Reloader in bedroom: Health issues?


January 20, 2003, 11:48 PM
Of late, I find myself in the unenviable position of living back at home with mom and dad. I've decided to get into reloading, and as such, have been trying to find a place where I can have a modest set up.

The garage is pretty much out, as that's the domain of Dad. Most of the other rooms in the house are being used for various other things, but I do have some extra room in my bedroom.

Would having a reloading setup in my room present any particular health/safety risks? Does smokeless powder cause damage to lungs or other stuff? How likely is it that small bits of it will end up floating around in the air?

If powder gets spilled into the carpet, is that a problem?

Basically, Mom is dead set against the idea of having the stuff in my room. Whaddya think?:confused:

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Mike Irwin
January 21, 2003, 01:35 AM
The fumes from powder could be a problem. I normally get a nasty headache while reloading.

Other than that, I really doubt that there are many true health issues.

Powder in the carpet is a pain in the butt, though.

January 21, 2003, 02:40 AM
Powder does have fumes from the solvents used to make it. Usually alcohol and ether, and there might be others too. If you keep it capped, and your powder measure capped, you should keep this exposure to a minimum.

Have an open window for ventilation and things should be fine, just as long as wind doesn't throw off your scale.

The other thing to watch out for is spent primer residue and the black stuff from the tumbler. I bet there is some lead in there.

My routine is to wear those painters latex gloves, the one size fit all, 100 to a box that you can pick up at Home Depot. After a session, I notice that the finger/thumb area is black.

January 21, 2003, 09:19 AM
I load iin a small room in the basement, no ventilation and no problems even when loading a couple thousand at a time.

January 21, 2003, 11:26 AM
If powder gets spilled into the carpet, is that a problem?
That post coital smoke could become a bit more hazardous...

Wil Terry
January 21, 2003, 12:00 PM
Rather load my ammunition than polish my bayonet regularly, the next one was always catching one of her landing lights in the loading tools, and the current wife hasn't learned to load my ammunition yet, but is begging to learn the whole process. This last one is a peach and will do well at the ammomaster's as she also loves to shoot up a storm.
Well...other than that having yore loading tools in the bedroom ain't no big deal.

January 21, 2003, 02:03 PM
I'd be concerned about depriming and "losing" a primer. I use a single stage press and always find primers on the floor after depriming. I wouldn't want spent primers all over my bedroom floor. Maybe you could put a sheet down on the floor beneath the equipment.

January 21, 2003, 05:01 PM
I'v had my reloading setup in the bedroom for 4 years and it has'nt caused any problems that I know of.(though Elvis has been showing up and offering advice and free karate lessons lately :p) Be meticulous about cleaning up any spilled powder and be more concerned about losing LIVE primers as they will scare the bejesus out of you (or worse yet your mother) when the vacuum sucks one or more up,don't ask how I know that.Ether will cause headaches as most of us remember from biology class,alchohol also but I don't beleive I'v gotten one while reloading.

January 21, 2003, 05:32 PM
My reloading bench is in my room.
No problems yet.
No problems yet.
No problems yet.
No probl ... *SMACK*

January 21, 2003, 06:42 PM
You guys ain't exactly instilling a lot of confidence here!:D :neener:

What about some sort of portable setup, so I could stuff it all in a shelf or something, and drag it out into the garage when no one's looking?

January 21, 2003, 06:55 PM
I don't see a problem. Just clean up thoroughly after yourself - and put powder back in bottle and be careful about your dropping of primers. I mounted my Dillon on a portable B&D type workbench, so I can move it around.

Good Luck!

J Miller
January 21, 2003, 07:32 PM
For many many years I had my loading bench set up in my bed room. I suffered no health related problems because of it.
Like the others have said keep the area clean and make sure the powder and primers are capped up and you'll be fine.

Oh, well there was one problem I had. I hate night lights, can't sleep with a light on in the room. So every so often I'd blindly walk into the press. Ouch, does that chunk of cast iron leave a bruise!!!:uhoh:

January 21, 2003, 09:05 PM
"that'll leave a mark." :cool:

January 21, 2003, 09:55 PM
Basically, Mom is dead set against the idea of having the stuff in my room.
Nuff said my friend.

