Having a lead poisoned child is how the mystery starts and in this child's life with a mother who teaches literature, this will inspire once this mystery has been solved when the source or sources are found and eliminated. As we went through the possibilities, how lead paint may have been left behind in their newly renovated home and could have been tracked in. Not water, they are using a filter. Stillwater, no chat. Her baby girl has gotten her sea legs and is not crawling but walking, but everything goes into the mouth. Her husband's place of work was a possibility, an old dusty downtown building.
A while later, she asked could it be her? She is still nursing. Could she be lead poisoned and passing lead on to her baby. Yes, it can happen. She went to the top of the list of suspects in the mystery of how her child is being lead poisoned and a weekend is a long time to wait for answers. This is a woman who seeks answers and becomes them. She went on her own as a citizen representative to the Paris Climate Change Meetings. When she and her family were shaken by earthquakes, it shook her to action.
She began organizing citizens in Stillwater to take action against fracking inside the city limits near schools. The hydraulic fracturing and the practice of high powered injection of waste water has primarily caused the earthquakes, hundreds per year putting people at risk. In city meetings, the oil and gas industry threatened to sue the city if they pursued. She and others did not back down but asked state legislators to get involved and now there are some regulations to curtail some of the man-made earthquakes.
This woman took us to the underworld rich with natural resources, rivers and ancient oceans when she spoke at the Tar Creek Conference last year. As a pregnant woman then nearing the birth of the baby she worried about now, she had had to comfort her young son during the state's largest earthquake.
"What can I do?" She answered her own question then by saying she can tell her stories and believes these can create feelings that can change minds. We can do the same, tell our stories, and tell hers.
She has a new story to tell and as she finds answers she will tell them, too.
You probably don't know this woman but we know countless women in this county who have been told their child has been lead poisoned and given a number to be concerned about or a lower number and told not to worry, but the threshold for lead poisoning has changed through the years and what constitutes poisoning, always going to smaller numbers being more dangerous than we believed before. Since 2012 the level is now a 5 ug/dL, but not too long ago, doctors and nurses were assuring our mothers that a 5 is ok, a 9 is ok, but now we know there is not a result we want larger than zero.
Research is in that no lead is good for you. Now they tell us! All us lead-heads know we can get by with the load we have, we are proof, but when you know better, we can do better and protect the health of the kids coming along after us. Children should have blood tests. And there is still time to get your yard tested for lead and have it cleaned up for nothing, call DEQ Hotline 800-522-0206. We know this can be one of the sources for our kids' lead poisoning, why not get rid of it?
Another source can be our dishes. A woman brought a brown cup and saucer marked USA on the bottom to LEAD Agency this week. She had a set and had a buyer, but the buyer would not purchase them until they were tested for lead. They tested positive for lead, but with our XRF I tested again and found the glaze near the top of the cup had the highest amount of lead I ever recorded with our instrument.
I don't like to be told NO and neither do you. NO can be clarified. NO you can't put hot coffee or tea in it, NO you won't make hot chocolate for your neighbor kids in it. But perhaps you could sit it on the mantle and look at the beauty of it, or reflect on the great memories you had with it, like I do when looking at the teapot on the mantel my mother made me tea when I was a little girl, but now NO ONE drinks tea made in it because it is loaded with lead. I never told my mother about that teapot and how by drinking that tea, I was bound to have gotten a dose of lead every time. I didn't want to burden her. Especially after talking with moms like the woman over the weekend who wondered, if she were the source for her child's lead poisoning.
Respectfully Submitted ~ Rebecca Jim