Lead Poisoning....this is not good news


PDA






esheato
October 6, 2004, 12:54 PM
I got a lead test last week because a fellow shooter got tested and found out he is really high on the scale with a 34.

Results came back today for me. I'm a 35 :what: I don't know what these numbers mean or what I can do about it, but I have an appt with my doc this afternoon. To put it in perspective, normal adults over age 15 have normal lead levels of 0-9.

I should know more this afternoon.

Ed

If you enjoyed reading about "Lead Poisoning....this is not good news" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
OF
October 6, 2004, 01:07 PM
Just look at it this way, you're above average! :)

Seriously, let us know what the doc says.

- Gabe

RavenVT100
October 6, 2004, 01:08 PM
Just out of curiosity, how long have you been shooting during your lifetime?

R.H. Lee
October 6, 2004, 01:11 PM
Is there a way to leach metals out of the body? Some health food/holistic medicine method?

Brad Johnson
October 6, 2004, 01:18 PM
By any chance do you cast your own bullets?

Normally lead has to be inhaled or ingested to cause high levels. Also, if you live in an old home with lead soldered plumbing it can cause problems, as can some knock off tableware and dishes made with lead-containing glazes or metal alloys.

Poorly ventilated ranges create a lot of lead dust, which can be inhaled.

Brad

Kharn
October 6, 2004, 01:19 PM
How often do you shoot at an indoor range?

Kharn

mete
October 6, 2004, 01:19 PM
The chelate EDTA is one of the things used . It is approved by AMA but the treatment also removes deposits in the blood vessels which works better than bypass surgery.Removing deposits is not approved by the AMA ????? Supplements of zinc and vitamin C will reduce the amount of lead in your system [Zinc and Other Micronutrients by Pfeiffer ]. Amounts higher than 25 mg percent is considered too much.

Sindawe
October 6, 2004, 01:58 PM
I suggest looking into EDTA as well. The stuff works great at binding metals. Used to use it to push proteins off of the Zinc elements of a chromotography column.

--
To reduce lead in your body, your doctor may recommend chelation therapy. In chelation therapy, you receive a chemical called ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) through injections in your veins (intravenously). The EDTA binds with the lead so that it's excreted from your body. Depending on your lead level, you may need a large number of treatments. And the therapy may not reverse damage that already has occurred in cases of severe lead intoxication.
--

Source: http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/FL/00068.html

Mikul
October 6, 2004, 02:05 PM
Your number is high, but not dangerous. There are two sets of numbers: one for your average Joe, and the other for people who work around lead.

Doctors won't chelate until your number hits 60.

Airborne particulates are the real danger. If you spend a lot of time shooting in a poorly ventilated indoor range, you're in trouble. If you reload, the dust and powder that go with tumbling are the big hazards. Do it outside and wear a good mask when you do.

Otherwise, wash your hands. Wash them again.

Taking these precautions (in addition to aspirin), a friend of mine dropped his lead level from 36 to 19 in nine months.

chevrofreak
October 6, 2004, 03:06 PM
A year ago I shot in a man-on-man shotgun steel competition. You could SEE the cloud of powdered lead coming off the poppers!. I could taste the lead in the air, and had a sore throat for several days.

Binkster
October 6, 2004, 03:18 PM
I got the following information from the OSHA.gov web site. I am in the environmental business and I am licensed and certified to perform lead abatement work. OSHA regulates the amount of lead dust worker exposure and blood levels. My field guys that do lead work on a regular basis usually stay in the 10-20 range. Your current lead level is considered safe according to OSHA standards and would not require any immediate action. I am of the opinion, however, that anything above normal (approximately 15) should warrant some change in action on your part.


1926.62(k) Medical removal protection

Compliance with the medical removal protection (MRP) aspects of the standard can only be determined after review of the employer's medical surveillance program, as described in section (j).
(k)(1)(i) Unlike the general industry standard for lead, the lead in construction standard, 29 CFR 1926.62, requires that a result of 50 ug/dl or more on two consecutive blood lead tests requires temporary medical removal of the employee and compensation with medical removal protection benefits (MRPB). Employers are not permitted to average blood lead test results to determine eligibility for medical removal.

If the result of an employee's initial medical surveillance (blood lead test) is at or above 50 ug/dl, and the result of a follow-up test is also at or above 50 ug/dl, then the employee must be removed in accordance with (k)(1)(i).

Minion82
October 6, 2004, 03:36 PM
Is there a way to leach metals out of the body? Some health food/holistic medicine method?

Yes, there are ways to remove that stuff naturally. My dad had several such procedures done recently to remove mercury and nickel that was causing serious health problems, and my understanding is that the same procedures can be used to remove other heavy metals.

One such method involved soaking the feet while running some kind of current (there's more to it, but I don't recall exactly what); my dad said the water turned black (!!) from the metals being removed. The other widely used method is sauna, because your body removes a lot of heavy metals through sweat... but, it must be the right kind of sauna with the right kind of heating elements, otherwise you can do just as much harm as good. Keep in mind that these methods are slow, and require repeated treatments. However, they are also non-invasive and won't do any other damage to your system.

esheato, I can dig up the info for my Dad's doc if you want. He's in Reno, which is a bit of a drive from where you are, but you could still do a day trip.

TallPine
October 6, 2004, 04:16 PM
I am more concerned about the extremely sudden forms of lead poisoning.

Das Pferd
October 6, 2004, 04:23 PM
could you explain you situation surrounding this? Where you work, how much you shoot, do you reload, etc. How could you have been exposed to the lead? Its it just because you shoot often etc.

This information would help others protect themselves. I mean, if you are a casual shooter then others should be worried. However if you work at an indoor range then I can see how it might happen.

Please clarify.

hso
October 6, 2004, 04:48 PM
If you smoke you should never have you cigs with you on the range or while reloading ammuniton. You should never light up without double washing your hands first.

Binkster's correct. While your levels are high and you should try to find out what is the source of the exposure you're not in any immediate danger. You'd have to shoot a lot more often than the average THR member to get elevated lead blood levels like this so look at what possible sources of exposure you might have had in the week prior to the blood test. Get retested in a week and let us know if your levels have dropped.

atek3
October 6, 2004, 04:48 PM
When I was a university student I had my health insurance cover a lead test, I was and am a high volume shooter and reloader. My lead levels were very low. Then again, I don't cast lead, shoot cast lead ammo, shoot indoors (okay once every 6 months :) ), or eat after shooting without washing my hands and face.

atek3

Matt G
October 6, 2004, 05:00 PM
Anybody know what "the number" represents? Is it PPM? (Parts per million)

I have read that the white dusty older lead is more dangerous. Any biochemists here that can explain that? At what rate, if any, does Pb oxidize? How reactive is the oxidation, if that's what the white crust is?

Bwana John
October 6, 2004, 05:28 PM
Old water pipes.

Jonathan
October 6, 2004, 05:59 PM
Anybody know what "the number" represents? Is it PPM? (Parts per million)

I have read that the white dusty older lead is more dangerous. Any biochemists here that can explain that? At what rate, if any, does Pb oxidize? How reactive is the oxidation, if that's what the white crust is?


Ironically enough, I am a biochemist :D

However, it's really a medical profession you're looking for. The answer was previously posted:


1926.62(k) Medical removal protection

Compliance with the medical removal protection (MRP) aspects of the standard can only be determined after review of the employer's medical surveillance program, as described in section (j).
(k)(1)(i) Unlike the general industry standard for lead, the lead in construction standard, 29 CFR 1926.62, requires that a result of 50 ug/dl or more on two consecutive blood lead tests requires temporary medical removal of the employee and compensation with medical removal protection benefits (MRPB). Employers are not permitted to average blood lead test results to determine eligibility for medical removal.

If the result of an employee's initial medical surveillance (blood lead test) is at or above 50 ug/dl, and the result of a follow-up test is also at or above 50 ug/dl, then the employee must be removed in accordance with (k)(1)(i).


Although they talk about "ug", they really mean "µg", which is micrograms. One microgram would be 1/1000000 of a gram, or about 0.0000154 grains.

My best guess for dl is deciliter, since I seem to recall that medical professionals like that unit of volume. Equal to 1/10 of a liter.

Again, my best guess is that they're talking about blood concentration.



Dusty old lead in powder form is probably more dangerous because it's loose, powdery, and easier to inhale. Once it's in your body, it's probably just the same as any other form with respect to toxicity.

AZ Jeff
October 6, 2004, 06:47 PM
Lead levels in the human body, when measured via blood test are expressed as "micrograms per deciliter". That said, here are some factors to consider:

(BTW, all of the below comes from stuff I have read by the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers, aka "ASLET". These guys are more likely to be exposed to lead in an indoor environment than are more other shooters, so they have done LOTS of research on the topic.)

Most of the issue with lead ingestion comes from shooting on INDOOR RANGES. The ones outdoors have enough ventilation and natural "cleaning" factors to reduce the lead ingestion levels pretty easily.

Lead ingestion by shooters comes from 4 major sources, not necessarily listed in order of significance:
1. molten airborne lead particles generated during firing, melting off the back of lead bullets, and inhaled
2. particulate lead absorbed when touching/handling lead bullets
3. lead primer byproducts inhaled as a result of shooting
4. molten lead particles inhaled during casting lead bullets

Most of us don't cast our own bullets, so we can ignore #4 above as a source of lead ingestion. However...source #3 above is by FAR the BIGGEST CONTRIBUTOR to lead ingestion by shooters. (It's something like 10 times greater than the next highest source!!)

