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Old May 30, 2009, 04:38 PM   #126
Beagle-zebub
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So how much do blood lead-level tests cost? (Not that I'm not willing to pay, but just wondering.)
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Old May 30, 2009, 04:54 PM   #127
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So how much do blood lead-level tests cost?
I don't have any idea. I have an HMO with a $20 co-pay and had my tests done in conjunction with my annual physical, so I never saw any itemized bill. I doubt that it's very expensive compared to other types of testing, but with medical costs these days being what they are, who knows?
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Old June 7, 2009, 10:23 PM   #128
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Would a air filter help to catch any lead dust that did get released into the air while de-priming or casting?
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Old June 7, 2009, 10:50 PM   #129
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Lead dust will not stay in the air long enough to be filtered out. It is heavy and will settle out of the air very rapidly onto exposed surfaces.

What is far more of a concern is lead vapor created by heating the lead well past its melting point. If you're doing that then you should be working outside. If you can't work outside (and assuming that some level of lead contamination is acceptable in the environment where you're working) there should be some sort of ventilation/filtration system that keeps the air moving past you to carry the vapor away from you and toward the vent/filtration system. I don't know what sort of filter you need for that task.
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Old July 12, 2009, 01:35 PM   #130
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Cranberry juice

I have a client that use to work in a foundry, something to do with lead. He was taught to take a shower after work and drink cranberry juice. He told me the cranberry juice flushed the lead right out of the body.
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Old July 20, 2009, 09:48 AM   #131
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What's a man to do?

Reading this whole thread has gotten me sooooo spooked/paranoid. I don't even want to touch a gun much less reload. What are some real world things I can do to limit my exposure to lead. I always shoot at an outdoor range and sometimes due to weather conditions I shoot at the same range under a tin roof structure. I strictly use lead bullets to reload & I tumble in my garage. I reload in a separate room from the tumbler & usually have a window air conditioner running. I use a dust mask to remove the spent cases from the tumbler but that wasn't always the case. I haven't used gloves to handle the lead bullets or cases while reloading or sorting. Did I track lead everywhere by touching the bullets / cases and then touch everything else? Do I have traces of lead on my door knobs & reloading press knobs? should i buy the lead wipes & clean everything now and then after I am done reloading also? I read that after you go shooting that lead clings to your hair and mustache & you should always blow your nose and was up after you shoot & then bath washing your hair because your don't want to contaminate everything at the house including your bed pillow. Should I just use plated bullets & non lead primers? I just started this sport in April & love it but now I am spooked!! Someone in the know please give me some good advise.
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Old July 20, 2009, 11:00 AM   #132
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What in heavens name are you spooked about. I just did a quick skim over this thread and most "granted not all" state that they have low numbers, even after casting, reloading, and shooting lead bullets for years even decades. Lead in the form of a bullet or in metal form is almost imposible to be absorbed into the body by an adult. Remember many people used to carry a lead ball or bullet in their body for the rest of their life before modern surgery. If you have young children in your home as in pre-teen then some extra precautions would be in order.

Shooting in an indoor range also exposes one to lead "compounds" from the primers, and also some lead vapor from the bullet base. Compounds here is the key word, some of these can be absorbed into the body.

If you are REALLY concerned get your blood tested every so often, there ways to remove the lead from the body, its not the end of the world. My blood is tested 5 times a year and my lead levels are extremally low "sgl. didgets". My testing is done for reasons other that shooting or casting, but I still have the lead levels ran.

In the final analysis, enjoy your sport, use common sense and wash your hands, don't pick your nose, if you smoke you have bigger problems than lead to worry about. Be somewhat careful around the tumbler as this also has the primer residue in it and in the dust. But again use common sense, just keep the lid on when its running and don't toss the media around when seperating the brass.

Best of luck and stay off the highway, you're in more danger there with everybody on their cell phones and texing.

Last edited by jcwit; July 20, 2009 at 11:06 AM.
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Old July 24, 2009, 12:15 PM   #133
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I would reply to this as a lead exposed human race since the first lead was smelted. We ate it in our game before there ever was a grocery store for duck pheasant and goose?
What about all the deer our fore fathers ate.
Boy look at the impact on our brains? Was it 100 years ago horse and carrage were still used and look now. Atom bomb,instant travel, rocket car's.
I think all the lead over the hundreds of years must have made the human population smarter? Everything is Bad for you now, stop breathing air is bad to. Nancy Peloci could be sold that one, I wish they would try it out, and kick the bucket.

KP
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Old July 31, 2009, 09:17 AM   #134
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Another six-month test.

