Lead. Is it safe you work with?


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coolluke01
January 14, 2012, 12:07 PM
I load 9mm with plated bullets. I shoot a G34. I'm thinking about getting a compensator with a lone wolf barrel. If I do this I was thinking I could load with lead now.
The main question is that I have little kids and I reload in my basement. Is lead safe for me to deal with? I know I would have to wash hands and keep the area clean. Also keep the kids from playing with the lead bullets, I don't let them play near the area.
The main reason I would change from plated to lead would be cost savings.

Is it worth it? Would it be advisable given my situation? Would shooting plated be easier to clean from the barrel?

Any help would be great.

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JimKirk
January 14, 2012, 12:37 PM
It'll cause all your children to be born nekkd and so ugly that you'll tote them upside down thinking they are one eyed...

Other than that ...unless you don't have the proper vents for melting lead/casting you would not be exposed to very much ... wash your hands.

Lead oxide is the stuff you'd need worry about ... the gray dusty looking stuff ...

coolluke01
January 14, 2012, 12:49 PM
I don't think i'll ever cast my own.
I've also read the sticky post about high blood levels from shooting high amounts of lead. 200-300 rounds a week outdoors shouldn't be a problem right?

RandyP
January 14, 2012, 01:07 PM
Outdoor shooting exposure is very minimal, inside handling of pre-cast lead bullets? IMHO it is a non-issue if you follow basic sanitary precautions. Like don't chew any bullets or grind them into dust and breathe the vapors - lol

I also fish as a hobby, I've been handling lead sinkers for over 50 years now without giving lead exposure a second thought.

I agree that casting/smelting lead indoors without REALLY good exhaust ventillation is not the best practice to avoid exposure to lead vapors. AFAIK it is the breathing in of the vapors or ingestion that could present a health issue over the long term.

I reckon if you want to be uber-anal you could wear a pair of blue nitrile gloves while reloading?

coolluke01
January 14, 2012, 01:12 PM
how about leading in barrels? Is it harder to clean than copper?

Walkalong
January 14, 2012, 01:18 PM
Light leading is easy to clean, heavy leading is not.

Leading can be virtually eliminated with the right load.

ambidextrous1
January 14, 2012, 01:39 PM
The lead styphnate in primers can be a significant source of lead poisoning, as contained in the dust residue when tumbling. I perform that operation outdoors, especially when pouring the cleaning media from the vibrating "tumbler" into its storage container. I always wash up thoroughly after tumbling operations.

I had my lead level checked after 15 years of reloading. It was within normal limists-not elevated.

SlamFire1
January 14, 2012, 01:52 PM
I recently had my blood check and my lead limit was 8. Wiki says 10 is a cause for concern. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_lead_level

I wash my hands frequently, never eat after a small bore match without washing hands first. I only handle lead bullets when shooting or reloading.

I also shoot outside. Good ventilation is important.

However it is not a cure all as my Doctor told me of the blood test of a local who works at an indoor range. I have shot there and the air moves fast from the firing point. Even so, the employee had "really high" levels of lead in his blood.

You can also absorb lead through the skin.

Kids are small, I just don't know the toxicity levels for kids.

Josh45
January 14, 2012, 03:33 PM
Leading is a chore in self to clean when it is heavy. I know.....I had it. It takes a few minutes with the right stuff to take it off. I would suggest getting stuff made for it to remove it. I used a chore boy scrubber and I also got a lead removal cloth thing at the gun store. It helps....

Also dont forget some hoppes....It also is good with it.

jcwit
January 14, 2012, 03:44 PM
I agree that casting/smelting lead indoors without REALLY good exhaust ventillation is not the best practice to avoid exposure to lead vapors. AFAIK it is the breathing in of the vapors or ingestion that could present a health issue over the long term.

Being as lea melts at 622.4 degrees and we cast at a slightly higher temperature, and lead boils at 3182 degrees which is WAY HIGHER than folks cast at, casting lead bullets is of little concern.

Shooting inside and breathing the fumes, eating or drinking while shooting, not washing ones hands while hdling lead all contribute much more to the problem.

BTW, I have been casting indoors for 50 years because of health issues not related at all to lead I have my blood levels tested 3 times a year, I usually am in the 4 to 5 range.

With that said YMMV

SlamFire1
January 14, 2012, 04:25 PM
Being as lea melts at 622.4 degrees and we cast at a slightly higher temperature, and lead boils at 3182 degrees which is WAY HIGHER than folks cast at, casting lead bullets is of little concern.


I believe this is poor advice. When you melt lead you increase the amount of lead that is in the atmosphere above the liquid. This is vapor pressure.

You know, water boils at 212 F, the human body is about 98.6 F, and yet I can fog up the windows of my car with my breath.

Though I looked for lead vapor pressure diagrams, I did not find one. I did find lots of phase diagrams on lead/tin mixtures which are neat.

http://www.ami.ac.uk/courses/topics/0244_tsm/index.html#2

I would expect the hotter the lead the higher the vapor pressure.

There are warnings not to inhale flux fumes

http://www.elexp.com/tips/Health_Hazards.PDF


Kansas Dept of Health:

http://www.kdheks.gov/ables/occupation.html#ammo



Ammunition manufacturing

Lead melts at a reasonably low temperature. This, along with the fact that lead is an extremely durable metal, makes lead an attractive component used in bullets. Special precautions should be taken when melting lead and molding bullets. The process of melting lead causes a lead vapor, which is extremely poisonous and can be easily inhaled. Melting lead should always occur in a well-ventilated area in the absence of children or pregnant women, as they are most vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead poisoning.