January 21, 2003, 10:36 PM
Bacchus makes an important point about using a mat under your equipment to catch spent primers, etc. An even greater issue would be live primers that might get spilled, especially if the room is carpeted. A good rubber-carpeted mat can be taken outside to be shaken and cleaned, that might help put your mother at ease.

January 21, 2003, 11:20 PM
"the next one was always catching one of her landing lights in the loading tools,"

HUMMMMMMMMM! A rather interesting set of landing lights I would imagine!

January 22, 2003, 01:58 AM
What about a Lee hand press.
I have one it works good and they are cheap.
You could keep everything in a shoebox
and stash it in the cupboard.
Catches all the primers too.
Good Luck , Bill

January 22, 2003, 11:25 PM
Were Mom to vacuum up spilled powder and unfired primers. There was a thread over on TFL about just what happens to the Hoover upright. :what:

January 23, 2003, 03:08 AM
I've got my setup in a bedroom and have no problems. I'm rather messy, too, with boxes and tools and crap all over the floor and bench. There's spilled powder all over the carpet and a few missing primers also. No biggie, I hardly ever vaccuum and my wife stays away from that room!

January 24, 2003, 11:48 AM
Here's an idea: Make your setup portable. Several retailers offer small benches for portable reloading. Perhaps a trunk as well to hold your powder, primers or other components. You can do the actual loading in the garage, and store it in your bedroom, preferably all locked up and stowed away.

January 24, 2003, 12:47 PM
Like they say, when momma's not happy, nobobdy's happy. I wouldn't push my luck there. ;)

There are a couple suggestions on a portable setup, and I think those are good ideas. A friend with limited space loads off a Black and Decker Workmate bench. He mounted his press to a 2' chunk of 2x12 pine and uses C-clamps to mount it to the bench. He keeps his supplies in a plastic storage box and everything tucks nicely away when he's not loading.

Only problem with this solution is loading works best if the bench doesn't move about. You'll want to find some ballast to keep things somewhat steady. My friend uses sandbags, but anything heavy will help.

January 24, 2003, 02:55 PM
Why is your dad against you doing it in the garage.

Steve Smith
January 24, 2003, 03:16 PM
Ok, I usually reserve that post title for only the most serious safety issues, but Justin, I gotta stop you. You are a bachelor, just like me. Granted, you're at home, but don't tell me there aren't nights when the parents will be somewhere else. The pad is the pad, period. The ladies expect a little more than that.

Jon will soon have access to my reloading bench (when I get home I'm slappin' that thing together!) so he won't need his lame make-shift portable bench. Maybe you can try that for a while.

Paul "Fitz" Jones
January 25, 2003, 01:23 AM
This may not go over too well but as an adult you are a guest in your parents home and should acceed to their wishes. If you wish to take the chance of contaminating your own home environment with powder, primers and lead residue is one thing but not against your parents wishes in their home. The fired brass and clothing you wear home has vaporixed lead residue on it, primer pocket residue can scatter in the reloading process that contains the little known lead styphnate. Pouring tumbling media to sift the brass out can get lead residue on the table and rugs in a bedroom. All your shooting material needs to be in a locked environment even the clothes you wear to the range should be washed immediately on arriving home to not sit down where a baby will crawl.

For exposure to a set amount of lead an adult will absorb 10% AND A CHILD 50% REDUCING THEIR INTELLIGENCE. Swallowed fired primers are hazardous to a small child, your visiting nieces and nephews.

Make an agreement with your parents to have an area in the garage where children and visiting grandchildren are not allowed especially crawling babies or take your equipment to a reloading buddies home reloading room. Good friends can be made at shooting ranges to shoot with and reload with.

Paul Jones Author of e-Mails
"Lead Poisoning, incidence, Prevention and Treatment for Shooters and Reloaders".
"Shooters Elbow treatment and Doctors Exercises"
Author of a little BLUE booklet found in many old timers reloading rooms "How To Live With And Love Your Progressive Reloader".

January 25, 2003, 02:19 PM

Where can I get a copy of "Lead Poisoning, incidence, Prevention and Treatment for Shooters and Reloaders"?


Paul "Fitz" Jones
January 26, 2003, 05:13 PM
It is a large study that took years and input from my many shooting customers and friends on the lists. It is quite large and an ongoing study and is not in print but can be read in the archives of the Star Reloaders Discussion and Support group which can be read by anyone.
Please do not post it anywhere else but refer your shooting friends there to read it. Thanks PauL Jones

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