.
     
  4. cfabe

    cfabe Well-Known Member

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    There are non-lead shotgun shells available if you're concerned about it. But I don't think it's a big deal. People have been hunting with lead for quite a while, and if it was a problem it would be common knowledge.

    I've never heard of there being lead in kerosene, where is that information from?

    If you're really concerned, get everyone tested for peace of mind.
     
  5. stickinthemud

    stickinthemud Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just bought a First Alert battery-operated combination Smoke/CO detector at K-Mart for $35. It has a 5-year warranty.
    If you buy one SAVE THE RECEIPT! I thought I had the receipt for the one this is replacing that died after only 3 yr, but can't find it now. Drat!
     
  6. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    I've never heard of lead being in kerosene. I did a google search and couldn't find anything either.

    In regards to carbon monoxide (CO) from hurricane lamps...you are correct. These lamps do an inefficient job of burning fuel. If any heating or lighting appliance in your home burns with a yellow flame, CO is being formed. If you are concerned, my recommendation is to switch to Aladdin lamps. These lamps burn with a white flame due to the use of a mantle. The mantle on an Aladdin is like the catalytic converter on a car; it burns volatile gases and helps convert CO to carbon dioxide (CO2).
     
  7. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes lead is dangerous, but ingesting a single shot or even eating a chip of lead based paint is NOT going to turn your child into a brain dead kid overnight.
    NO you dont want to let anyone eat lead and you should stop it, but its not an instant death sentance contrary to what people say.
     
  8. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Hey, I've accidentally swallowed more than my share of lead shot in my lifetime of 29 years. And look, I'm still normal.....
     
  9. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    No home should be without one.We have a nighthawk,i see the new one,55 bucks,also does propane dectection.NICE!I like the digital readout.

    Mine sits right next to wall heater.One time the exhaust pipe somehow slipped off,and that alarm was screaming!Saved our lives most likely.

    I also test it by holding a cigarette under it,those numbers ramp up like FAST!

    http://www.safetyproductsunlimited.com/cosm_alarm.html

    BooBoo
     
  10. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    Hey Mountainmom! Definitely get CO detectors. We have one in every room. We've never had one go off and we have all propane appliances too. Still, better safe than sorry. How are things going up there otherwise?
     
  11. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Lead was added to gasoline as an octane booster. There is none added to kerosene. This is a non-issue.

    Lead ingestment comes from dust and other essentially trace levels and frequent contact. Kids hands and old dusting paint on windowsills is a very common one. Lead shot and sinkers are a non issue, even if you bite one. However, if you like to cast your own sinkers, do it outside. Lead does give off fumes when melted. And don't go sanding them.

    CO is a real issue with any combustion source located inside. As a general rule, no house is sealed up well enough to make it a problem. But, if you did manage to seal things up well, and ran it until you were low on oxygen, then CO emission go up rapidly. Some gas appliances do not work well and can give off goodly quantities of CO. In any case, a CO monitor is cheap, and well worth having.
     
  12. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    You do have some justifiable concerns and some that are . . . . . ummmmm. . . . . mom over reacting. As for the lead, I don't think you have alot to worry about. Make sure all fishing supplies are out of reach of little ones. As for the lead shot, a few pieces isn't going to kill anyone. For your lanterns, how air tight is your house? If it is a newer house, it could be very air tight which could be a problem. But if you are like most, and live in an old house, there is no way possible to make the old houses air tight!!

    Now, for the carbon monoxide, you have a real possible problem there. Smoke detectors on all floors are advised and replace the batteries at least once a year if not twice. (Spring & Fall hour time changes are a perfect time for testing / battery replacement.) A carbon monoxide detector does come in battery operated. One on each floor might not be a bad idea either.

    A member of our church just had a close call recently in the evening. The mother had gone to bed with a headache while the husband was getting a shower. Her 2 teens were watching tv. The one teen came up and woke mother up saying he didn't feel very good. He ended up vomiting and then passing out. She called for help and ran down to get the teen's sister for help (she was also passed out). Her husband was fine and they immediately knew something was wrong that both kids were passed out and took them outside. It was found that their old chimney bricks had collapsed in and blocked up the chimney. They had their pool heater on that afternoon. They are certain that if their kids hadn't passed out before going to bed, none of them would have woke up the morning.

    You are probably aware that with wood stoves, your chimney should be cleaned out at least once per year. If the chimeny is an older one, an inspection by a professional might be in order as well to verify that it is still capable of working properly.
     
  13. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge Well-Known Member

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    Lead is not poisonous.

    There are thousands of people all over the world walking around with chunks of lead INSIDE their bodies. We call them, "BULLETS". If they don't kill you going in, and they aren't in a place that will cause problems, doctors often just leave them where they are, because they won't hurt you as much as digging for them might.

    Many COMPOUNDS of lead ARE poisonous, especially lead salts such as used to be used in paints.

    Lead must be in a bioavailable form before it is a hazard. Metallic lead is not a problem. Most of the current lead hysteria is just that - hysteria.

    Understand the differernce so you can react appropriately to what is present in your environment.

    IOW, don't panic if your child is found chewing on lead fishing weight. Take it away, put the rest of whatever he found out of reach, and go about your business. It's no more harmful than the lead and mercury (mercury! GASP!) mixture that fills many of our cavities.
     
  14. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Those mantles in your Coleman lantern are probably radioactive. The good ones are anyway.

    Your ion chamber type smoke detector has an Americium 241 in it which comes from nuclear reactors. It is a decay product Plutonium 241. That's right mom you have nuclear reactor waste hanging on your ceiling which has a half life of 432 years (if I remember right-I'm too lazy to look it up). Hanging right there in your child's bedroom spewing its deadly radiation all over your sleeping bundle of joy.

    Ok ok it is harmless unless you would tear it down off the ceiling and eat it but that doesn't sound nearly as scary and doesn't whip up the panic like calling it a radiation spewing nuclear waste dump hanging on your ceiling hurling radiation at your children.

    Carbon monoxide isn't going to hurt you unless your house is filled with it. Lead is rarely a problem for the reasons that BlueRidge indicated. Unless you are breathing lead dust or munching on lead paint chips it isn't much of anything to worry about.
     
  15. mtnmom208

    mtnmom208 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your input guys! I feel better and will probably be buying a CO detector very soon. I cannot remember where I found the info on kerosene but it doesn't seem to be common knowlege among you folks. I understand the *hype* and *hysteria* outlook too - looks like I fell for it! Guess I've been spending too much time around my Mom, who thinks that every deer mouse turd contains hanta virus, every mosquito has West Nile, and Avian Flu is the next disaster. May be a good thread to start eh?
     
  16. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like fun! While we're at it, throw in the cancer causing radio waves, right Quint? :D