Given that any lead in the body is bad, and we know that even the amount of solid lead that came off piping, cups, etc, into water, was enough to kill people, I think breathing the gases above molten lead is a bad idea.


This shooter posted information on Lead Poisoning and the Shooter:

http://dfuse.us/lead.html

Blue68f100
January 14, 2012, 04:35 PM
Dealing with lead presents a lot of health issues. Even shooting outdoors can be bad if the the wind is in your face. Indoor range must take it away from you but also exhaust it in such that it does not get sucked back in the ventilation systems. You have lead residue in fired brass too like early mentioned. Wearing Nitrile Gloves will limit your exposure. As far as your young kits, they like putting stuff in there mouth. Your best bet is to keep them out completely, and/or lock up all of your brass, bullets and ammo. But may still have residue on your bench top. You could use paper to cover your bench then trash it after each session. You can get rolls used for paint masking pretty cheap.

35 Whelen
January 14, 2012, 05:06 PM
I know lead in the human body is of concern, but I think, like so many other things nowadays, it's been blown way out of proportion.
I've been casting on a very regular basis for almost 10 years and shooting lead bullets, almost exclusively, in my handguns for closer to 30 years. No problems at all. I've handled and fired countless thousands of rounds of 22 LR ammunition and I'm still here. As a teenager I shot trap competitively and handled lead shot weekly as I loaded ammo for competition. As a young kid, I used to bite split-shot sinkers to crimp them on my fishing line...still alive.

Like some of the other posters have said, I think there's far greater danger in inhaling it in environments such as an indoor shooting range than in handling bullets.

If I were you, I'd head over to the Cast Boolit (http://www.castboolits.gunloads.com/) forum and do a little research there. Some of those guys will handle more lead in a week than others will handle in a year. There are posts there regarding lead levels in blood.

35W

jcwit
January 14, 2012, 05:13 PM
Absolutly what 35 Whelen says!

As I ated in my previous post, I've been casting for 50 years with no ill effects, indoors no less.

At my age of 68 I'll just continue as I have been, I've MUCH greater health issues to worry about, I'd have to dig a hole to find just where lead is on my chart of things to be concerned with.

Good grief, I used to pinch lead shot closed with my teeth.

You youngsters, go get a BLL test so as you have a baseline to work with.

jcwit
January 14, 2012, 05:18 PM
Another thing to take note of or to think about, even if by chance the lead does/is vaporizing its still a heavy metal and is very unlikely to be found any distance higher than the pots surface. I doubt there are many out there who are going to stick their nose very close to the 800 degree plus molten surface.

But then I may be wrong.

coolluke01
January 14, 2012, 05:21 PM
I guess I forgot about splitshot sinkers. I bite those all the time. But i'm sure it's more of a consideration of contact time.
The main question is about the issues you guys are having that are supposedly not related to lead. Are they really unrelated?
They thought asbestos was ok for a long time.
Yeah yeah I know you old timers had baby toys made out of it and you're still fine :what: more of less.

jcwit
January 14, 2012, 05:50 PM
Forty years of being a heavy smoker (I know, I was stupid) and now not having any lung capacity has nothing to do with lead.

Being a cancer surivor (leukemia) was traced to cleaning engine parts in benzine, and possibly fertilizer, nothing to do with lead.

People have carried lead balls/bullets in their bodies for years and years with no ill effects except for the pain of the foreign object.

I only wish folks would get as upset over all the deaths caused by alcohol, drugs, and cell phone use on the highways and byways.

We really seem to have our priorities screwed up.

SlamFire1
January 14, 2012, 06:53 PM
If I were you, I'd head over to the Cast Boolit forum and do a little research there. Some of those guys will handle more lead in a week than others will handle in a year. There are posts there regarding lead levels in blood.
When doing my own research on this topic, I did run across that idiot statement about the boiling point of lead, and it was on Cast boolits. Forgive me if I decide not to follow the toxicity advice from people who probably did not take a chemistry class.

Here is a nice long thread on too much lead in the blood from this forum, it went nine pages, and it was very interesting.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=307170


Handloading and reloading Moderator

For the last 4 months I have been shooting a lot and of lead bullets 10k+ in 45acp (lasercast and mastercast bullets) from a covered outdoor range and reloading. On each session, I would shoot around 200 rds. and there would be a lot of smoke around while shooting. After each session, I would wash my hands and face and blow my nose and my muccus is usually stained with some black goo and I also wash my hands after reloading. Just last week I went in for blood test for lead poisoning and today the result came back with abnormal level at 57 mcg/dL (micrograms per deciliter) here's a link for lead poisoning http://mayoclinic.com/health/lead-po...068/DSECTION=1. This was very high and even the local OSHA person called me thinking it was work related until I told him it was from shooting lead bullet and inhaling lead fumes. I notice there are no visible lead fumes when shooting outdoor with no cover (action range for ispc etc.) because a breeze is blowing, but a different story in a covered outdoor range because there was a cloud of smoke everytime I shot lead bullet. I know a few older guys tells me they cast and shoot a lot of lead bullets and they feel ok, but when was the last time they had a blood test for lead? I feel terrible about this and a major let down to my favorite hobby. I'm going to stop using lead bullet and will look into using Rainier or Berry's plated bullet from now on and will take a break from shooting until I recover. I recommend anyone that shoot a lot of lead bullet should go get a blood test.