The reason here is that, most "non-corrosive" primers contain lead styphnate or something similar. When lead primers ignite, the chemical reaction creates a lead salt that is airborne, and worse yet, it hydroscopic, like all salts. It picks up moisture easily.

Guess what's in your throat and lungs? Lots of moisture, waiting for the lead salt to combine with it. Instant absorbtion.

The solution---RIGOROUS cleanliness on the range, and care when shooting indoors:

1. Don't smoke, eat, or drink on the range. You are ingesting just that much more lead in doing so.
2. Don't shoot on an indoor range that does not ventilate by pulling combustion products AWAY from the shooting line. If you MUST shoot on a range with poor ventilation (Lord knows why), use an OSHA approved mask.
3. DON'T SWEEP with a broom on an indoor range. The floor is COVERED in lead salts, and brooming puts them back in the air.
4. Once you are done shooting on an indoor range, wash your hands immediately. If you can take a shower and change clothes ASAP, all the better.
5. Lastly, DON'T go to bed after shooting indoors until you take a shower and wash your hair. You hair traps lots of lead particles that will transfer to your pillow, and then to your mouth/nose while sleeping.

People I know who have followed the above rules can sucessfully shoot indoors A LOT (like IPSC practice multiple times per week) without having excessive lead levels.

esheato
October 6, 2004, 07:28 PM
Wow, a lot of questions to answer...let me attempt to elaborate.

Just out of curiosity, how long have you been shooting during your lifetime?
Five years, but I exclusively shoot lead in autopistols and quite a bit of them at that.
By any chance do you cast your own bullets?
Yes, on the average of once a week, but it's usually 6-7 hours of casting/sizing.
How often do you shoot at an indoor range?
Not that often anymore, but I used to on a regular basis. I still hang out there at least a few nights a week.
Where you work, how much you shoot, do you reload, etc. How could you have been exposed to the lead? Its it just because you shoot often etc.
I work in an office setting, so no lead there. It's purely hobby (shooting) related. "Occupational hazard" is what the doc called it. I usually shoot about 700-2000 rounds per month depending upon available time. I do reload pistol and shotgun (lots of lead involved here) and I cast about once a week. I've never really got into the habit of washing my hands after playing with bullets. And...I smoke.

I am assuming I'm taking on lead from handling of bullets and breathing casting vapors. The way the doc explained it to me:

The scale of measurement is in micrograms.
Normal people my age (27) have about 20-25 mg.
People that work around lead, 25-30+ mg.

"While your lead is elevated, it's not really of significant concern yet," is what he told me.

If your lead gets up to 40-60 WITH SYMPTOMS (abdominal pain, nervous system probs, etc...) then medication would be a solution.

If you don't have any symptoms, 60-80 is where the concern becomes overwhelming.

He also said 120 mg is where the SHTF.

90-95% of absorbed/inhaled lead is filtered through kidneys and expelled through the body. Only 5% is pushed into bone structure for your life. But...if you're constantly high on the scale, 5% can add up over a lifetime of shooting/casting.

They want me back in a month for another test so we can start keeping track of my levels.

My immediate solutions are:

-latex gloves while sizing or reloading. (I considered latex during casting, but if for some reason hot lead gets on latex gloves which are on my hands...you see where I'm going here?)
-a significant increase in the frequency of handwashing
-dedicated reloading times and no smoking or eating during those time-periods
-reduction of time spent at indoor range, and no sweeping or cleaning up the place.

I'm not expecting any probs, but I'm going to do what I can to lower the amount I have so far. Should be interesting...:banghead:

Ed

Wedge
October 6, 2004, 08:11 PM
Why not wear the latex while casting? If hot lead gets on your hands it is going to burn your hands. A latex glove is pretty thin and I don't think it would contribute to that much to additional burning...I think the lead will do most of the job for you and a little melted latex will be the least problems...I don't cast my own bullets so I don't know for sure.

Thanks for the post though. I think I am going to start wearing gloves when I am cleaning my guns. I hope you are able to make enough changes to get better :-)

DigMe
October 7, 2004, 12:31 AM
One such method involved soaking the feet while running some kind of current (there's more to it, but I don't recall exactly what); my dad said the water turned black (!!) from the metals being removed.

Was this treatment done by a doctor? Not to jump to conclusions but it just sounds a bit....quackish.

brad cook

skeetlover
October 7, 2004, 01:24 AM
Sounds like a good idea to wear the latex while loading and or handling lead. A mask or ventilator also sounds like a sound investment. The cleaner and less we inhale or ingest the better off we are. Treat this lead problem as serious as possible. It is a threat and needs to be dealt with. Do everything possible to keep the lead content as low as possible. I will be going to the store to pick up gloves and mask ASAP.

Mark

J Miller
October 7, 2004, 02:26 AM
OK, and now for some more questions reguarding lead poisoning.
To any of your knowledge, can lead poisoning cause chronic exhaustion?
What other symptoms should one be on the lookout for with lead poisoning?
Who would we call to test the water or check the paint in the house?
Any suggestions are appreciated.

Mrs. J Miller

Minion82
October 7, 2004, 04:25 AM
Was this treatment done by a doctor? Not to jump to conclusions but it just sounds a bit....quackish.

I admit, a lot of the holistic stuff can sound quackish (especially when poorly described by someone without a full understanding, like me) :)

But I think that's just because such methods are not common. I mean really, the idea of bombarding you with radiation in the hopes that it will kill the cancer cells before it kills you sounds far more quackish to me. I'm fairly convinced that future generations will look back on that practice in the same way that we look back on the medical practices of medieval europe.

But back to the topic at hand.

J Miller, my Dad had chronic exhaustion due to high levels of mercury and nickel, it's not a stretch to assume similar effects could occur due to another heavy metal, like lead. However, lots of things have been known to cause chronic exhaustion... some people develop sensitivity to certain chemicals, others get lyme disease or Epstein-Barr and don't know it. From what I've heard, chronic exhaustion one of the hardest things to treat (by any branch of medicine) because there is no single cause.

Although I wouldn't worry too much about the lead paint unless you are eating it. :D

esheato
October 7, 2004, 05:40 AM
While there are some similarities between different websites listing the symptoms, the best prevention is to get tested regularly if you know you're around the substance. I wouldn't worry so much if I was loading jacketed or plated ammo. My problem is the casting and loading of plain lead ammo.

Ed

Source (http://www.keepkidshealthy.com/welcome/lead/leadsymptoms.html)

Symptoms:

BODY AS A WHOLE
tremor
twitching
convulsions
muscle soreness
fatigue
weakness
joint pain
incoordination

EYES, EARS, NOSE AND THROAT
visual abnormalities

GASTROINTESTINAL
loss of appetite
weight loss
constipation
nausea and vomiting
abdominal pain

HEART AND BLOOD VESSELS
high blood pressure

NERVOUS SYSTEM
agitation
coma
hallucinations
lack of desire to do anything
irritable
uncooperative
headache
sleeping difficulty
confusion

WebMD (http://my.webmd.com/hw/health_guide_atoz/aa37228.asp?pagenumber=2)

General physical symptoms in children and adults (usually seen when lead poisoning levels are severe)

Stomachaches, cramping, constipation, or diarrhea
Nausea, vomiting
Persistent, unexplained fatigue
Headache
Muscle weakness
Higher rates of tooth decay

Behavioral symptoms in adults

Unexplained changes in mood or personality
Changes in sleep patterns
Inability to concentrate
Decreased sex drive
Memory loss
Irritability

EvilOmega
October 7, 2004, 06:42 AM
So how do you get checked for lead?

halvey
October 7, 2004, 09:13 AM
3. DON'T SWEEP with a broom on an indoor range. The floor is COVERED in lead salts, and brooming puts them back in the air. This one hit me. I used to sweep up the brass at an indoor range a lot.

I know a guy who's a gunsmith and small commercial cast loader. He also loads thousands of lead rounds a year. He does not wear a mask, casts in his heated shed and just uses a ventillation system that just sits over the casting equipment. It didn't look like it'd do the job at all.

He has never had a problem with lead and gets tested at least yearly. He said the biggest problem comes from shooting at indoor ranges. He said he will no longer shoot indoors. The last time he shot indoors he said he could taste the lead for days. I've only been at the place once, but the range was clean and seemed well ventillated.

AZ Jeff
October 7, 2004, 11:00 AM
Those of you who cast your own bullets have EXTRA considerations to take into account, since you are exposed to molten lead VAPORS, which are more easily ingested. If I were casting, I would do so using a fume and vapor hood like that which is employed in chemistry labs, making sure that the vapors are always being drawn away from me as the one doing the casting.

For those of you who did not read my first post, please note:

Handling metallic lead (solid bullets) is NOT a significant source of lead ingestion, provided you WASH YOUR HANDS prior to eating, drinking, smoking, etc., after doing so. Thus,wearing latex gloves while (re)loading ammo won't significantly cut down your lead exposure, provided you wash your hands as stated above. This is because solid metallic lead is NOT READILY ABSORBED through the skin. It's only when it gets in to the digestive or respiratory systems that it gets absorbed easily.

Likewise, wearing latex gloves while cleaning your guns will not do much to reduce lead exposure, again provided you WASH YOUR HANDS after cleaning.

For those of you who want more knowledge on how to avoid exposure to lead in MEANINGFUL ways that elevate your lead levels, contact ASLET, as I mentioned in my previous post.

mete
October 7, 2004, 11:43 AM
One test for lead is ZPP[zinc protoporphyrin]. Lead is measured in microgams /liter....The NRA will give you info on designing an indoor range with ventilation to minimize lead problems.

