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Unread 06-09-2017, 10:34 AM   #1
Lorah184
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Dust Everywhere..and pregnant

First, a disclaimer. I am VERY uneducated on all things home improvement, that's why I'm turning to the power of the internet for some help. Please take it easy on me if I sound naive. Yesterday I had a crew in to regrout my master bath shower. The shower had the original tile from 1987. The grout and shower itself look great, but there is dust EVERYWHERE in the bathroom. They shut the door to the bedroom (thanks goodness) but then proceeded to run a floor fan while they worked, and I'm imagining that's what helped disperse it everywhere. On all surfaces, on the walls, INSIDE the vanity drawers and all over the contents of those drawers (how in the world did the dust get in the closed drawers?).

I'm 7 months pregnant and pretty paranoid that just being in there and doing the basic dusting I've done so far could be harmful. I've vacummed and wet mopped the floor, and wiped down all surfaces. I wore a basic mask and gloves. But it's still not clean enough for my peace of mind. If I go back in and wipe down the baseboards, walls, toilet, floor, countertops and cabinet fronts--does that sound sufficient? I plan to use a sponge and water/vinegar solution.

I've read a lot about silica (terrifying), asbestos (even more terrifying), and my loved ones I've bugged over the last 24 hours think I am crazy. Does shower grout dust expose me (and my unborn baby!) to those things?
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Unread 06-09-2017, 11:53 AM   #2
houndzilla
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Welcome Laura!

To address some of your concerns, I don't think any of those particulates are small enough to get into your bloodstream, and second your placenta acts as a blood barrier for the baby. While I am no doctor my understanding is that the placenta filters down pretty small (we have our #2 on the way) so all this stuff is pretty fresh in my head.

With regards to asbestos and silica dust, you are right to be concerned, but remember volume and constant exposure are key here. Your furnace filter probably picked up a bit if it was circulating through the house, if you have a bath fan that exhausts to the exterior I would run that while you dust to have the room under negative pressure.

A single exposure like this while frustrating to clean is likely a non-issue health wise. Especially if you weren't in the room actively taking deep breaths the whole time.

The big thing these days with silica dust is that the workers who are around it are constantly being exposed and in sometimes large concentrations.

Something that I've been doing during my renovation is renting a HEPA air scrubbers from homedepot or other rental places when I know I'm going to be doing something dust heavy, as well as practicing negative air pressurization of the work area. This gives me and my pregnant wifey some piece of mind.
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Unread 06-09-2017, 12:07 PM   #3
Lorah184
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Houndszilla-Thank you! I felt a wave of relief wash over me while reading your response. I think deep down I knew that the real danger of this dust comes with repeated, heavy exposure, but it helps SO MUCH to hear it from other sources. I certainly was not in there taking deep breaths while they worked so that's a plus!
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Unread 06-09-2017, 12:12 PM   #4
houndzilla
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Those guys were knuckleheads for running a fan while doing that work. The only acceptable use of that would be if they had it sitting on a window sill pointing out
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Unread 06-09-2017, 08:53 PM   #5
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