Update: Just talked to my doctor and he recommend that I stay away from lead and comeback in 2 months for another blood test. If my lead level doesn't drop then I need a treatment call Thelation therapy. This treatment has strong side affect and could cause other complications. I also talked to an OSHA toxicology and he recommended the same path for treatment. Furthermore, I did a research on the internet and found that there were studies where 1000mg of vitamin C taken dialy have shown to reduce lead level significantly, so I'm going to take vitamin C for now. I also wanted to point out that I use the word 'lead poisoning' loosely, but in my case I was not sick or had any symptoms of lead poisoning. I only started shooting lead bullet in June, so this was a case of early detection and not lead poisoning. I think if I was sick, my doctor would of recommend Thelation therapy right away.

I got my 2nd blood test result after 3 months of not shooting and taking 1000mg of vitamin C daily, it went down from 57mcg/dL (Oct.) to 22mcg/dL (Jan.) I am sold on vitamin C and will continue to take it daily. You can buy a bottle at Costco - Kirkland brand 500 tablet 1000mg for $10. Here are links to association between vitamin C and lead:
http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/c...wers.lead.html
http://www.langers.com/PR/Vit_C_redu...od_7_22_99.htm
http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH...HC000&c=218582
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocente...inC/index.html


There are more warnings on the web, from Universities and State Health Departments, on lead casting in non ventilated environments.

Like these:


Lead Hazards from Casting and Reloading,
Michigan State University.

http://www.oem.msu.edu/userfiles/file/ABLES/LEAD%20HAZARDS%20FROM%20CASTING%20BULLETS-c07-10-09.pdf
Know lead properties:
Lead melts at 621°F. Fumes are released at 900°F. Lead can be breathed in and also settle on surfaces. Lead oxide (fumes mixed with air) forms a fine yellowish/brown dust. Even with good ventilation you have 100% chance of lead dust in your “Lead Area”. Good Hygiene and ventilation are the best way to reduce lead exposure. The main hazard activities involve hot lead – smelting, casting and handling dross (the contaminate residue that is skimmed off in the melting process).


New Jersey Heath Department Warning

http://www.nj.gov/health/surv/documents/firing_range_fs.pdf



The article Hazards of Lead Exposure at recguns is interesting even though it deals with lead exposure at indoor shooting ranges.

Please note the man who died shortly after exposure to indoor range air borne lead.

http://www.recguns.com/Sources/XIIIA5b.html



Forty years of being a heavy smoker (I know, I was stupid) and now not having any lung capacity has nothing to do with lead.

I only wish folks would get as upset over all the deaths caused by alcohol, drugs, and cell phone use on the highways and byways.
I will bet that twenty years ago I would have been arguing with you over the safety of smoking cigarettes. I knew lots of two pack a day smokers who insisted that smoking was not dangerous, or the danger was exaggerated. I cannot think of one of those who did not die, and die quickly, after cancer diagnosis.

And I am really upset over cell phone, texting, and web surfing by drivers. :cuss:

People have carried lead balls/bullets in their bodies for years and years with no ill effects except for the pain of the foreign object.

You just have to perform a google search to find warnings in the medical literature about the toxicity of lead objects in a patients body.

And people who died.

http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-31802000000300006

http://journals.lww.com/smajournalonline/Fulltext/2011/01000/Lead_Poisoning_from_a_Gunshot_Wound.17.aspx

http://www.vahealth.org/leadsafe/documents/11062006/Lead_Newsletter_Vol_2_Issue_1.pdf

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0046817788803538

http://www.lead.org.au/fs/fst70.html

http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/159/7/683.full

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1752-1947/1/171

http://www.jbjs.org/article.aspx?articleid=23226

[url]http://www.orthosupersite.com/view.aspx?rid=2933[/url

ranger335v
January 14, 2012, 07:00 PM
JC is correct, the current PC horror of any contact with anything lead is vastly over blown. If not, a lot of us would have died long ago. And our benevolent nanny gobbermint would have outlawed any bullet or sinker casting at all, as they very much would like to do. Don't cast with your head under a hood with your smelting pot and don't lick the gray color off you fingers and you'll be fine.

Ditto your kids. One of mine crawled her way into my loading room when my head was turned, grabbed a handful of #8 birdshot and swallowed it before I got to her. Took her to a hospital, x-rays showed a neat trail of white spots working along her intestines but none had gotten caught in the appendix. Doc told me to take her home and everything would come out fine in the end. He was right; she's a grandma now.

J2FLAN
January 14, 2012, 07:13 PM
I have been loading/shooting lead bullets for almost 40yrs, and after a quick check in the mirror, I can say, FOR A FACT, it causes OLD AGE :)

jcwit
January 14, 2012, 07:27 PM
I will bet that twenty years ago I would have been arguing with you over the safety of smoking cigarettes. I knew lots of two pack a day smokers who insisted that smoking was not dangerous, or the danger was exaggerated. I cannot think of one of those who did not die, and die quickly, after cancer diagnosis.

I'll bet you'd be dead wrong. I buried my Dad more than 30 years ago because of smoking.

