Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by HiWayMan, Nov 23, 2004.
I've tried using a disposable rubber glove when loading cast bullets but I don't like the lack of dexterity and the glove gets caught between the case and bullet too often. So I settle for a good hand washing after a loading session. I believe there is more of a problem with ingestion than absorbtion so clean hands should be enough.
Wash hands often, latex gloves for cleaning the guns.
Tumble brass outside for the ventilation issue.
And the usual common sense things...don't stick you fingers in your mouth, eat, smoke, etc, etc while shooting...wash hands again.
Indoor shooting can be a problem depending on the range and what's allowed.
Elemental lead is hard to get into the human system. Dissolve it in mild acids like orange juice (no black-glazed pottery for your morning OJ, OK?) or embed it in the joints where whatchamacallit fluid will dissolve the lead, and you will have a problem. Vapors from casting bullet, and from firing lead bullets, are the inhalation hazards. For shooting, I think the standard is 30 CFM ventilation per firing point if indoors. Watch out for lead salts and corrosion-type compounds like the white stuff on old exposed lead. That's readily absorbed.
If you reload and shoot jacketed bullets, just wash your hands afterwards and never eat, drink or smoke without cleansing your hands first. Don't forget that the jackets will have lead residue from tumble-cleaning, if there are any exposed lead areas. Watch out for tumbler dust--very absorbable, from primer residue. The primer lead blown out the barrel while actually shooting is unlikely to be a problem unless you shoot a LOT or only shoot indoors. Blow your nose and otherwise live a civilized life, and your lead levels will stay within acceptable limits. If you're worried, get a baseline test this year, then check in 2-3 years to see whether there is a difference.
Other than the suggestions above the only other thing I do is empty the tumbler outside, I don't know how much lead is in the media but its an easy thing to do.
About the CFM requirements for an indoor range. When my 4-H club built a 10 point, 50 ft. range OSHA said 5,000 CFM and we were only shooting .22s. It was great practice for outdoor shooting reading the wind and all. Of course that was the only indoor range where the wind chill was a factor. I always wondered if they made a mistake or just plain lied to be a pain.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=45251&highlight=lead+safe+reloading), and had it tested. My lead levels turned out to be low.
No special precautions other than not eating or drinking while reloading, and cleaning up with soap and water afterwards. I also now have a HEPA filter running nearby, for good measure. I don't cast (yet), but most of the bullets I use are cast lead.
Just use common sense, ventilation and hand washing.
Keep water away from the casting pot.
Yeah, THAT type of lead exposure is most undesireable!
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