Lead Styphnate and brass cleaning


PDA






Dannix
December 6, 2009, 01:22 PM
Been reading up on Lead Styphnate . Guess it's my good schnauz, but I taste metal when handing fired brass. Same experience when I handle uncoated paper clips and the like.

So lead styphnate from primers condenses on the brass. You throw the fired brass in a tumbler and tada, lead contamination. Makes since this was where one dude's (http://thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=4131393&postcount=13) problem lay, hearsay regardless. Also mentioned in the sticky lead thread here (http://thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=3778516&postcount=34).

So how do you guys approach this? Dryer sheets? Or you don't worry about it? I see plenty of talk in the stick thread, but no one brought this up when I first started the ball rolling on getting into reloading.

Apparently Lead Styphnate doesn't dissolve particularly well in water, but apparently will in a sodium carbonate solution. I'm thinking about keeping a bucket of this with me when I go shooting, and any brass I pick up being put in right off, then just rinsing it off when I get home with a water/vinegar solution. All the reloading I do will be completely indoors, so perhaps that's why I'm really looking into this.

If you enjoyed reading about "Lead Styphnate and brass cleaning" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
rcmodel
December 6, 2009, 01:26 PM
I have never worried about it in 50 years of reloading.
But if you can taste it, you might be a prime candidate for lead-free primers.

Mag-Tec makes them for reloading.

Buckets of whatever liquid, and washing brass at the range, sounds like it is time to take up golf or something.

rc

ranger335v
December 6, 2009, 01:31 PM
"Or you don't worry about it?"

Correct.

Of course I haven't been at this nearly as long as RC, I only got started in mid '65 so I really haven't had a good chance to see if it will ever bother me. me. me. me. me.

Dannix
December 6, 2009, 02:07 PM
Buckets of whatever liquid, and washing brass at the range, sounds like it is time to take up golf or something.
Well, it's apparently a good idea for a soak right off anyway:
http://shootersforum.com/showpost.htm?p=425255&postcount=25

I'm also now considering decapping at the range too. ;)

loadedround
December 6, 2009, 06:08 PM
Dannix is correct in his statement about tasting lead in his mouth. He very much could have a "metallic" taste in his mouth either after firing, or handling of a quantity of ires cases with non lead free primers. Organic lead compounds can be absorbed readily through the skin or mucus membranes, or ingested directly into the lungs via airborne lead particles. One should be careful about indoor ranges without proper ventilation, and handling quantities of fired cases. Remember lead poisioning doesn't always occur by being shot! Like Arsenic, lead builds up in your body until it reaches a lethal dose, although it would take many years for that to happen.

ReloaderFred
December 6, 2009, 08:53 PM
Lead cannot be absorbed through the skin. It can be ingested or inhaled, but then only vaporized or oxidized lead can be absorbed by the body. You can handle lead all day, every day, and never absorb it through your skin. If you put your hands in your mouth or nose, without washing them thoroughly first, then you will ingest some lead that can be absorbed into the body. There are books available from NSSF, The National Shooting Sports Foundation, concerning lead while shooting, on ranges (both indoor and outdoor), etc. They were written by the CEO of SAAMI, Richard Patterson, in conjunction with Edward Guster III, the EPA's expert on lead and shooting ranges. I've met both of these gentlemen, and they're very knowledgable on this subject.

I've been loading and shooting since 1963, and casting my own bullets since 1968. I had my blood tested for lead levels at my last physical less than a year ago, and it was within normal limits.

A little caution will go a long way in preventing poisoning from any element, but outright paranoia indicates another hobby should be pursued.

Hope this helps.

Fred

WNTFW
December 6, 2009, 09:49 PM
I saw a show on the history channel and the guys that work in lead mines get tested yearly.