Thanks for your concern.


New Jersey Heath Department Warning

http://www.nj.gov/health/surv/docume...g_range_fs.pdf


I supposed to listen to something coming from a government agency regarding lead, let alone Jersey? Aw come on!

jcwit
January 14, 2012, 07:35 PM
Well SlamFire, all I can tell you is to start casting silver bullets and use lead free primers.

All this after all the millions/billions of lead bullets and lead primers that have been fired off going clear back to the days of the percussion cap. Folks have been dying like flys.

Best to you, I'm personnally not going to worry about it at my age and my experience.

35 Whelen
January 14, 2012, 07:36 PM
When doing my own research on this topic, I did run across that idiot statement about the boiling point of lead, and it was on Cast boolits. Forgive me if I decide not to follow the toxicity advice from people who probably did not take a chemistry class.


What an arrogant thing to say. FYI, I stopped reading your post after that asinine statement...and I suspect most others will do the same. See? All that trouble of copying and pasting for nothing!!

Now, why don't you sell all your loading equipment, firearms, knives, baseball bats, golf clubs, power tools, lawnmowers, weedeaters, blowers, bows and arrows, household cleaning fluids, cars, bicycles, and eating utensil because all of these can hurt or kill you. Then you can lock yourself in a room, and so you won't choke on your food have a feeding tube installed. Then maybe, just maybe you won't hurt yourself and you'll live a perfectly safe, danger-free life!

35W

jcwit
January 14, 2012, 07:37 PM
I have been loading/shooting lead bullets for almost 40yrs, and after a quick check in the mirror, I can say, FOR A FACT, it causes OLD AGE

So that's why all this happened! Now I know!

Walkalong
January 14, 2012, 07:48 PM
I only wish folks would get as upset over all the deaths caused by alcohol, drugs, and cell phone use on the highways and byways.

We really seem to have our priorities screwed up.
In lots of ways.

I choose not to cast anymore, and not to shoot a lot of lead, for my own personal reasons, but I have no doubt the dangers of casting and shooting lead are exaggerated by the folks who will do anything to attack shooters and any part of our game.

I do have all my casting equipment, and a good store of lead, cause who knows, I might need it one day, and I, or my children, can always sell it later on.

41 Mag
January 14, 2012, 09:17 PM
Well I just want to give notice here and now, I am VERY concerned with the health and well being of all of you folks who shoot cast boolits. So for safety sake, and the well being and good health to you all, I want to here by offer to receive any and all lead boolits, wheel weights, ingots and any other form of alloy by which you have been pouring boolits with.

All I will charge for this great service to my fellow shooters, and humanity, is the actual shipping charges which you will incur upon shipment with your chosen carrier.

I promise I will dispose of it safely and properly.

Just PM me and I will send you the proper shipping address.

1SOW
January 14, 2012, 09:46 PM
Is lead safe for me to deal with?


Nope.
Neither are primers, powders and toilet/drain cleaners.

Meant as humor, but I would be very careful around children with ANY "potentially" harmful substances.

FROGO207
January 15, 2012, 08:21 AM
If you wash your hands after handling lead products before eating/smoking and use ventilation when shooting/casting indoors I would wager that your most dangerous exposure would be from the joints in your water pipes in your house. That is if it has copper piping and was plumbed more than 15 years ago. We now have to use lead free solder. I deal with this daily as I am a plumber/electrician by trade and have my lead levels checked yearly. I too cast, bite lead sinkers, drink water from old copper pipes, reload 40K plus lead bullets a year then shoot them indoors, and still have normal lead levels. I am aware, I take precautions as needed, and use COMMON SENSE around lead---this has done me well over the years. YMMV

MattGP
January 15, 2012, 09:20 AM
coolluke01,

I don't have a lot of experience in reloading; the safety of lead has already been debated within this thread and I'm not qualified to comment on the subject of lead poisoning.

What I do see in your original post is a love for your children and not wanting to do anything that 'may' or 'could' cause harm to them.

I think you've already answered your own question, "Could my children possibly be harmed by this?".

If you have to ask, you already know YOUR answer.

dickttx
January 15, 2012, 09:42 AM
Handling lead can probably be pretty dangerous. But not as dangerous as other things we are around everyday. Such as gasoline. And even the government doesn't have to tell you not to check the level of your gasoline with a match. About the same precautions with lead.
Neither are anywhere close to as dangerous as driving down the freeway with all the idiots that you have absolutely NO control over.

MattGP
January 15, 2012, 10:03 AM
coolluke01,

Another thought, if you decide that loading lead is safe for your family, be aware of cross-contamination; just as you would be in the kitchen when cookin' some grub.

mje
January 25, 2012, 05:58 PM
Kids are extremely sensitive to lead, so you want to be ultra-careful about exposing them. If you reload, tumbling cases and separating the media will put a LOT of lead dust and oxides in the air, so do that outdoors, or set up an air cleaner in your reloading room. This can be as simple as a box fan with a micron furnace air filter duct taped to the intake side. As for those who say they've been sucking in lead for decades with no ill effects... how would you tell? ;-)

jcwit
January 25, 2012, 06:05 PM
As for those who say they've been sucking in lead for decades with no ill effects... how would you tell?

I now have my blood levels tested 3 times a year, lead levels run 4 to 6, why does it very? No idea, no more than I know why my cancer protein levels very.