S Roper
October 7, 2004, 11:57 AM
"I admit, a lot of the holistic stuff can sound quackish (especially when poorly described by someone without a full understanding, like me)"

It almost certainly IS quackery. Please show me a scientific journal that where a test of the efficacy of this procedure was demonstrated. Since metal concentration is something we can measure it should be relatively easy to show whether this method is actually effective or not. Anecdotal evidence and the testimony of some quack means nothing.

The water became cloudy? Think about the concentration required to change the color of the water. Obviously it was something other than mercury or nickel that turned the water that color. I suspect it was an elaborate fraud much like the "toxins" that are visible from ear candling. Burning an ear candling candle always produces the same visual effect whether it is burned in someone's ear or not.

"But I think that's just because such methods are not common. I mean really, the idea of bombarding you with radiation in the hopes that it will kill the cancer cells before it kills you sounds far more quackish to me. I'm fairly convinced that future generations will look back on that practice in the same way that we look back on the medical practices of medieval europe."

Radiation does damage to cells. This has been proven over and over again in scientific studies. Is it the best possible treatment? Probably not, but it does have proven efficacy and will continue to be used until something else can be proven to work better and safer.

Darkmind
October 7, 2004, 12:25 PM
Wow, reading all this makes me kind of wonder about our brothers in the military and thouse of use who are no longer in the military. I can remember going for a week or two at a time without being able to shower or even wash my hands in the field. And most of our time spent in the field was doing day long shoots or even week long shoots.


Maybe i sould look into getting tested.

Joe Demko
October 7, 2004, 12:48 PM
Quackwatch. (http://www.quackwatch.org/index.html)

another48hrs
October 7, 2004, 12:55 PM
Minion82, I have seen the water soaking technique and I've done it once. They stick your feet into a large copper bowl and send a mild magnetic current through it. At the end of the session you can see the water change colors, I guess cause of all the impurities. In the end the water turned a disgusting color and at the bottom they found little bits of metal flakes that weren't there to begin with. I think it may have worked, but without testing who knows for sure.

Minion82
October 7, 2004, 01:12 PM
Please show me a scientific journal that where a test of the efficacy of this procedure was demonstrated. Since metal concentration is something we can measure it should be relatively easy to show whether this method is actually effective or not. Anecdotal evidence and the testimony of some quack means nothing.

I wish I could. I would love to see some scientific journal testing of this method and many others, because it seems to me that holistic practices suffer from a mentality of "they say it works so let's not bother to do any research". And like you said, this procedure would be particularly easy to test. I will ask around and see if anyone can point me in the right direction.

I'm not defending all of holistic medicine (especially some of it's stranger practices, e.g. ear candling), just relating that this procedure helped my dad, and that's all that matters to me.

Cosmoline
October 7, 2004, 01:14 PM
It's my understanding that adults can cope with quite a load of lead in them. It's most dangerous for children. The methodology here sounds deeply suspect, so I wouldn't worry too much about it.

", it must be the right kind of sauna with the right kind of heating elements, otherwise you can do just as much harm as good"

According to whom?? If the "Doctor" is telling you this, all your radar should be up! This is the classic pitch of the quack. Yes, it's easy and non-invasive. BUT DON'T TRY IT AT HOME! You've got to use this special sauna, and there will of course be a small charge... :rolleyes:

cracked butt
October 7, 2004, 01:35 PM
I wouldn't worry too much about casting- so long as its done outside. There is a huge difference in temperature between the melting point of lead allows and the vaporization point of lead.
What I do when casting is wear a long sleeve shirt, pants and hat, that I only wear when casting bullets. I take these clothes off in my garage and hang them up there- they do not come into my house. I immediately shower after dasting or handling lead.

Get into a habit of washing hands as if you were an obsessive/compulsive handwasher.
If you must eat at the range, bring a bunch of wet wipes along and thoroughly clean your hands and face first before eating, drinking, or smoking.

I'm really afraid of shooting indoors as well. I shot at an indoor range for an hour earlier this year and it was really smoky with a few other shooters on the line, I had a nasty taste in my mouth afterwards. near the end of the shooting session, the owners of the range turned on the ventilation system- noneone in the shooting range knew that the vent was turned off while we were shooting:banghead:


I wonder how much exposure a person could get from cleaning guns? If people are using solvents to clean the fouling out of the barrels, I woul dbet that the stuff easily absorbs through the skin if one isn't wearing protective gloves.

Minion82
October 7, 2004, 01:56 PM
Cosmoline- Sorry, I should have been more specific. You need a sauna that uses near-infrared heating elements, with a temp in the range of 120-140 (I think). Standard steam saunas don't work as well because the humidity of the air prevents your sweat from evaporating, so you don't sweat as much.

Sauna's are good at removing chemical toxins (pesticide, carpet and wood chemicals, etc), as well as mercury and nickel; however, no mention is made of lead in the sources I looked at, so I guess it doesn't work well for that. The reason I said "a specific kind of sauna" is because if you are trying to remove something like formaldehyde from your body, you don't want to be sitting in a sauna made of plywood (which is treated with formaldehyde).

Note that, unlike the "through the feet" thing, there is actual research with blood tests to back up the effectiveness of saunas.

Cosmoline
October 7, 2004, 02:29 PM
Saunas make you sweat. So do very hot baths. Either will certainly pull toxins off your skin and clean our your pores. But out of your BLOOD?! Unless you open up a wrist in the sauna, I doubt that very much.

Brad Johnson
October 7, 2004, 03:01 PM
IIRC one of the treatments for high mercury levels is an old fashioned sweatbox.

Brad

Jayman
October 7, 2004, 05:58 PM
I tested out at 34 mcg/dl back in February. I was shooting a lot on a poorly ventilated indoor range. Right after that I picked up a respirator and started using it. (3M 6000 series with P100/MGMV filters.) Fast forward to June, lead levels dropped to 19. I'm gonna hit up the doc again come Feb and get re-tested to see where I'm at. Every time I shoot at said indoor range, I shoot with a respirator. I'd go elsewhere, but that range is really close and convenient to me. (Offsets the price and hassle of the respirator.)

So my issue was 100% shooting at a crappily ventilated indoor range.

A good friend of mine tested out at 42 mcg/dl back at the end of last year. He wasn't shooting a lot, but he was reloading a lot. The thought was the tumbling in an enclosed space. (Breathing the dust from that is apparently bad.)

Andrew Rothman
October 7, 2004, 06:12 PM
Eek! That settles it -- I'm getting tested!

Sisco
October 7, 2004, 06:22 PM
I have an Uncle who has been casting bullets for forty years or more and he casts a lot. I asked him once if he was ever tested for lead levels, he said he got tested everytime he had a physical, levels are normal.
He does his casting either outdoors on in the garage with the door and windows open, no exhaust fans or fancy stuff like that.

K-Romulus
October 7, 2004, 08:53 PM
that's why I am "that guy" who wears a respirator mask at the indoor range,

along with some coveralls I take off as soon as I'm done with the firing line,

and some "range shoes" that also come off when I'm done.


It may look weird, but it's my doctor bills (and my wife/kid's):uhoh:

cracked butt
October 8, 2004, 01:22 AM
Another thing I thought of:
I read about some new primers called "green primers" or something like that made by PMC (I think) that are either lead free or have reduced lead levels. IIRC they cost about 3x as much as standard primers, but as primers are cheap anyhow, they might be worth looking into if you have to shoot at an indoor range.

Drewcat
October 8, 2004, 09:40 AM
Esheato,

I haven't heard this mentioned yet, so I thougth I'd throw it out. A friend of mine (fellow IPSC shooter and re-loader) turned up with very high blood lead levels during a physical. The doctor wanted to start chelation (sp?) therapy, but my friend was worried about the side effects. He asked about blood donation on the theory that giving blood on a regular basis would remove lead contaminated blood that the body would replace with "new" blood. The doctor gave him the OK to try it (the blood bank was not concerned about the high lead levels in the blood because any person recieving the blood would only be getting a small amount of that blood).

Anyway.....after getting on a regular blood donation schedule and changing nothing else about his personal habits, his blood lead levels dropped dramaticaly. Call it an "oil change" for the blood I guess. Anyway, he's a true believer, it worked for him, no side effects and he's doing a good thing by regularly donating blood.

Poodleshooter
October 8, 2004, 12:05 PM
I stay away from indoor ranges at all costs,even during winter. I've tasted that sweet lead taste too many times. When I cast, it's with leather gloves. I usually leave the lead pot unattended while it melts (I cast on a bed of crushed gravel so there's no danger of spills). My lead levels were tested last year. I ended up with low to medium levels,which suprised me as a caster and reloader.

Joe Demko
October 8, 2004, 12:09 PM
I've tasted that sweet lead taste too many times.

Yep, lead oxides are sweet. Really, really old chemistry books even refer to "sugar of lead." This is also, for those of you who ever wondered, why kids used to eat lead paint chips. one kid I knew who did it said that they tasted like "sweet potato chips."

Coronach
October 8, 2004, 12:27 PM
Don't eat the wall candy, kids.

Also, Sugar of Lead was, apparently, quite popular with the Romans.

Concur with the precautions:

1. If you shoot indoors, make sure it is at a properly ventilated range.

2. Wash your hands.

3. Shower and change your clothes when you get home.

I think that following those three guidelines will pretty much reduce most people's lead risk.