I'm not overly worried about it. I do try to be up wind when changing out the tumbler contents and wash hands etc. Just not worried past the initial precautions.

loadedround
December 6, 2009, 10:11 PM
ReloaderFred: I am sorry but your statement is entirely wrong. Inorganic Lead both as an element or in a mixture such as a lead bullet alloyed with Antimony and Tin can not be absorbed thru the skin. We were referencing ORGANIC lead compounds found in fired primers that is toxic and CAN be absorbed thru both the skin and mucus membranes. If you care to send me your address I will send you information pertaining to organic lead adsorption, plus clinical studies of lead adsorption in the human body. My mentor, friend, and shooting buddy published articles on this subject in the New England Journal of Medicine and serves on the NRA Range Development Board. 'Nuff said from me on this subject.

Roccobro
December 6, 2009, 10:19 PM
ReloaderFred: I am sorry but your statement is entirely wrong. Inorganic Lead both as an element or in a mixture such as a lead bullet alloyed with Antimony and Tin can not be absorbed thru the skin.

So is he wrong or not? Your contradicting yourself. :confused:

Justin

mongoose33
December 6, 2009, 11:00 PM
When I bought a media separator I went w/ the RCBS so that it would contain the dust within the lid.

That worked ok for me, but as I went deeper into the reloading arts, I read about adding nufinish polish to tumbling media, and tried it. The dust went away--apparently it sticks to the media or something, but it doesn't appear to end up on the shiny cases. The polish settles the dust.

When I go to an outdoor range I often take a 2-liter bottle of water and a smaller water bottle filled w/ soapy water. I wash up a bit before i leave, trying to get as much off my hands as I can. I like driving home w/ clean hands instead of potentially contaminating the steering wheel.

The indoor range I frequent has a sink for cleaning up. My hands are always dirty after shooting and picking up brass, so cleaning them is a no brainer.

I've also occasionally brought along some nitrile gloves if I am not going to be able to wash up; they're great for picking up brass.

snuffy
December 6, 2009, 11:18 PM
So is he wrong or not? Your contradicting yourself.

Justin

The difference is between metallic lead and lead salts,(organic lead). Lead salts are much more easily absorbed than metallic or inorganic lead. Lead oxide also is easily absorbed, that's what lead based white paint has in it.

Roccobro
December 6, 2009, 11:34 PM
So Fred's statement isn't "entirely wrong", but wholly true- only for metallic lead (i.e. bullets)?

qajaq59
December 7, 2009, 07:20 AM
The last time I asked my doctor about testing for lead in my blood his reply was, " Unless you lick every bullet before you load it, don't worry about it." Good hygiene, such as washing your hands will take care of things.

counterclockwise
December 7, 2009, 10:03 AM
Just use common sense.

Segregate your vibratory tumbler and case/media separation operation from your living quarters. Use dryer sheets, or whatever to keep dust down to a minimum. Use the cheap throwaway hygene gloves when handling spent brass for the first time, particularly the grungy stuff that has laid in firing pits outside for a while. Wash up afterward and don't smoke or eat while handling. Same thing while cleaning your weapon.

Dispense with the tumbling media when it changes color. (Dispose of in a dust proof bag). Do a two step cleaning. Tumble up to outside case "clean" for resizing/decapping. Tumble again after decapping for "super clean with bling" inside and out. Catch the spent primers for segregated storage and disposal later.

For liquid media cleaning, one has the lead styphnate contaminated liquid to dispense with from time to time. This soup is a prime source for chelated lead products (organic carriers). It has all the C-H ions and Pb ions right there in solution to make the stuff.

Some people are more sensitive than others to heavy metal poisoning. Don't find out the hard way.

If you are at the range and get a sweet taste in the back of your throat, stop shooting for the day and wash up.

ReloaderFred
December 7, 2009, 10:56 AM
"Inorganic Lead both as an element or in a mixture such as a lead bullet alloyed with Antimony and Tin can not be absorbed thru the skin."

That's what I said. The danger from ingesting or inhaling lead is from vaporized or oxidized lead.