No, the cancer is not related to exposure to lead.

Elkins45
January 25, 2012, 08:27 PM
I would expect the hotter the lead the higher the vapor pressure.

You would expect a metal with an atomic weight of 207 to behave the same as water?

Lead bullet casting happens around 700K. The vapor pressure of Pb at that temperature is somewhere around 0.000001 mm Hg. To give you an idea of just how low that is, normal atmospheric pressure is 760 mm Hg.

http://www.powerstream.com/vapor-pressure.htm if you want to verify my numbers. I won't claim you can't poison yourself through accidental ingestion, and powder of the oxide can be an issue, but you aren't going to breathe enough Pb vapor to do it. It's just too heavy an atom.

Plus, think about all the anecdotal evidence to the contrary. Back in the days of molten lead type lithographers spent hours in rooms full of vats of molten Linotype and we don't see reams of stories of typesetters keeling over dead at a young age.

35 Whelen
January 25, 2012, 09:12 PM
You would expect a metal with an atomic weight of 207 to behave the same as water?

Plus, think about all the anecdotal evidence to the contrary. Back in the days of molten lead type lithographers spent hours in rooms full of vats of molten Linotype and we don't see reams of stories of typesetters keeling over dead at a young age.


Finally, a voice of reason and not conjecture. Thank you.

I'm not a chemist, and some would probably consider me a borderline moron, but I could never figure out how something as heavy as lead could vaporize, make its way into my nostrils, and then kill me. So, I break most of the "safety" rules when I cast...and I'm still alive.

35W

Elkins45
January 25, 2012, 09:20 PM
I could never figure out how something as heavy as lead could vaporize, make its way into my nostrils, and then kill me.

It can...but you have to heat your pot up to around 5000 F before it becomes a serious issue. I'm pretty sure the dial on my Lee melter doesn't go that high!

4895
January 26, 2012, 02:23 AM
I understand your concern. When I load ANY ammo, I wear black NITRILE gloves from Harbor Freight. They are not the cheap ones; these cost about $9 on sale for a box. I don't always load lead, but when I do, I prefer to wear protection.

jcwit
January 26, 2012, 10:33 AM
Just had something else occur to me! LOOK OUT, HERE IT COMES!!!!

Back in the days when we had leaded gas, we didn't have bodies laying along side the byways & hiways dead from lead poisoning. Out here in the fly over country we even have folks who put their veggie garden next to the road way with no ill effects.

Just reinforces my thinking this whole scare is way overblown.

snuffy
January 26, 2012, 01:25 PM
I recently had my blood check and my lead limit was 8. Wiki says 10 is a cause for concern. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_lead_level
Safe lead levels for ADULTS is 20. For children and pregnant women, it's 10

I wash my hands frequently, never eat after a small bore match without washing hands first. I only handle lead bullets when shooting or reloading.

Good advice, wash thoroughly to be sure the lead is off your hands, then be sure to take a shower and change your clothes.

I also shoot outside. Good ventilation is important.

However it is not a cure all as my Doctor told me of the blood test of a local who works at an indoor range. I have shot there and the air moves fast from the firing point. Even so, the employee had "really high" levels of lead in his blood.

You can also absorb lead through the skin.

NEGATIVE! Lead is NOT absorbed through UNBROKEN skin. Okay, .006% IS absorbed, at that rate, you'd have to have you entire body in contact with lead 24/7 to get a measurable level in your blood!

Kids are small, I just don't know the toxicity levels for kids.

As stated above, it's 10.

All your cut & paste stuff came from government agencies that have been trying to get us to stop using lead for decades. *********** finally did it by outlawing lead wheel weights, and making it illegal to use lead core bullets for hunting in most of the state.

Elkins, I copied your post and saved it for future referral when this topic comes up again. It's something I've been saying for years, just never had the proof that lead vapors have great difficulty getting airborne.

I too have been casting indoors since '72. The first 15 years in a drafty basement, no ventilation

Since then, I've been it the same spare bedroom as the rest of my loading gear. Again, no ventilation. The last 3 years, I've been getting tested for my lead levels, the HIGHEST was 7.0. That with shooting at an indoor range in wintertime.

A lot of hype from the govmint is just junk science. Studies that come to a forgone conclusion by cherry picking studies that agree with your agenda, and ignoring studies that say the opposite. Same goes with the so-called toxicity of lead.

Lead does not fume below 1200 degrees. So the smoke you see from fluxing is just that, SMOKE not lead fumes. Electric casting furnaces do not go over 900 degrees.

Fired primers are much more of a problem, the lead styphonate is easily absorbed when the dust from fired primers is inhaled.

When doing my own research on this topic, I did run across that idiot statement about the boiling point of lead, and it was on Cast boolits. Forgive me if I decide not to follow the toxicity advice from people who probably did not take a chemistry class.

And you did? Or was it just cut & paste? It's an established fact that lead boils at 3182 degrees Fahrenheit. Most casting takes place @ 7-800 degrees, I never go above 725. And yes I DO know exactly what my temps are. It's called a PID,A proportional–integral–derivative controller (PID controller). It controls temp +- 1 degree.