Mike

bcbr
October 8, 2004, 01:06 PM
I ran across this thread and it took a while to register and git here.
Chelation thereapy works with very few side effectsas far as my situation,bad headaches are what happened to me but after that passes was good to go. The 3 to 4 hour iv was tough to take and some times the edta going into the vien felt a slight pressure burn,had to drink water as it went in the more the better,for me 20 to 40 ounces. I met several folks and they swore by the treatment especially for circulation and heart troubles,one of the side effects on me was the bulging viens on my calves are gone(my legs)
The bcbs ins. did not cover any of the cost.I paid for it ,most docs I have talked to have never heard of chelation therapy,but most of the radiologists lab workers had heard of it.
Baptist hosp corp was going to do a study on it ,it got canx
for some reason a while back .
the state of tn made the doc here stop the treatments donot no why. there is a doc down in Coldwater,Ms that offers the treatment.I donot know his name. Dr. Jerry Floyd,Millington ,Tn (901)
873 2555 is who helped me and we use him as our family doc or whatever.
Also ran across an add on news max of all places for an alternative to the iv therapy,Detoamin was the name and right now no link .
This may not be the right time or place for the conspiracy doubters,there are some active medical groups,docs,insurers,researchers,drug companies working hard to keep this therapy down and unavailable.
Most of the history of all this is available on line. Do a google or ask jeeves search and find more out about this.Supposedly this treatment has been around since WW2,an interesting part of history.
I did not have lead. Galium,nickel,manganese,and chromium are what we was fighting. the effects of that stuff are still with me ,the side effects of the edta chelation did not even really come into ? Good luck with your search and journey thru this. glad the doctor in one of these post was aware of what to do.
We had wondered where the metal came from,never found out.I drink bottled water or filtered,breath as much clean air as possible,and i wear a glove when loadin a magazine when we go shooting. I have loaded enough 10 22 ,25.30 and 50 rd mags in the last 11 yrs to have gone thru 1,000,000 rds . Its alot I know and thats why I wear the glove,and constantly use the orange cleanerand others when loading and shooting.
http://www.extremehealthusa.com/
http://www.tuberose.com/Metal_Detoxification.html
http://www.detoxamin.com/
Those are a few links . Thanks for a good thread and I am in no way a doc or telling you what path to take ,safety first and God Bless all.
;) ;)

Tinker
October 8, 2004, 02:50 PM
I'll give you guys something to consider. It's from an experience I had with my daughter when she was 3 years old.

I took her for a routine check-up with the pediatrician. 2 days later I get this frantic call from the doctor's office. They told me , judging from the bloodwork, that my little girl had the highest lead level that they'd ever seen to date and asked for us to bring her in immediately. When the doctor called she was runnig around, chasing the cat with a plastic baseball bat. :) Re-check showed normal. She was, after all, fit as a fiddle. The doctor couldn't figure out why the first test was so high.

Then it hit me. As I was preparing to put her in my truck that AM my daughter asks me: "What's dis, Daddy?" Those sharp 3 year old eyes had found an old .22 bullet that had been lodged down in a hem in the carpet floor board of the PU. I took it from her and put it in my pocket. They'd pricked her right index finger for the blood test. The same one she'd picked up the .22 shell with. Some lead residue must have stayed there till they did the blood test and gave such a high result on that first test.

Wonder if something simular could've given you a high result too? Something to think about.

MP5
October 8, 2004, 03:56 PM
One thing that might help reduce lead problems is using PMC Green (http://www.pmcgreen.com/) ammo. I haven't tried it myself yet but want to look into it.

Shane333
October 8, 2004, 04:48 PM
"Minion82, I have seen the water soaking technique and I've done it once. They stick your feet into a large copper bowl and send a mild magnetic current through it. At the end of the session you can see the water change colors, I guess cause of all the impurities. In the end the water turned a disgusting color and at the bottom they found little bits of metal flakes that weren't there to begin with. I think it may have worked, but without testing who knows for sure."

Woah there! Magnetic current? I'm not convinced that you can really run a "magentic" anything through water unless it's already filled with a metalic solution.

My guess is that the water wasn't what it appeared. It was a solution full of metalic ions. I'm guessing that they ran a mild current through it, or introduced a chemical substance, that bonds the metalic ions together.

Poof! You get a metalic residue. Way too suspicious, unless someone can show me a reputable medical journal to back this procedure up. I'm not buying it.


Oh, and BCBR, nothing against you, but I'd want to see medical journal reports on the Chelation therapy too.

M2HMGHB
October 9, 2004, 04:12 PM
I had high lead when i was 14-15. The doctor put me on an oral chelatory agent to reduce the levels. From what i've seen on the test reports it's done pretty dang well. My insurance company called to see if it was for high levels of a metal or if it was just a "medical treatment". So they covered once htey were sent the copies of my test results. Anyways I have improved my habits and my lead is slowly decreasing naturally even after the chelatory agents. They brought the level down enough so my body could handle the rest.

bcbr
March 3, 2005, 10:06 PM
How is the situation on the lead levels?
What did you find out and solutions?
Any new info found out?

hrb02
March 3, 2005, 11:05 PM
J Miller,

Here is what the National Institute for Health has to say. I used to live in a 1920's house with LOTS of lead paint and small kids. :banghead: I found the site helpful.

Our Ped and GP both said the only way we were likely to get lead poisoning was to eat the paint. That wasn't really a problem with the kids, but me on the other hand... :rolleyes:

Ask a local realtor about testing. If there is lead paint in the area, they will know who tests for it.

macavada
March 4, 2005, 12:01 AM
I've heard that it is not uncommom for seniors to go to Mexico to get chelation therapy in order to remove plaque in the arteries. A guy I know says he would try it before resorting to bypass surgery, should he ever need it.

hso
March 4, 2005, 12:05 AM
If you are concerned about lead paint test kits are available. They will not provide quantitative results, but will indicate the presence of lead.

CONSUMER REPORTS: LEAD IN PAINT
Copyright Consumers Union of U.S., Inc., July 1995 Transmitted Via Internet.
CONSUMER REPORTS RATINGS CR tested eight widely available home lead-test kits (one kit was not rated), priced from $5 to $73, and two that involve sending paint samples to mail-order labs.? The CR Ratings list the tested PRODUCTs by type.? Within types, they're listed in order of increasing price.? TESTS indicate the number of tests per kit.? SENS (sensitivity) is the minimum percentage of lead that the product can detect.? CONVENIENCE notes are based on CR's lab tests.? PRICE is the estimated national average, unless noted otherwise.? One test-at-home kit CR tested, the Sensidyne Lead Alert Professional All-in-One ($62), is not rated and cannot be recommended.? Several samples of this product failed to detect lead levels as high as 5 %.? Ratings: Test-at-Home Kits - 7 testedPRODUCT? TESTS? SENS? CONVENIENCE?? PRICELead Zone?? 6??? 5.0?? Very easy to use.?? $ 5.00? Results in 5 minutes or less.? Can run check test.?

Acc-U-Test? Many?? 0.05? Very easy to use.?? 7.00? Results in 5 minutes or less.?

Know Lead? 4??? 0.5?? Very easy to use.?? 15.00? Results in 5 minutes or less.? Can run check test.?

LeadCheck Swabs 8?? 0.5?? Very easy to use.?? 18.00? Results in 5 minutes or less.? Can run check test.?

The Lead Detective Many? 0.05? Very easy to use.?? 30.00? Results in 5 minutes or less.? Can run check test.?

Lead Solutions 5??? 5.0?? More steps.??? 30.00? Longer wait than with others.?

Merck EM Quant Pb++ 100 5.0?? Very easy to use.?? 73.00? Results in 5 minutes or less.?

? Note: Acc-U-Test's solution comes in a bottle with a dropper.? The number of uses varies.? Dark paint can mask results.? Alternate method for dark paint takes 24 hours.? LeadCheck Swabs can mask results of lead in red paint.? Not for gypsum (sheetrock), stucco, plaster dust.? The Lead Detective comes in a bottle with a dropper.? The number of uses varies.? Dark paint can mask results.? Lead Solutions must be used in 48 to 72 hours of preparing the solution.?

esheato
March 4, 2005, 02:25 AM
This post was brought back from the dead....I had completely forgot about it.


How is the situation on the lead levels?
What did you find out and solutions?
Any new info found out?

Well, for starters I actually started taking precautions. Basic stuff, but things that I had never worried about before. The "it'll never happen to me" mentality didn't help.

I no longer smoke in my gun room (quit after 10 years). I also no longer eat in there. I also cast a lot less often. I try to do a large batch of casting every couple weeks rather than casting every couple days.

I have yet to get another blood test done and, in all honesty, I probably won't. Every hobby has hazards....I'm acutely aware of what they are and how to minimize them.

What else can be said?

Ed

280PLUS
March 4, 2005, 06:13 AM
Get checked for "Sleep Apnea" especially if the person snores and / or can't remember dreaming.

I was chronically tired for years "chronic fatigue" or "General Malaise" we called it and I never dreamed. Doctor after doctor had no answers. Turns out I had apnea (difficulty breathing when sleeping) since about age 21 or so (47 now) it causes your body to "wake up" during sleep and you never reach the 3rd (REM) stage of sleep where the real resting takes place. I was unknowingly waking up 55 times per hour. They put me on a CPAP (Constant Positive Air Pressure) machine (no surgery for me, thanx) and life has definitely improved since.

Good Luck!

280

XLMiguel
March 4, 2005, 08:09 AM
I shoot at an indoor range 1-2X/mo., going thru 20-300 rnds/session, mostly fmj. I started having my blood tested a couple years agoe with physical, my doc said:

<10 - normal
>24 - significant
>39 - call OSHA

My lead leavel was 12. If I had a 35, I'd be talking to my doc, good luck.

Evil_Ed
March 4, 2005, 09:40 AM
Ed,
if you haven't already done this, I highly recomend making a simple fume hood for your casting area. You'll need a good metal vent hood and a high volume, low noise fan. It will help get some of that crap out of the air while you work.