When Rick Patterson and Ed Guster spoke to our group about lead management on our ranges, the issue of lead absorption was discussed. Rick spoke to the fact that there was a lot of misinformation floating around that was not based on fact. He specifically stated that lead cannot be absorbed through the skin.

In particular, he mentioned Leadville, Colorado, which had been declared a Super Fund Site, solely based on the fact that lead had been mined there for a long, long time, (over 130 years) and the tailings piles from the mines were just that, piles of lead ore, and they were "just piled up and no precautions taken to contain them". A lot of money was spent on the "clean up", until someone got the bright idea to actually test the blood levels of the people who had lived there all their lives, and had grown up playing on those very same tailings piles, with all the lead dust, etc.

Lo and behold, their blood levels for lead were all within the normal range, and they weren't in any danger at all. The Super Fund designation was very quietly downsized to a few specific areas that may/did affect water quality from runoff. The solution in most cases was to cover the tailings piles with dirt, and an ongoing program to test the blood levels of children living in Leadville and portions of Lake County is called "Kids First".

The point is, that lead, gold, silver and zinc had been mined in that area for over 130 years, so "naturally, there had to be massive contamination", but there wasn't. There was also some contamination from acid, which is used in some mining techniques. They were at first going to move everyone out of Leadville, either voluntarily or involuntarily, but somewhere along the line some common sense and solid science was introduced into the equation, unlike some of the discussions concerning lead on some forum boards.

There is a lot of hype about lead, most of which started with the state of California declaring lead a "toxic substance", which scared a lot of people, and continues to do so. Caution is warranted, but lead is not going to sneak into your house in the middle of the night and attack you and your loved ones, steal your credit cards and ruin your reputation at church. The hype has some people reloading in clothes that they only wear while reloading, wearing masks, rubber gloves, etc. None of this is necessary, as long as you wash your hands before putting them in your mouth or nose, and don't eat, smoke, etc. before washing. If it really worries you, then use a high phosphate soap, such as dishwasher detergent to wash your hands with before doing any of the above things with your fingers.

We used to get more lead exposure from leaded gasoline than we do from reloading and shooting. The lead in gasoline and paint could be absorbed through ingestion and inhalation. The lead paint wasn't dangerous in itself. It was when small children chewed on their cribs that were painted with it that it became dangerous. Red lead paint was the standard for priming ships for many, many years, and that same red lead paint was exposed to water.

In the 1960's, I worked for a telephone company. At that time, most telephone cables were still sheathed in lead. We carried 2"x3" lead tags with us all the time in the bag on our climbing belts for marking cable terminals and after stamping the numbers in the tags, we filled the stamped letters and numbers with white lead, which we also carried with us all the time. No one ever told us about washing our hands, etc. after handling all that lead. In fact, it was common to eat your lunch while working on lead sheathed cables, and there was never anywhere to wash your hands while working in the field. In spite of this, we all lived through it and our blood lead levels didn't go through the roof.

I could go on and on, but I won't. Like I stated in the prior post, I've been reloading and shooting since 1963, and casting bullets since 1968, and my blood lead level is normal. I've shot on outdoor and indoor ranges, and I do a lot of shooting and casting. This year alone, I've loaded over 10,000 rounds of ammunition, and shot most of it up. I think if my blood levels for lead were going to be up, they would have shown up in my recent blood test, but they didn't.

Hope this helps.

Fred

USSR
December 7, 2009, 11:48 AM
Unless you lick every bullet before you load it, don't worry about it.

This is pretty much it. In the past 2 years, I have cleaned approximately 100,000 once-fired brass cases in my tumbler, AND I have been involved in casting lead in a basement without outside ventilation. Just got the results from my doctor: lead level of 2.6 (normal), in which a level of 25.0 is considered a level at which medical intervention is called for. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning.

Don

counterclockwise
December 7, 2009, 10:02 PM
The Hair test is recommended. Life styles have alot do do with lead retention.
From the reference material and www.diagnose-me.com:

Lead

Sources of toxicity can include environmental, water supply, industrial, hobbies, and others, thus a full history of the person's work and living habits can help pinpoint potential heavy metal sources.