Slam, I've come to respect your opinion on powder degradation, but you're way off base on these claims. Maybe if we get rid of Obummer, the EPA will be gone, then we can live in peace.;)

Mike1234567
January 26, 2012, 01:40 PM
Me uzed to kast me own fishn wates an it dint mes me upp won bittty bit. Itz the choo-in onn the led sodder thet gotz me.

hso
January 26, 2012, 01:51 PM
Back in the days of molten lead type lithographers spent hours in rooms full of vats of molten Linotype and we don't see reams of stories of typesetters keeling over dead at a young age

Folks, this is my professional area and there are real negative health effects due to lead exposure. No govenment conspiracy, no overexageration, no anti propaganda. BTW, early industrial lead casting workers suffered a wide range of health problems that lead to chronic illnesses and shorter life spans. The workers involved in casting type are used as examples in industrial hygiene and public health texts and lectures.

If you're buying your bullets instead of casting AND if you're thorough about keeping the area clean any your own personal hygiene and the kids don't play with the bullets or equipment there shouldn't be any problem with working with unclad bullets. If you tumble, please clean your brass outside the house and dump all media outside as a precaution.

Mike1234567
January 26, 2012, 02:19 PM
Mee kantz agreee mor cuz... uhh... wut wuz i sayun?

SlamFire1
January 26, 2012, 04:50 PM
I am so surprised by the push back on lead toxicity.

I assumed everyone knew lead was toxic. If you eat, drink, inhale the stuff, life will not be pleasant.

Last night I searched the web, looked for "Linotype toxicity" and found a CDC report from the 60's. I am not an occupational specialist and do not know how to correlate lead concentrations to risk, but they were testing all sorts of workers in all sorts of occupations that had exposure to lead. And all of the workers had lead in them. The tests were from urine samples , it is possible that blood tests are better.

In so far as linotype, that technology phased out of the US decades ago, so health problems in the US are moving beyond living memory. Still, you can search and find threads like this:

http://www.pneac.org/discus/messages/16/761.html?1193150780
I own a company in San luis Potosi , MEXICO that still uses lead in old linotype machines.

I want to find anyone who could provide me w/ info regarding the purchase of new fonts for these old machines and also w/ information on health issues regarding the use of lead.

Jeanett Medina

Reply Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 - 09:46 am:
________________________________________
Lead and certain lead compounds can be very toxic to humans resulting in several detrimental health effects. Exposure to lead occurs through skin absorption, ingestion or more commonly, inhalation. Inhalation represents the most rapid onset on toxic effects because it is rapidly absorbed and the amount required for these effects is smaller. Lead accumulates in the blood, bone, and other soft tissues especially the kidneys, liver, nervous system because it is not readily excreted. Excessive exposure to lead can cause anemia, kidney disease, reproductive disorders, birth defects, and neurological impairments such as seizures, mental retardation, and/or behavioral disorders. Even at low doses, lead exposure is associated with changes in fundamental metabolism. Fetuses and children are especially susceptible to low doses of lead, often suffering central nervous system damage or slowed growth. Lead may be a factor in high blood pressure, heart disease, and osteoporosis in women. High lead accumulation levels in the body can be fatal. Lead has its own separate OSHA standard that covers metallic lead, inorganic lead compounds, and organic lead soaps. Employee exposure to lead is set at 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged over an 8-hour time weighted average. The action level is set at 30 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged over an 8-hour time weighted average. Exceeding the action level triggers exposure monitoring requirements, medical surveillance, and employee training and education. The standard has other provisions covering workplace exposure control practices.

In the printing industry, there are several possible worker exposure scenarios. Lead exposure can occur during welding and cutting operations, lead paint removal, and melting lead by linotype operators. There is no data available on exposure levels for workers at printing facilities engaged in welding/cutting or paint removal. For linotype operations, the forms of lead involved are lead alloys and lead oxide, which is formed during the melting of the lead. In several studies conducted at approximately 10 printing operations where linotypes were being used, lead exposure was well below the standard. Employees were exposed to levels ranging from 1-5 micrograms/cubic meter. Sawing operations resulted in the greatest lead exposure ranging from 17-33 micrograms/cubic meter. In some linotype evaluations, there was no exposure to lead measured. It is important to note that these measured exposure levels should be considered site-specific and representative of the conditions existing at the time of the measurement. It is imperative that worker exposure levels be determined at your facility.


Instead of arguing over whether lead and casting is perfectly safe, I believe it would be more productive to find out what protective measures people take, and then maybe a pattern of good practices will fall out.

Mike1234567
January 26, 2012, 05:01 PM
^^^ Although I "attempted" some humor with my posts they weren't intended to be "push backs". I have some very serious health issues some of which might be attributed to lead exposure. And, in my youth, I really did chew on lead solder. Hey, I was a kid. What did I know 40 years ago?

snuffy
January 26, 2012, 07:33 PM
hso

Folks, this is my professional area and there are real negative health effects due to lead exposure. No government conspiracy, no overexaggeration, no anti propaganda. BTW, early industrial lead casting workers suffered a wide range of health problems that lead to chronic illnesses and shorter life spans. The workers involved in casting type are used as examples in industrial hygiene and public health texts and lectures.


So HSO, what IS your profession? Stating you're a professional carry's no weight without knowing how it applies.

Lead and certain lead compounds can be very toxic to humans resulting in several detrimental health effects. Exposure to lead occurs through skin absorption, ingestion or more commonly, inhalation

As I already said, metalic lead is not absorbed through the skin, that's a bald faced LIE!