Kramer Krazy
March 4, 2005, 09:56 AM
This thread must have been before my time here.

I used to work for Yuasa-Exide Battery in Sumter, SC (now closed), in the EH&S department. When you first started working there, they'd run a test for lead concentration (this is through bloodwork). When I first started there, my level was 8 or 9 ug/dl. I was tested every month for the first three months, then, depending on my levels, it would gradually expand to every three months, then six months. If the level got too high (I think 35 or 40 was the warning limit), we got tested once a month, and had to wear a respirator if our job didn't require one. At 50 ug/dl, they pulled you out of the manufacturing facility and into the front offices, until your levels came down. My level hit 46 once, but that was after being inside of a baghouse, changing bags. This was an environment that should have required an SCBA (Self-contained Breathing Apparatus - like a scuba tank). We were in there with only half or full-face respirators. As some stated, lead dust tastes sweet, and that was one way of knowing that your respirator was failing.

The lead-acid battery industry is quite regulated for lead. Not only were there blood concentrations tests, but each work station had to be monitored (I did this testing); the four corners on the OUTSIDE of the facility were had the ambient levels tested once a month, for environmental contaminations; the tables in the breakrooms were wiped down and tested for lead; we had work issued uniforms that couldn't leave the facility; work uniforms were washed in the plant; we had boots, gloves, and respirators given to us; we were paid to take MANDATORY showers before leaving for home; and we also kept logs of the bag houses and wet scrubbers (we did a neat little test on the bag houses with black-light dust to check for leaking bags, called visual-light testing).

Anyway, 35 is a level to watch out for, but I'm sure most of this is from you casting and eating and smoking near there. I'd be a little concerned if you have any children running around. We had a guy who worked in one of the areas with the highest levels of ambient lead dust. He was known not to take showers all the time before going home. He ended up with a lot of lead in the interior of his truck and took it home with him. His 3-4 year old son ended up sick, and it was due to the lead he was taking home with him after work every day. Kids can't handle higher concentrations, like adults can.

esheato
March 4, 2005, 12:31 PM
If I had a 35, I'd be talking to my doc, good luck.
I have spoken with my doctor and I've reported his findings within this thread.

if you haven't already done this, I highly recommend making a simple fume hood for your casting area.
I've already implemented a fan into my casting practices.

I'd be a little concerned if you have any children running around.
I don't.

Ed

poe_9999
March 4, 2005, 03:48 PM
I got my lead level tested 6 months ago. It was 20.4. I reload but do not cast. I always scrub up and shower after I shoot, reload, or clean my guns. I was rather shocked to see that my lead level was as high as it is.
I believe the culprit to be the poor ventilation design of the indoor range that I used to visit. (I probably spent less than 2 hours a month at that range, and I went there for about a year).
I highly suggest that everyone get their lead level tested. If you catch it early like I did you can avoid big problems in the future.

Dead
March 4, 2005, 05:37 PM
P.S. I have seen kids that had levels >100, I mean kids under 3!!!!

bcbr
March 4, 2005, 05:53 PM
Just finished reading Bypassing By pass surgery.
A book I found at a thrift store on this subject.
We have done a lot of asking and googleing on Heavy metal poison,chelation,oral chelation etc. Having suffered thru some of it ,just wondered if there were any more updates and info we could have missed.
Reading the book reminded me of this thread,and it was me 1st post /topic here. Yall,take care :)

BEARMAN
March 5, 2005, 01:51 AM
Do a search of " MISO AND HEAVY METALS". I seems miso, an oriental food can remove some heavy metals like lead , mercury and strontium 90. It seems like a most pleasant way to medicate yourself, by eating healthfood type foods. May be a little less drastic than some methods.

RonC
January 9, 2006, 12:16 AM
Chelation therapy has been around for a long time and is not the least bit mysterious. The chelator bind metals strongly. Various chelators are available for selective binding of particular metals. When I did some work at a nuclear weapons plant, the main issue was plutonium. If plutonium levels above a threshhold were detected in a blood test, then the individual would be treated with chelators.

Regardless of anecdotal eveidence and people claiming the efficacy of 'oriental' drugs or supplements, watch out! The imported food and drug materials out of China are completely unregulated. The so-called 'natural' weight control chemical ephedra is found in several Chinese herbs that can be found in health food stores. When tested by the FDA, it was found that they herbs varied from zero to small amounts of ephedra. The herbs also contained very high levels of lead and mercury! They still use lead arsenate in China for growing their 'medicinal' herbs and vegetables. So if you want more than your fair share of arsenic and lead, feel free to indulge in consumption of unproven herbs and drugs.

It was mentioned in this thread that adults pass out 95% of the ingested lead. That is valid. Young children retain 95%. Inhaled lead moves very quickly from the bronchioles in the lungs and into the blood stream and can cause lead poisoning that wouldn't be as obvious in the slower uptake in the digestive tract.

I just took my son and his two roommates to an indoor shooting range today. I going to wash my hands again!
Ron

tellner
January 9, 2006, 01:27 AM
One such method involved soaking the feet while running some kind of current (there's more to it, but I don't recall exactly what); my dad said the water turned black (!!) from the metals being removed.

Sheer quackery, I'm afraid.

tellner
January 9, 2006, 01:32 AM
But I think that's just because such methods are not common. I mean really, the idea of bombarding you with radiation in the hopes that it will kill the cancer cells before it kills you sounds far more quackish to me. I'm fairly convinced that future generations will look back on that practice in the same way that we look back on the medical practices of medieval europe.

Maybe. But radiation therapy for tumors has good science behind it, repeatability and a well-developed theoretical mechanism. I am alive today because of it and can tell you exactly how and why. This doesn't. "They laughed at Fulton. They laughed at Edison. They also laughed at Bozo the Clown."

Although I wouldn't worry too much about the lead paint unless you are eating it. :D
Remodelling is a serious cause of environmental lead where I live. There are many old houses with lead paint or lead paint under layers of latex paint. When the time comes to replace the siding or redo interior walls it can get exposed and ground into tiny airborne particles.

kevin7
January 9, 2006, 01:33 AM
Is there such a thing as non-lead bullets or shotgun shells?

Taurus 66
January 9, 2006, 01:36 AM
If you smoke you should never have you cigs with you on the range or while reloading ammuniton. You should never light up without double washing your hands first.

I hadn't thought about this. In the Navy during General Quarters, the battle simulation might be an NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) drill and the smoking lamp would be out on all decks. In part, there was no smoking because it posed a fire hazard if fuel lines ever ruptured or other flammable substances spilled out. The other part of this had to do with the tobacco smoke. The smoke is a vehicle for air born radioactive particles to enter the lungs. I guess it will be the same for any fine dust, including lead.

tellner
January 9, 2006, 01:37 AM
Yep, lead oxides are sweet. Really, really old chemistry books even refer to "sugar of lead." This is also, for those of you who ever wondered, why kids used to eat lead paint chips. one kid I knew who did it said that they tasted like "sweet potato chips."

Some old wine and spirit-makers' books I've got recommend adding "sweet sugars of lead" to sweeten soured wine or bad liquor :eek: Of course, they also talk about "therapeutic" antimony wine :what:

Cosmoline
January 9, 2006, 01:55 AM
Do a search of " MISO AND HEAVY METALS". I seems miso, an oriental food can remove some heavy metals like lead , mercury and strontium 90. It seems like a most pleasant way to medicate yourself, by eating healthfood type foods. May be a little less drastic than some methods.

Miso is just Japanese soup. It's not magical, though there are some who follow the Macrobiotic movement/religion and hold that miso and other Japanese foods will cure all your problems. I'm sure eating miso in the morning is better than eggs and bacon--but it's not a magical means of removing anything other than perhaps extra pounds.

slopemeno
January 9, 2006, 04:20 AM
Krazy Kramer-
I was a service manager for C&D Batteries. When you say Bags, are you talking about powded lead for the pasting process?

One of my competitors had an employee who washed his work clothes at home with his babys clothing. Later, the kid turns up with developemental difficulties, which got OSHA (rightly, in this case) involved. Turns out the kids clothing was contaminated and it was picking up lead from its clothes.
Dont miss that part of the business, but it was fun otherwise.

hso
January 9, 2006, 08:30 AM
I hadn't thought about this. ... I guess it will be the same for any fine dust, including lead.

Yup, and if you've got lead dust on your hands you'll directly transfer it to the cigs as you handle them and then suck that into your lungs.

hso
January 9, 2006, 08:31 AM
Is there such a thing as non-lead bullets or shotgun shells?

Yes

Look for "green" ammunition. Many states have banned lead shot for water fowling and bismuth or steel shot have replaced it.

lance22
January 9, 2006, 10:39 AM
My brother and I used to run IPSC matches at an indoor range. His lead was over 40 and mine in the mid 20's. Most of it was due, we think, from setting up and taking down for the matches as this required us to pick stuff off the floor, touch the floor, take things off the floor ... YOU DO NOT WANT TO EVER TOUCH THE FLOOR AT AN INDOOR RANGE. Several others who frequented our matches got high lead, as well as MOST of those who did most of the work.

RonC
January 9, 2006, 12:28 PM
It was mentioned in this thread that adults pass out 95% of the ingested lead. That is valid. Young children retain 95%. Inhaled lead moves very quickly from the bronchioles in the lungs and into the blood stream and can cause lead poisoning that wouldn't be as obvious in the slower uptake in the digestive tract.
Ron

My citation of the 95% for children's retention of lead is incorrect. Children retain about 60%, still much higher than adults.
Sorry for the error.
Ron

roo_ster
January 9, 2006, 12:31 PM
Reminder to self: do not tarry at indoor ranges...and pat self on back for shelling out $155 for membership at an outdoor range.

blackguns
January 9, 2006, 01:26 PM
I am a safety and heath professional ( I do environmental too) at a large corporation and I am impressed by the mostly accurate information that was presented in this thread.