RECAP: About twenty-six months ago I started reloading again. Over a period of about eightteen months I loaded some 28-30,000 rounds, of which 95% or so were lead bullets. Approximately 25,000 of these rounds have been shot--about 22,000 at an outdoor range, and 3,000 at a well-ventilated indoor range.

During this period, I took no undue safety precautions--wore no masks, gloves, etc. I neglected to regularly wash my hands when I took a break to have a cigarette, nor religiously washed my hands after reloading or shooting.

Baseline: none available--but historically I have had a level around 10.

After 14 months: about 18,000 rounds loaded; blood level = 25.

After 20 months: another 7-10,000 rounds; blood level = 17

After 26 months: another 1,000 rounds loaded; 12


In short, lead levels can be a health issue--but I think jcwit's post two above summarizes the anecdotal experience pretty well about dealing with lead.

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Old July 31, 2009, 09:30 AM   #135
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I have always been told that lead really only effects children since their brains are still developing any experts (doctors the like) care to give the skinney is that an old whives tale ?
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Old July 31, 2009, 10:54 PM   #136
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It is potentially more damaging to children and they're not as tolerant as adults but adults can definitely be adversely affected if the levels are high enough.
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Old August 4, 2009, 05:17 PM   #137
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Quote:
I have always been told that lead really only effects children since their brains are still developing any experts (doctors the like) care to give the skinney is that an old whives tale ?
I'm not a doctor, nor would I consider myself to be an expert on lead, but I am an environmental toxicologist who has some familiarity with the technical literature on lead exposure and effects. JohnKSa's post (above) sums it up pretty well.
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Old October 7, 2009, 03:18 AM   #138
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but why not "donate" a pint of blood, but instead of donating it dump it down the toilet? That's about 10% of your old blood gone and 10% of the lead badness with it, right?
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Old October 7, 2009, 04:16 PM   #139
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Just had my official "welcome to middle age" physical with my primary care doc and I requested that he add a lead count to my blood work list, so I could get a baseline.

He said he was happy to add it, but that my insurance was likely not going to pay for it, as their was no medical reason for it. I asked how much it would cost, in case I got stuck paying for it and he said $100 to $125.

We had a brief discussion and his take is that Pb used to be ubiquitous. Not just in paint, but in many products as well as belching out of every car's tail pipe. So many people received exposure. And that even though there is a background level of lead in the environment left over today, the average Joe's exposure is several orders of magnitude lower and that instances of non-industrial exposure are quite rare.

I use the clam shell RCBS rotary separator after I tumble my brass to keep the dust down. I try to keep my work area nice and tidy. And I wash my hands first with orange pumice hand cleaner and then with soap and water after re-loading or casting

But even though I figure my odds of significant exposure are pretty low, it's still worth it for me to get the baseline.
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Old November 12, 2009, 10:21 PM   #140
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lab test results came back... < 1

Looks like much to do about nothing. Still glad I did it....

No indications that my health insurance will not pay for it (yet).

Statement shows the cost was $35, which probably reflects the contracted discount.

Now I know.
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Old November 12, 2009, 11:25 PM   #141
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I didn't look this up (too much good info in the posts already) but my general take from medical school was that too much of ANY heavy metal is not good. Chelation therapy is slow work, to get the heavy metal to bind to the ingested "chelator" and then be excreted (either urine or feces). I sure would work to reduce exposure with any reasonable effort. Much simpler.

Metals in general are dissolved by acids (turned into ions that are more soluble) and hence the cranberry idea presented above. Vit C in reasonable amounts certainly isn't dangerous.

Gloves where reasonable, avoid obvious dust / fumes. Wash, wash wash. Our range has an outdoor sink and I use it!

I wear gloves when seating lead bullets. From the reading above, I'll be more careful with the spent primer trash -- and maybe when cleaning primer pockets.

I don't tumble, so guess one more reason not to.

I shoot outside and I'll avoid the "plume" a bit more when shooting lead .38 spcl. Take special care to avoid the kids being exposed to un-jacketed bullet fumes.

THANKS for all the info.
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Old November 21, 2009, 09:38 PM   #142
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Lead Poisoning

I hear that the only people that get lead poisoning are people who shoot all the time, not so much people who are around lead or cast lead bullets.
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Old November 22, 2009, 02:46 PM   #143
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That is not necessarily true. Lead is an inhalation and ingestion hazard. So you can limit both by shooting in properly ventilated areas and by making sure you don't ingest lead dust by washing your hands and clothes. The main problem with working around lead and cast bullet is that there is no visual indication of lead contamination; you can not see how dirty you are or your work area. Most people will discontinue shooting indoors if they think they are inhaling fumes, but unless you start showing health symptoms most reloaders would never know they are being poisoned.