I am so surprised by the push back on lead toxicity.

REALLY? I'm surprised you're pushing this so hard. 100's of thousands of people cast lead bullets all over the world. If it was dangerous, thousands would be dying. You'd hear about it if that were true.

I assumed everyone knew lead was toxic. If you eat, drink, inhale the stuff, life will not be pleasant.

Nobody is saying lead is not toxic. What I'm saying is it is all blown out of proportion to the real dangers.


Last night I searched the web, looked for "Linotype toxicity" and found a CDC report from the 60's. I am not an occupational specialist and do not know how to correlate lead concentrations to risk, but they were testing all sorts of workers in all sorts of occupations that had exposure to lead. And all of the workers had lead in them. The tests were from urine samples , it is possible that blood tests are better.

Well, again, what did you expect to find? An outdated method of testing AIR QUALITY, in a process almost never used anymore. "and all the workers had lead in them". Everybody reading this has SOME lead in them, so at what concentrations?

The EPA is winning. Some are going to swallow the misinformation, give up casting or never get into it. Another bunch of shooters lost to unfounded fear.

jcwit
January 26, 2012, 08:20 PM
Instead of arguing over whether lead and casting is perfectly safe, I believe it would be more productive to find out what protective measures people take, and then maybe a pattern of good practices will fall out.


I believe the feds telling us how dangerous something such as lead is so gosh awful deadly when we mostly know its way overblown. Check out the chemicals under your kitchen sink and/or in your garage, something as simple as your lawn fertilizer, now there's some REAL deadly stuff. As far as the lead in paint in a toy that can sit in my hand being dangerous to a kid, there isn't enough lead to sit on the head of a pin there.

Keep the lead away from your youngsters, don't sniff the polishing media, don't eat or drink while casting. And most of us will die from something other than lead.

Didn't even bring up smoking while casting, cause that's more deadly than the lead, and sure is a bad way to go. Don't believe it, go visit a cancer ward!

Elkins45
January 26, 2012, 08:45 PM
In several studies conducted at approximately 10 printing operations where linotypes were being used, lead exposure was well below the standard. Employees were exposed to levels ranging from 1-5 micrograms/cubic meter. Sawing operations resulted in the greatest lead exposure ranging from 17-33 micrograms/cubic meter. In some linotype evaluations, there was no exposure to lead measured.

Im confused. Doesn't this support the contention that lead type printing wasn't all that deadly?

I don't think any responsible person is saying lead isn't toxic. But I also know there is no credible evidence that bullet casting will harm you unless you do a bunch of things wrong.

orionengnr
January 26, 2012, 09:31 PM
I shoot indoors weekly.

I separate tumbled brass outside, "usually" wear nitrile gloves when tumbling brass or loading lead bullets, but I am not fanatical about it.

I have (at my request) been having the lead level of my blood tested as part of the blood work in my annual physical since I started handloading about three years ago.
As of last March, my lead level is 8. My physician's standard is that 10 or above is a cause for concern (not a cause for panic).

As such, I am keeping an eye on it, but not concerned, and certainly not close to panic. If my lead level is 10 or more this March, I will revisit my tumbling and loading process, but will not stop loading or shooting. At 55, I'm pretty sure something else will kill me off long before anything lead-related will...being shot notwithstanding. :)

35 Whelen
January 26, 2012, 09:54 PM
I don't buy all the hype that lead will kill you if you handle leads bullets, then smoke a cigarette, eat, pick your nose, etc. I've been doing it too long using what most here would consider "unsafe" methods, and I'm alive and well.

That being said, isn't it possible that lead absoprtion, however it may happen, affects different people in different ways? Or that some peoples bodies absorb lead more easily than others? That some peoples bodies deal with lead better than others?

It's sort of like the whole high cholesterol/nitrate/nitrite BS. My great-grandparents largely subsisted on a diet that would horrify most doctors today. Eggs and bacon EVERY morning, whole milk, (much of the time fresh, as in straight from the cow). Fired chicken, fried porkchops, chicken fried steak, fried potatoes, ham, vegetables slathered in butter, sweet tea with sugar, etc. etc. God only KNOWS what their cholestrol levels were. Of the five whom I was blessed to know personally, the one to die the youngest was 93, the oldest a couple of weeks shy of 105.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who eat healthy, exercise, etc., and still die of heart attacks, cancer and strokes.

I said all that to say that it seems obvious to me that everyone is different. Where some people are constantly exposed to lead yet don't seem to have elevated lead levels in their bodies, others seem to be able to look at a cast bullet and have elevated levels of lead.

35W

AABEN
January 26, 2012, 10:18 PM
I am 71 years Young and have been loading 30 years and making my sinkers and bullets for 30 years and my Dr said I could live up to 90 2 week ago. I always pore out door in spring and fall With the wind at my back if the wind is low I have a fan behind me.

Mike1234567
January 26, 2012, 10:21 PM
...