Hygiene around lead is the single most important factor. No eating, drinking, or making excessive dust when dealing with lead substances.

Smoking is a whole 'nother issues You would be amazed what drawing airborne chemiclas through a burning tobacco stick will create on the other end. Yeah, lead or other metal fumes get drawn in but are reacted at high temperatre and can create all types of funky organic and inorganic combinations.

Those who cast bullets: you have the highest risk level. Step one; DEVELOP GOOD HYGIENE PRACTICES

Step two: VENTILATE!

Dilution is the solution to polution, at least when it comes to people safety.

RonC
January 9, 2006, 01:54 PM
Smoking is a whole 'nother issues You would be amazed what drawing airborne chemiclas through a burning tobacco stick will create on the other end. Yeah, lead or other metal fumes get drawn in but are reacted at high temperatre and can create all types of funky organic and inorganic combinations.


Smoking throws a wrench into the interpretation of the bullet, primer link to lead in our bodies. Tobacco was one of the last crops in which lead arsenate was permitted as a pesticide. It only was about a decade ago that it was banned. If you had been smoking at that time, you had another major input of lead - cigarettes. Cigarette smokers back then high the highest loads of lead of anyone in the U.S. population. If you smoked and handled ammo and shot in poorly ventilated ranges, then it is not surprising to find high blood levels.

There are plenty of ways to get lead in a human.
Romans sweetened wine with lead salts (the decline of the Roman empire?). The Williamsburg, VA settlers distilled their rum using lead coils. Analysis of their bones still show abnormally high lead levels. The old Soviet Union had industry concentrated in certain cities in which resident's health was sacrificed to economic development. As a result, kids in some cities in Poland had lead levels 10 times that considered beginning lead poisoning and 80% of the population had asthma.

Maybe, compared to the above, our exposure isn't all that bad.;)

Ron

Versifier
January 9, 2006, 04:42 PM
By far, the worst source of lead contamination is indoor ranges with poor ventilation. Burning powder reacts with the bases of bullets and the common primers contain lead styphanate which gets into the air on ignition. This is not as much of a concern on an outside range, but too much exposure is still possible on a windless day.
The tempertures involved in casting are not high enough to cause any vaporization of lead. For casters, breathing it is not the issue, and a respirator, while it may indeed do some good keeping the other particulates from the burning flux out of our lungs, that is generally only a problem when smelting and mixing alloys, and there is no lead vapor involved. (If there were, a particulate filter wouldn't stop it anyway.) The main problem comes with not washing your hands after handling lead and lead alloys when casting or loading. Elemental lead is not absorbed through the skin. If it enters your digestive system, however, then you can have problems. It is oxidized by the acid in your stomach, and lead oxide is nasty stuff. (The latex gloves are a really good idea, BTW.) Eating, drinking, and/or smoking while casting or loading is potentially the biggest problem after range lead. Lead on the outside of a cigarette is burned with the tobacco as you inhale, and that is hot enough to vaporize it. Any lead on your hands contaminates any food you pick up and put in your mouth, even tossing a few ice cubes in your glass is not a safe practice.
It may surprise you that very few casters when tested have elevated lead levels. Ours is a fairly technical hobby, and the sort of people who are drawn to it tend to be the intelligent, curious sort, and are usually well aware of the health concerns surrounding it. This is not to say that regular reminders aren't a good idea, they are. We all need to be aware, and to keep
washing our hands immediately whenever we take a break!

Shalako
January 9, 2006, 05:29 PM
I heard on a science radio program that people that chew their fingernails have high lead levels. It stated that lead accumulates in the fingernails and people that chew their nails ingest more lead.

It did not state the relative impact to one's lead score though.

Jbar4Ranch
January 10, 2006, 01:52 PM
34-35 is elevated, but not critical. I worked at an ASARCO lead smelter for 23 years, and very, very seldom was my blood lead below 30. Chelation has proven to be a risky therapy with lead because lead has a very sharp granular molecular structure and does a lot of microscopic slicing and dicing on its way out.

hso
January 11, 2006, 02:47 PM
I heard on a science radio program that people that chew their fingernails have high lead levels. It stated that lead accumulates in the fingernails and people that chew their nails ingest more lead.

It did not state the relative impact to one's lead score though.


Well, no. Think about that for a moment. The lead "accumated" in the fingernails has to come from the body and chewing the nail would only return it to the body. OTOH, nail chewers will pick up a lot of lead if they don't wash well after getting lead on their hands and that includes scrubbing under the nails.

Jbar4Ranch
January 11, 2006, 02:58 PM
Once it leaves the blood stream, lead never leaves the body, it migrates from the blood mostly to the long, heavy bones, but also ends up in smaller bones and finger/toe nails. A blood lead sample measures the amount of lead in the blood, not in the bones or nails, hence if a person ingested body parts, such as fingernails, where the lead has already been deposited from the blood, it starts the cycle all over again and could very well cause increases in the blood lead level.
I think your thinking is more correct though, that nail biters ingest lead from the crud deposited on and under their nails, rather than from inside them.

CypherNinja
January 11, 2006, 03:17 PM
Is there such a thing as non-lead bullets or shotgun shells?

Yes, I've seen 99.9% Copper bullets for handguns as well as the usual steel shot for scatterguns.

tellner
January 11, 2006, 03:22 PM
There's steel, bismuth and tungsten shot for scatterguns. And, of course, the Remington Solid Copper Slug (when it absolutely, positively has to be de-livered, dis-armed, dis-embowled and de-spined).

For handguns I like to use Cleanfire ammunition. In fact, the local range PSTC requires it. No lead or antimony in the primer, and the bullets are completely copper-clad including the base. They've done a lot of airborne and wipe tests and found no detectable lead or any of a couple other bad actors. A bit expensive, but it's worth it. I'd hate to get hurt worse in training than I'm likely to be hurt out in the real world.

Shrinkmd
March 8, 2006, 12:52 PM
I shoot outdoors only. How worried should I be about bringing home dust on my clothes, hair, etc? I tried searching the internet, and most of the things I could find about problems were related to indoor ranges. Outdoor range info dealt primarily with the environment/toxic cleanup issues, but not much about the exposure risk for people shooting there.

I am concerned due to little ones at home, and the last thing I would want to have happen is to contaminate the house or my car. I don't reload (although I would like to someday), I wear plastic gloves when I clean, I wash hands immediately after even touching any firearms or ammo, and I try to change my clothes and shower as soon as I get home from the range.

How much concern is there about washing clothing in a seperate load to avoid contamination children's clothing? I don't want to get super paranoid about this, but lead and developing nervous systems really don't mix.

Just another "daddy worry" to add to the list I guess.

Cosmoline
March 8, 2006, 02:37 PM
What sort of mask could you wear to filter out lead styphanates? I try to avoid inhaling smoke, but depending on the wind sometimes it's impossible to avoid even at an outdoor range.

Kramer Krazy
March 9, 2006, 10:06 AM
Krazy Kramer-
I was a service manager for C&D Batteries. When you say Bags, are you talking about powded lead for the pasting process?
Sorry, I missed this post a while back......Yes, from the pasting process, but also in several other areas.....

The bags that I am refering to are the ones inside of the baghouses. The baghouses that we had were as large as a 20'x40' room with 8' ceilings. Inside of them, you had hundreds of cloth bags that filtered out the lead dust in the air. If you had a leaky bag, you would get contamination on the "clean" side. With the levels of lead that was in the air, to replace faulty bags, you were required to wear SCBA breathing apparatus, because regular half-face and full-face respirators did not supply enough protection at those concentrations.

The lead that got into these baghouses were typically from the lead dust ("red-lead" was the worst due to it's smaller size) that is used to make the paste for the internal plates. Not only was the dust present in the "pasting" operation, where they mixed the paste and applied it to the cast plates, but you could find it in almost every process of the manufacturing process of a lead-acid battery. Wire-brushing the excess paste off of the plates was a huge contributor in one area when I worked on the production line. This was a 4" wide wire brush on a bench grinder used to knock off excess paste from the edges of the plates. The tables, overheard ceiling, and work area below were all designed to use the vacuum of the baghouse systems top suck the lead dust away. Some areas even had water inside of them, such as the wet-scrubbers, to "scrub" the lead out of the air.

Quite often, despite wearing proper PPE, it was personal hygiene and bad work habits when it came to lead that was the reason for elevated lead levels....such as constantly pulling down your respirator with contaminated gloves, so you can talk to your buddy. This one guy was really bad for it. Having a leather glove coated in lead paste and dust just two inches under his nose while talking/breathing.

distra
March 9, 2006, 12:06 PM
Shrinkmd, I too worry about bringing home nasty things to the little one. What I do is test frequently in the house, floors, car steering wheels, shoes, etc. any place my son may come in contact with directly or indirectly. I have also tested my coat after shooting and found no contamination. The test kits are cheap and easy to use. I also shoot FMJ only and have started to get clean range rounds. At the range, I use D-lead wipes to clean my hands after loading mags and use a mag loader to try to eleviate grinding what lead exists on the outside of the rounds into my thumb. I have tested the outside of FMJ rounds and there IS a little lead on the round. Not much, but you should be aware of it. One other thing, I take my shoes off ASAP when I get home, just to make sure. I've tested my shoes and the floor. Not problem here. Sad thing is though, I tested my wife's favorite pottery glass and guess what...there were significant amounts of lead present :what: I then tested other items just to make sure and we have put those pottery glasses, bowls and plates away for a while. I also tested several plastic items my son likes to play with just in case. All tested negative. :)

JMusic
March 9, 2006, 12:12 PM
Johnathan your right it is micrograms per deciliter. There is a tablet you can get by perscription. Succimer is the name of the compound. others above have explaned how it works. They are expensive.
Jim

hso
March 9, 2006, 12:57 PM
If you want to make sure that you minimize the potential for taking lead into the car you can do a few simple inexpensive things.

