How To: Removing lead dust from clothing

Lead is mixed with different materials to help stabilize them during the manufacturing process. It can be added to paint, glass, crystal, plastic, gasoline, ink, chalk, crayons and many other household products.

Lead is a toxic substance for human beings, and it often leaches out of the products in which it is added. It is especially harmful to pregnant women and young babies, who are often putting things like batteries, crayons, pens in their mouths.

Lead is generally sweet in taste, and that is why babies will suck on objects which have lead in them because of the sweetness. If consumed in significant quantities lead can lead to brain damage, seizures, coma and even death.

Lead often enters our clothes in the form of leaded dust which comes from leaching lead objects in our environment. Small babies are especially vulnerable to swallowing lead through chewing on their clothes and toys. If you are unsure about how to clean lead dust from clothing, then you need to know that it will not be removed with bio detergents recommended for babies.

Lead will only get cleaned if the detergent has surfactant in it which is not present in organic or natural detergents. In this particular scenario, you will need to make a compromise and buy a general detergent which has surfactant in it. Use a phosphate-rich detergent to ensure no lead particles are left in the machine which can contaminate more clothes.

If you or your partner have jobs or hobbies such as painting, pottery, car engineers, builders, battery operators or furniture restorers, you pose a risk of carrying lead particles home in clothes, bags, shoes and other equipment.

Children should be kept away from garages, workshops, and sheds, so they are not exposed to lead. And if exposed, you should ask them to change their clothes immediately and put them in phosphate solution wash. Make sure to hang them out in the sun to dry which will get rid of any tiny traces of lead that may have been left behind.

To learn more information on how to clean lead dust from your home, click here.