Master Blaster
January 26, 2012, 10:43 PM
I know three folks at my gun club, who reload and shoot indoor often that have been tested and had lead levels rangings from 26 mg/dl to 38 mg/dl. They are wearing masks when they shoot now and one is having chelation therapy with EDTA. I had my lead level tested two weeks ago when I had a blood test for my physical. My Level is 12 mg/dl, that's elevated, I reload and shoot one or two times a week sometimes indoors and sometimes out doors.
It's something I will watch closely from now on.

oldreloader
January 26, 2012, 10:47 PM
I'm with Snuffy and jcwit on this one.

mo841
January 26, 2012, 11:48 PM
If lead is so over hyped and not as dangerous as they say, then why take any precaution at all when dealing with it. I would wear a respirator (only $50) if i were to cast lead and rubber gloves if loading with pure lead bullets. I would keep the kids 100% away from the lead as its going to affect them the most. Their are things in the world that seem not to affect you untill you get symptoms, usually by that point its too late.

35 Whelen
January 26, 2012, 11:59 PM
I have a tendency to believe those with direct experience, such as those on this board, more than I do some government entity.

35W

snuffy
January 27, 2012, 12:16 AM
If lead is so over hyped and not as dangerous as they say, then why take any precaution at all when dealing with it. I would wear a respirator (only $50) if i were to cast lead and rubber gloves if loading with pure lead bullets. I would keep the kids 100% away from the lead as its going to affect them the most. Their are things in the world that seem not to affect you until you get symptoms, usually by that point its too late.

People can still do as they please in their private lives, at least for now. So you can do whatever makes you feel safe. Some choose not to wear seat belts. Others choose to climb mountains. What is safe for me may not be safe for you.

Please choose your path. I can't work as well with gloves on, even those thin latex or nitril hand wear. I can't have a vent or fan/hood over my lead pot, it would cost way too much right now to vent outside in this Wisconsin winter. So I don't and have no ill effects from it.

Melting scrap lead has a lot of foreign matter to deal with.(some call this smelting, which is incorrect) Especially wheel weights IF you can still find them. That I do outside spring summer and fall with a turkey fryer and dutch oven. The smoke simply goes with the wind.

mo841
January 27, 2012, 01:04 AM
This thread got me thinking. I typed in smoking is good for you forum. I actually found a forum where they were arguing about all the great health benifits tobacco has and how smoking was good for you because some of the oldest liveing people in the world smoked. Some other people had relitives that have lived for a real long time and smoked 2 packs a day. Some just chalked it up to being a stress reducer. People can do as they wish and they certainly will, they can also believe what they want to believe and nothing will change that. Thats the great thing about this country, we can weigh the risks and the benifits and make our own decissions on what to do, good or bad.:)

JRH6856
January 27, 2012, 01:31 AM
Just had something else occur to me! LOOK OUT, HERE IT COMES!!!!

Back in the days when we had leaded gas, we didn't have bodies laying along side the byways & hiways dead from lead poisoning. Out here in the fly over country we even have folks who put their veggie garden next to the road way with no ill effects.

Just reinforces my thinking this whole scare is way overblown.

FWIW, For the entire US population, during and after the TetraEthyl Lead phaseout, the mean blood lead level dropped from 16 μg/dL in 1976 to only 3 μg/dL in 1991. (Reyes, J. W. (2007). "The Impact of Childhood Lead Exposure on Crime". National Bureau of Economic Research. "a" ref citing Pirkle, Brody, et. al (1994).)

jcwit
January 27, 2012, 02:25 AM
FWIW, For the entire US population, during and after the TetraEthyl Lead phaseout, the mean blood lead level dropped from 16 μg/dL in 1976 to only 3 μg/dL in 1991. (Reyes, J. W. (2007). "The Impact of Childhood Lead Exposure on Crime". National Bureau of Economic Research. "a" ref citing Pirkle, Brody, et. al (1994).)
__________________


Ya, and look at what we were able to accomplish back in those days, put a man on the moon and built the world we have today, even surivied to old age.

"The Impact of Childhood Lead Exposure on Crime

Whats todays excuse?

Guess we just did the impossible!

SlamFire1
January 27, 2012, 09:50 AM
These sites offer suggestions to limit lead intake. Neither advocates casting in an un ventilated basement. Both recommend positive ventilation over the casting pot, cleaning hands and clothes, plus other recommendations.

What I have not seen is information about the concentration of lead in the air above a casting pot and whether that is in the toxic exposure range.
Safe Handling of Lead when Casting and Tumbling Brass by Glen Fryxell

http://www.sixguns.com/crew/lead.html

Lead Safety by Tacticool Products

http://www.tacticoolproducts.com/leadsafety/


Smoking must be good, George Burns lived till he was over 100. As a part of his routine he joked about when his doctor told him to cut out his drinking and smoking, and he outlived his doctor!

I do know one club member who is down to one lung due to smoking, and I knew lots of smokers who died real fast after they came down with cancer. But that probably had nothing to do with smoking, or George would not have lived so long, right?

jcwit
January 27, 2012, 10:09 AM
Smoking must be good, George Burns lived till he was over 100. As a part of his routine he joked about when his doctor told him to cut out his drinking and smoking, and he outlived his doctor!

I do know one club member who is down to one lung due to smoking, and I knew lots of smokers who died real fast after they came down with cancer. But that probably had nothing to do with smoking, or George would not have lived so long, right?

I sincerely hope this was ment in jest and sarcasm.

Not all smokers died a quick death from cancer, my dad worked at ending it all for over 5 years and it was a terrible thing for our family to watch.
He never did die from cancer.
Don't try to tell me about a quick death from smoking.

Art Eatman
January 27, 2012, 10:20 AM
This thread hasn't been on-topic since about halfway down Page 1.

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