Shoot in a light colored lightweight long sleve shirt an take it off and wash up when you leave the firing line.

Wipe you shoes off with a wet wipe or change shoes before getting in the car.

Make sure the clothing/shoes you take off go into a bag only used to carry them or use a small garbage bag or double groucery bag you can throw away.

Wipe or wash your face.

Wash the shooting shirt and wipe down the shoes or wash them when you get home. Don't put anything else in the washing machine. Use cold and a full tub instead of conservine detergent and water. Run the machine another full cycle when you take your shooting clothing out so that it completely rinses the interior.

I shoot at home. A lot. Every weekend almost and sometimes during the week when I get home before 6. I clean the guns at home. My blood lead level was 4 micrograms/deciliter last week.

Khornet
March 9, 2006, 01:07 PM
Chelation is indeed effective for metal toxicity. But anyone who claims to be able to treat vascular disease, or indeed any disease other than metal toxicity is a quack.

And chelation for vascular disease can have serious side-effects: I've treated them.

K-Romulus
March 9, 2006, 01:24 PM
As a new dad (tyke just turned one), I am one of the more extreme people here in that I only shoot non-toxic rounds (.308, .223, .40 - bullet AND primer), either at a wind-tunnel indoor range or a large outdoor range, use coveralls on either type of range, and my range boots never get worn beyond the parking lot next to my car and on the range itself.

NIOSH (CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) has done several studies on range use and lead poisoning among police ranges. Here is a link to the 1996 study of the FBI Academy in Quantico, where the investigators found serious take-home lead levels in the FBI dorms. The FBI trainees were shooting 12 gauge slugs and (FMJ?) 9mm, but it isn't clear if the take-home lead came from the outdoor range, indoor range, or was there for years:

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/1991-0346-2572.pdf

The same study showed that outdoor ranges had the potential for high lead exposure (depending on the type of rounds, wind, etc.). . . :eek:

Tinker
March 9, 2006, 01:41 PM
esheato,

By chance, was your lead test done by a finger prick blood sample? Also, how many tests have you had?

The reason I ask is because of something that happened to my daughter when she was three years old. I took her for a regular check-up with the pediatrician one day. Everything went OK. A few hours after the visit the doctor calls us back, frantically asking us how our little girl is feeling and requesting we bring her back to the hospital. The doc said my daughter had "the highest lead level that they'd ever seen". As we spoke on the phone my daughter was jumping on the bed, laughing. A re-test showed normal.

That was a relief, but the doc couldn't figure out the high reading on the first test. Then I recalled that as I was preparing her car seat before the check-up my daughter asked "Wha's this, Daddy?". Her sharp little eyes had found a crusty old .22 LR bullet that was hidden in the truck's carpeting. I guess the lead oxide was on the finger that was sampled for the blood test.

If you'd been handling bullets before only one test, you might want another. With clean hands.

AZ Jeff
March 9, 2006, 01:42 PM
The FBI trainees were shooting 12 gauge slugs and (FMJ?) 9mm, but it isn't clear if the take-home lead came from the outdoor range, indoor range, or was there for years:

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports...-0346-2572.pdf

The same study showed that outdoor ranges had the potential for high lead exposure (depending on the type of rounds, wind, etc.). . .

The BLL (blood lead levels) listed in that report for the candidates studied were not all that high in many cases. I realize that a lot of this comes down to a personal definition of "high" for BLL, but the average level PRIOR to the lead reduction program in that study was less than 14ug/DL, and down to less than 8 after the program.

While those values are elevated above that for your normal human from an industrialized country (approx 5 ug/DL), that's not really "very elevated" when compared to other studies where some persons have BBL of 40-60 in some industries.

RFM
March 9, 2006, 02:29 PM
To original poster:

I hope you do all right, Heal thyself.


NO MORE LEAD BULLETS!!!

MORE PLASMA ENERGY WEAPONS!!!

:)

brickeyee
March 9, 2006, 09:37 PM
Lead styphanate (also spelled styphnate) from primers is a real hazard. It forms organic lead compounds that are easily absorbed into the body.
The point raised earlier about lead vapor from casting is correct. The vapor pressure is to low to be a hazard at normal casting temperature below 700F. Above ~700F the tin starts to come out of solution.
You can create a hazard by using a torch to speed up lead melting in a pot however. The flame temperature is high enough to create considerable lead vapor.
The lead in lead paint is lead acetate (AKA 'sugar of lead') it was used as a drying agent and gloss improver. Flat paints used lead oxide for a white pigment, but that stopped a very long time ago. Lead acetate remained in use for a long time. Just as with lead styphanate, it is an organic lead compound easily absorbed into the body.
Metallic lead is not a real hazard unless the metal is reduced to powder. It is a surface area problem. A big chunk of lead has a small surface area for its weight and little can be absorbed. Lead powder has a very large surface area by weight and you can absorb a significant amount from ingesting it.
Bullets left in a person are not a hazard. Not enough surface area.
A large source of lead dust at ranges is lead vaporized fro the base of bullets. It is hot and reactive and can form organic compounds, or just settle on the range as micro fine lead dust. Easily disturbed and absorbed.

Third_Rail
March 9, 2006, 09:52 PM
I wonder if suppressors would help with this problem - trapping more of the lead vapor and lead compound vapor. Anyone know?

esheato
March 9, 2006, 09:52 PM
By chance, was your lead test done by a finger prick blood sample? Also, how many tests have you had?
I had a lab draw blood from my arm for the test. I appreciate your concern and insight towards a possible reason but I believe the results to be accurate.

I haven't been tested since the original diagnosis. I haven't experienced any symptoms...ever. I don't think the problem was nearly as bad as it appeared...and I probably won't get re-tested. I've severely cut down on my casting schedule and I've incorporated regular hand washing when I'm around my guns.

Ed

AZ Jeff
March 10, 2006, 12:46 PM
A large source of lead dust at ranges is lead vaporized fro the base of bullets. It is hot and reactive and can form organic compounds, or just settle on the range as micro fine lead dust. Easily disturbed and absorbed.
Actually, the lead vapors from the base of bullets is FAR LESS SIGNIFICANT as a source of lead ingestion into the shooter than is the lead salts formed by primer ignition. There is a very interesting article from about 1996 in the Journal of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers that covers this. See this article for more details on the relative rankings of sources of lead from shooting.

kennyboy
March 10, 2006, 10:05 PM
The human body can filter out 2mg of lead daily.

Homer
March 11, 2006, 05:25 AM
If you are a caster....you can't forget arsenic that is found in wheel weights and shot. I shoot indoors and cast 90% of my bullets all from ww. When ever i am tested, i am always over on arsenic. Lead would be high but arsenic really high. Yep got shots and tried zinc. Only thing that curred it was abstinence from casting n shootin' indoors....

Homer

Jeff22
March 11, 2006, 07:30 AM
I just had a physical exam (long overdue).

Among other things, they tested my lead level.

It was 10mg/dl.

I was tested in 1993 and it was 13mg/dl and then tested again in 1998 or99 and it was 11mg/dl.

I do a fair amount of shooting on indoor ranges, but they are all fairly modern and well ventilated. I am the biggest brass scrounge in the world, but I wear latex gloves when picking up brass (most of the time) to limit my exposure. I have also begun taking handiwipe type cleaners with me in my shooting bag. (Or at least most of the time -- I've forgotten a couple times lately)

About 25 years ago my commercial reloader had to go through chelation therapy because he was casting his own lead bullets in an insufficiently ventilated space. Back about 1988 or so the rangemaster from the Sheriff's Department got a high lead level on a test (over 20mg/dl I think) because he taught 4 or 5 days a week all winter on a poorly ventilated indoor range in the basement of the City-County Bldg. He also drank coffee and chewed tobacco in the control room (at times) and I suspect that was the major cause of his contamination.

The doctor yelled at him about his hygiene on the range and he took extra Vitamin C and zinc for a time. In May of 1989 the tech school opened their new indoor range, which is MUCH better ventilated (exceeds OSHA specs, in fact) and the problem resolved itself.

Many commercial indoor ranges or indoor ranges at private gun clubs have poor ventilation. Some shooters wear particle masks when shooting. I shot in a couple of rimfire bullseye matches at a private club up north that had VERY poor ventilation where the club provided the masks and wearing them was mandatory.

Check out www.uniquetek.com. They sell D-Lead abrasive hand soap, D-Lead waterless hand cleaner, and D-Wipe lead cleaning cloths. I shoot IPSC matches at the Pinetree Pistol Club in Rockford, Ill and they usually have a big container of D-Wipe wipes available for shooters to use when they finish on the range. Brownell's also sells some of those products as well. The D-Lead and D-Wipe products are designed to remove any heavy metal from the skin, not just lead.

Sheldon J
March 11, 2006, 12:52 PM
Quote:
Is there a way to leach metals out of the body? Some health food/holistic medicine method?



Yes, there are ways to remove that stuff naturally. My dad had several such procedures done recently to remove mercury and nickel that was causing serious health problems, and my understanding is that the same procedures can be used to remove other heavy metals.