Signs and Symptoms include combinations of gastrointestinal complaints, hypertension, fatigue, hemolytic anemia, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, weight loss, peripheral neuropathy, cognitive dysfunction, arthralgias, headache, weakness, convulsions, irritability, impotence, loss of libido, depression, depression of thyroid and adrenal function, chronic renal failure, gout. A patient with lead poisoning may have a combination of symptoms - or no symptoms at all until the condition has progressed. Mental symptoms include restlessness, insomnia, irritability, confusion, excitement, anxiety, delusions, and disturbing dreams.

The first step in treating any heavy metal toxicity is to identify the toxic elements and begin the removal process. The easiest screening process is a Hair Analysis. Additional testing involves the use of chelating drugs along with a 24-hour urine collection to determine levels of heavy metals. From here, treatment is based on the individual and will usually involve the use of metal chelating drugs or intravenous EDTA chelation. For many patients, intravenous Vitamin C and replacement mineral infusions are also recommended to support the body through the metal removal process. Once laboratory tests indicate that the heavy metals are undetectable, treatment is considered complete. Often many - if not all - symptoms previously experienced will have resolved, though some may linger, indicating residual damage to organ systems. Therapies can then be targeted to these systems and any specific problems remaining.

Symptoms will often begin to improve within weeks or even days of commencing treatment. Therapy may last from 6 months to 2 years.

Prognosis; Complications

Although complete cure is possible, many people suffer the effects of toxicity for extended periods. Some of the damage, for instance to the liver or brain, may not be fully reversible. Others find that their food intolerances will not be completely remedied. Only time will answer that question.

Dannix
December 9, 2009, 12:49 AM
Please do bear in mind to compare apples with apples -- Lead Styphnate and lead bullets are about as related as table salt and chlorine gas. Big difference!

That said if some of you guys have reloaded fired brass as long as you have without concern for primer residue and have not see any adverse ramifications, than awesome.

Create sufficient fear, and people will willing trade freedom for perceived security -- there probably is indeed an element (no pun intended) of this involved in fed's view on lead e.g. paint et al. An environmental law with a lead provision could turn every gun into a safe queen. At the same time though, we should determine our own individual risk assessment based on a clear as possible understanding on any legitimacy that may be present behind any otherwise FUD campaign.

Thanks,
Dannix

RonC133
December 10, 2009, 01:27 PM
The question so far unanswered, what form is lead styphnate in after detonation? The oxide, carbide, or what?

Secondly, how much of the residue in a fired cartridge is actually lead vs how much of the primer residue was blown out the barrel with the burning powder?

Is anyone aware of any studies done on this?

My walnut shell media dusts a lot and turns grey unless I add a capful of paint thinner or some other liquid media "enhancer." The greyness is most likely from carbon residue. I try not to breath the dust when emptying the tumbler but I don't particularly worry about it. I tumbling brass indoors, I do all my casting outside.

snuffy
December 10, 2009, 02:52 PM
The Hair test is recommended. Life styles have alot do do with lead retention.
From the reference material and www.diagnose-me.com:

Lead

Sources of toxicity can include environmental, water supply, industrial, hobbies, and others, thus a full history of the person's work and living habits can help pinpoint potential heavy metal sources.

Signs and Symptoms include combinations of gastrointestinal complaints, hypertension, fatigue, hemolytic anemia, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, weight loss, peripheral neuropathy, cognitive dysfunction, arthralgias, headache, weakness, convulsions, irritability, impotence, loss of libido, depression, depression of thyroid and adrenal function, chronic renal failure, gout. A patient with lead poisoning may have a combination of symptoms - or no symptoms at all until the condition has progressed. Mental symptoms include restlessness, insomnia, irritability, confusion, excitement, anxiety, delusions, and disturbing dreams.