The other problem is that most reloading and casting goes on at home, which greatly increases the likelihood that lead contamination is being spread throughout the home. Some of the bigger residential lead cleanups I have seen have all involved people that were casting lead at home for bullets/fishing weights. Over the course years if they don't follow proper cleanup procedures they end up contaminating their entire house. For example, you get lead dust on you by casting in the garage, and then you wash your hands and face. Then you sit down for dinner and play with the kids and start transferring lead dust to the rest of you house from your clothes and shoes. You do this a couple hundred time over the course of a few years and the lead starts to buildup, and you can not see it.

In an industrial setting if you were casting lead you would not wear you clothes home and you would probably take a shower at work before you left. I work as an industrial hygienist and am a certified lead paint inspector and risk assessor and when we remove lead paint (which has only a fraction of the lead) from homes and buildings the contractors wear full tyvek suits and respirators, and at the end of the shift they leave the contaminated tyvek behind and wash any exposed skin.
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Old November 26, 2009, 08:02 PM   #144
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Can dust come from the lead bricks???

I'm not sure if lead poisoning is something I need to be worried about but I'm sure not going to take the chance if it can be avoided.

I'll go lead free with my primers. midwayusa.com sells Fiocchi 1500 pack for 50 dollars so no big deal.


I am thinking of getting into casting my own bullets. My BIG question is can I be poisoned from just the lead alloy sitting around in my workshop? Will dust float up off the bricks as I walk by?

I am unfamiliar with the procedure of getting pieces of the lead bricks into the molds. Do you just cut some off with a pocket knife? This would be a stage in the process where I would obviously wear gloves but I'm worried about the airborne particles getting in my eyes, mouth, and on my cloths.

Or does the lead have to be vaporized for dust particles to go airborne. When heating the bullets in the cast are lead vapors being released?
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Old November 26, 2009, 08:03 PM   #145
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Also how to I cast a bullet with a fully encased copper jacket?
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Old November 26, 2009, 11:01 PM   #146
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Believe me lead dust is NOT going to float up from you or anyone else walking by.

Now maybe, just maybe you could get some lead dust airborn blowning it with a 250 mph leaf blower!

By the way, pray tell just where is this "dust" coming from? Are you grinding the ingots?

You'll not get any lead vapors from the casting pot at normal casting temps. At the temps get vapors it'll take forever for the bullet to harden in the mold, not time effiicant at all. You'll have to heat the pot up to approx 1000 degrees.

Really you have much more to worry about driving to and from work or whereever you drive and getting into a fatal accident.

I guess our government has done a good of spreading the great fear of lead. And cklean is just playing upon the fear factor.

We used lead compounds in our gasoline for decades, and never heard of all the poisoing that that would have caused. Folks in the area where I live even planted their gardens beside the roads and highways, didn't see any of dropping over either. Been casting since the 60's, have no lead issues at this point of being 66 years old. Have way more issues with rheumatism, being overweight from big Macs. Hopefully I'll make it thru all these idots driving while on the cell phone.

Honestly Gunman22, if you have this much fear of lead just do not cast. You also charge a machine gun nest?
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Old December 12, 2009, 08:29 AM   #147
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It's not uncommon to see people take iron pills and high dose vit C to lower blood lead levels.

Gents, remember that if you are not a normal bleeder or a menstrating woman you can get iron poisoning if you take iron pills every day. Limit your intake. If a small child eats one of your iron pills it will be a medical emergency worse than lead poisoning.
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Old December 12, 2009, 08:53 AM   #148
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Drink buttermilk after shooting to lower Lead levels. It buffers the affects pretty much of any minor poison since the bacteria in buttermilk reacts to it.
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Old December 13, 2009, 12:52 AM   #149
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jcwit is right in that there is a lot of FUD going around about lead. If I recall correctly Andrew Jackson lived with a bullet lodged near his heart. If that isn't metallic lead exposure, I don't know what is!

I'm personally more concerned with primer residue far more than metallic lead, which is why I clean used brass wet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunman21 View Post
Also how to I cast a bullet with a fully encased copper jacket?
Google bullet swagging and/or checkout the link below:
http://www.corbins.com/intro.htm

Last edited by Dannix; December 13, 2009 at 12:58 AM.
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Old January 8, 2010, 10:13 AM   #150
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Just got my results back from the lab around 42,tests are free of charge in Canada. Doc told me to stay out of the indoor range for a while and monitor the lead level monthly. I've been using the indoor facilities on average 3 time a week for a couple of years now, so the test results were not a big surprise.
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