One such method involved soaking the feet while running some kind of current (there's more to it, but I don't recall exactly what); my dad said the water turned black (!!) from the metals being removed. The other widely used method is sauna, because your body removes a lot of heavy metals through sweat... but, it must be the right kind of sauna with the right kind of heating elements, otherwise you can do just as much harm as good. Keep in mind that these methods are slow, and require repeated treatments. However, they are also non-invasive and won't do any other damage to your system.

esheato, I can dig up the info for my Dad's doc if you want. He's in Reno, which is a bit of a drive from where you are, but you could still do a day trip

Never heard of this but I have of something called Chelation, this method is best left up to a doctor and your insurance co. but it will remove all heavy metals from the body.

Smoke Rizen
March 12, 2006, 12:13 AM
Oh great, in the 60s I worked construction doing commercial buildings. We used alot of Reybestos composite panels. I was usually on the saw as I was the "Punk" in the crew. Always in a cloud of white dust,cough,choke!
In 1990 I got a questionaire on testing for Agent Orange contamination from my service in RVN ,I threw it in the trash.
Now lead? The stress is to much, think I'll go outside and smoke a cigarette!

hso
March 12, 2006, 01:25 AM
Oral chelation (pills) or IV chelation either one can reduce blood lead levels. IV chelation takes a couple of hours, but is very effective over a short course of treatment. Oral chelation takes longer and requires you take the pills every day and drink lots of water, but there's no need to go in for the IV. Both require monitoring or blood and urine levels to help keep calcium and potassium levels within norms.

Chelation is recommended only after blood lead levels exceed 30 micrograms/deciliter lead.

Possible beneficial side effects of chelation is a reduction in arterial plaque deposits. Please note that I only said "possible".

RonC
March 12, 2006, 11:02 AM
hso is correct in that you should be monitored during chelation therapy. Chelation therapy should not be taken casually. It will bind and remove essential minerals like zinc, copper and calcium as well as the toxic metals.

You will hear of people going for bogus 'cleansing' of their systems using chelation therapy. The 'therapy' does nothing for organic chemicals (pesticides, female hormone precursors from water), but can make you deficient in some of the essential minerals.

Ron

Redbeard55
March 12, 2006, 11:38 AM
When I took a lead test several years ago, I was told a normal score could range up to 25. Different labs may use different tests and the normal ranges an vary from one lab to another, depending upon the methodology. Ask what the normal range should be.

I work at a chemical company, although my background is more in medical diagnostics and I am not a chemist. Someone mentioned that EDTA is a chelator. It does remove lead, but it will also chelate any number of metals, including calcium, magnesium and iron. I'm not at work so there are probably additional metals/substances I have not included. EDTA is typically used to treat hard water by removing the calcium. This means the dosage needs to be carefully monitored by your doctor. Take too much EDTA and you run the risk of more serious medical problems, possibly including brittle bones/fractures, anemia, excessive bleeding times, etc. Take too much EDTA and you could bleed to death from a relatively minor cut (calcium is needed in the coagulation cascade that controls clotting). Make sure the doctor that treats you is familiar with lead poisoning and treatment. Just because someone has an MD behind their name does not mean they know what they are doing. Doctors tend to specialize over time and just like everyone else they forget information if they do not have a need for it on a regular basis. Find someone that knows what they are doing. Just because you think your local MD is a great guy/gal doesn't mean they are experienced in every facet of medicine. Your local pharmacist might be a good resource. They might be able to double check any prescription to ensure the amount prescribed is appropriate for your body weight.

I would agree with the sound advice of not eating or drinking until after you have washed your hands. I would also add that you should wear chemical resistant gloves while cleaning firearms. The solvents you use to clean your firearms can also dissolve lead. Once the lead is in solution, the solvents in the cleaner will open up your skin and allow the lead to be absorbed through the skin (in much the same way people were poisoned by lead during the days when paint was lead based). Hope things work out.

hso
March 12, 2006, 11:58 AM
Make sure the doctor that treats you is familiar with lead poisoning and treatment. Just because someone has an MD behind their name does not mean they know what they are doing.

Redbeard55 is correct in that specialization is the question here. You're family physician will be well versed in the standard maladies and treatmetn options, but may not have a good grounding in heavy metals poisoning and treatmenet. Find an Occupational Physician. They are very familiar with lead, zinc, chromium and other industrial metals that can make you sick and as such are better qualified to tell you if you need treatment and what that might be. Remember that all physicians are hired professionals to do a job. Just like working with an architect to design and build your home you should work with your physician to understand the nature of any problem and what the two of you need to do to deal with it.


At levels above 80 g/dL, serious, permanent health damage may occur.
Above 50 g/dL, serious health damage may occur.
At lead levels between 30 and 50 g/dL, health damage may be occurring, even if there are no symptoms.
From 20-30 g/dL, regular exposure is occurring. There is some evidence of potential physiologic problems.
From 1-20 g/dL, lead is building up in the body and some exposure is occurring.
6 micrograms is the typical level for U.S. adults. Some exposure is occurring.
Normal blood lead levels for children are 0-10 g/dL with 3 being typical.

My last BLL was 4 g/dL and I shoot at home and at least once a week as well as cleaning and working on my guns.

esheato
April 18, 2006, 01:26 PM
At my doctors insistence, I had a follow-up test done.

Results came in and they are a 14. The precautions I took (no more smoking or eating in the gun room, less casting, more hand washing) were effective.

I certainly learned a lot from this thread and I hope everyone else has too.

Ed

rayra
April 19, 2006, 03:19 AM
Eggselent news, and thanks for the followup post.

Did your Dr mention by chance what the 'normal' lead levels were for a person with no shooting or work-related exposure. I'm slightly curious about that. Think my next overall health exam will incldde a lead exam. I do a lot of remodeling projects on old homes - I'm more worried about that type of exposure, than from firing lead outdoors.

Don't Tread On Me
April 19, 2006, 05:50 AM
Good info in this thread.

I used to work on lead abatement painting contracts (bridges) in NY.

A 40 count in your blood at any single test meant removal from the job site (paid leave). You were on watch with 30 or higher. This may have changed.

Just because some of the info in this thread mentions 30-50 as being "ok"..it isn't. If you have a level of 35 consistently for a few years, it can result in serious health risks. I know a few people who would fluctuate between 30-50 in this type of work, and became seriously ill in less than a decade. This is one of those swept under the rug occupational hazards. Who knows how many people have died as a result. But I can tell you from personal experience, I've seen many veterans of this business all end up in bad shape.

Here's the thing. You could work around lead for one time, and spike up to 60. You may or may not experience symptoms. If you do, you might experience some, and not others. Everyone is different. After that heavy exposure, your level will drop. You'll be fine in the long run. It is better to hit a lead level of 70 once, than it is to have a level of 35 for years and years.

The #1 way to get lead into your body is to eat it. If you handle lead, don't put your fingers in your mouth, nose, eyes or anywhere else. The #2 way is to breathe it. This is no where near as much of a source of lead poisoning as ingesting it. You have to breathe an aweful lot of lead contaminated dust/smoke to get a high level. I mean a lot. We're talking to where your nostrils will be caked with the dust/smoke "black snot." Of course, saturation levels will vary in different environments and situations.


If you handle lead, don't smoke. It goes from you fingers to the filter to your mouth. Don't eat. Don't drink either because if you handle the cup, it can get on the cup. Also, you might have some on your lips in the form of dust. Also, anything in the vicinity of the lead handling may become contaminated.


Washing your hands and face helps a lot, and is the best defense. Can't stress this enough. Like nurses say "your fingers are the 10 biggest germs"..same goes for lead.

If there is a lot of lead in the air, the only defense is a respirator. The cheesy dust masks with rubber band might help, but are not what we used and are not sufficient. We used the 3M style respirators with diaphragms and detachable filters. These form a positive seal and do not allow air to leak in or out from the sides. Somedays, the filters wouldn't even work for a full work day.

Latex gloves probably won't help, but they certainly can't hurt. In my experience, touching lead isn't the problem. Your skin is very good at keeping heavy metals out of your body. If the gloves keep the lead off your fingers, so that lead won't go from your fingers to your mouth or food, then that is a positive. However, gloves or not, you should wash your hands very well. So I don't see the value in latex gloves since I need to wash hands regardless.


We used to sandblast lead based paint off of structural steel. This is the worst, because it breaks up the lead based paint into dust. Dust gets everywhere inside the containment area. You have to wear a tyvek suit. Dust isn't necessarily bad because you might breathe it (although that's part of it), but because it is so fine it gets everywhere and by that means it becomes easy to ingest. Imagine the things you touch. From shoelaces to your belt. It is very easy to "take it home" with you. The dust inside was exactly like the dust you saw on people from 9/11, just clouds so thick you cannot see more than 3ft. Except it was a reddish color. On those days, we had full face masks and sometimes air supplies.

I never had a level higher than 12 despite having to shovel and vacuum TONS of that crap daily. This proves that safety measures do work. I don't smoke, I used to wash my hands and face like a freak, and I would wear a respirator as much as possible (but from time to time you get exposed to the dust). I followed the rules as closely as possible because prior to that I worked as a safety inspector, and part of that job was enforcing safe lead practices. So I knew what was up.

Of all the employees, ALL the smokers had around 30-40. The non-smokers were around 20 or under.


Be safe.

esheato
April 19, 2006, 06:20 AM
Did your Dr mention by chance what the 'normal' lead levels were for a person with no shooting or work-related exposure.

No, he didn't.

Although from other posts in this thread, I'd assume the average non-work related amount was below 10.

Ed

If you enjoyed reading about "Lead Poisoning....this is not good news" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!