The first step in treating any heavy metal toxicity is to identify the toxic elements and begin the removal process. The easiest screening process is a Hair Analysis. Additional testing involves the use of chelating drugs along with a 24-hour urine collection to determine levels of heavy metals. From here, treatment is based on the individual and will usually involve the use of metal chelating drugs or intravenous EDTA chelation. For many patients, intravenous Vitamin C and replacement mineral infusions are also recommended to support the body through the metal removal process. Once laboratory tests indicate that the heavy metals are undetectable, treatment is considered complete. Often many - if not all - symptoms previously experienced will have resolved, though some may linger, indicating residual damage to organ systems. Therapies can then be targeted to these systems and any specific problems remaining.

Symptoms will often begin to improve within weeks or even days of commencing treatment. Therapy may last from 6 months to 2 years.

Prognosis; Complications

Although complete cure is possible, many people suffer the effects of toxicity for extended periods. Some of the damage, for instance to the liver or brain, may not be fully reversible. Others find that their food intolerances will not be completely remedied. Only time will answer that question.

I bet that was copied and pasted from the EPA website!!?? How about a source?

Alarmists like whoever wrote that will be the end of our sport.

dmazur
December 11, 2009, 12:48 AM
As part of our training, we get classes in lead exposure, and different modes of entry are discussed. Sanding lead-based painted surfaces is a no-no, unless you take appropriate precautions. Drilling isn't considered as bad, as it doesn't make airborne particles.

As I am also (slightly) concerned about lead when tumbling brass, I use nitrile gloves and a respirator, then mop the concrete floor after the dust settles. I don't see how many years I can reuse media, but change it periodically.

I wear a respirator when sanding, hearing protection when grinding, etc. so this really isn't "over the top" for me...

However, I'm aware that there are lots of folks out there who don't extend industrial safety to activities they do at home. They may never experience any bad effects, so I can't say they are wrong.

I think it's easy enough to take reasonable precautions and minimize exposure to anything that is potentially harmful, including primer residue.

Dannix
December 11, 2009, 02:11 AM
snuffy - but don't you realize we need new lead disposal laws? Not only will the world be destroyed in gobal climate change (funny how those same people refuse to acknowledge a past global flood), the flooding will be with toxic water. All due to all the current reckless water vapor and lead disposal practices. :rolleyes:

You would almost think this was a joke:
Copenaghen summit spot "Please save the world"
http://www.youtube .com/watch?v=ZVlC_X9cdyI (copy and past link, delete space)

.However, I'm aware that there are lots of folks out there who don't extend industrial safety to activities they do at home. They may never experience any bad effects, so I can't say they are wrong.

I think it's easy enough to take reasonable precautions and minimize exposure to anything that is potentially harmful, including primer residue. That's basically the conclusion I've come too.


Enough talk. I've got some Christmas gun shopping to do. :D

counterclockwise
December 11, 2009, 09:01 PM
Dilution is the solution to pollution.

Here is the MSDS for the trinitroresorcinate. It is odd that an ammunition mfg.r like Olin Winchester would put out such hysterical, misleading data isn't it?:rolleyes:

http://design.caltech.edu/micropropulsion/msds_w79.pdf

Roccobro
December 11, 2009, 10:34 PM
IV – PHYSICAL DATA
Appearance: Rectangular plates...

...Temperatures Above: EXPLODES at 330 Deg.C (626 Deg.F)
Mechanical Shock or Impact: Yes
Electrical (Static) Discharge: Yes
Hazardous Polymerization: Will not occur
Incompatible Materials: Strong acids and caustics
Hazardous Decomposition: Carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, lead fumes
Other Conditions to Avoid: Do not handle dry material except in extremely
small amounts.

MSDS warnings sure doesn't sound anything like primer residue concerns.

My understanding is just only one of the chemicals used at the factory to make the tiny boomers that are inert until smacked. If so, this MSDS holds no worries for us as reloaders.

Justin

If you enjoyed reading about "Lead Styphnate and brass cleaning" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!