Lead exposure

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by HiWayMan, Nov 23, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. HiWayMan

    HiWayMan Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    895
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    What steps do you all take to minimize lead exposure? I've recently began to reload in high gear and as I'm only 25 I figure I have many, many years of it ahead of me. Do you wear gloves, use exhaust fans, or what?

    Thanks all,

    Ryan
     
  2. griz

    griz Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    2,371
    Location:
    Eastern Virginia
    When I cast I do it outside.
    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.
     
  3. 45auto

    45auto Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    1,241
    I only use copper plated bullets now.

    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.
     
  4. Grump

    Grump Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,340
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Primer residue for conventional LEAD styphenate ignition is sometimes an under-appreciated problem. Don't lick the insides of your cases before, during, or after reloading. :neener:

    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.
     
  5. dickwholliday

    dickwholliday Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    NC
    ii know i guy that for years lived in the same single car garage converted into an apartment....he was a commercial bullet caster and had two automatic bullet casting machines and several lyman type lead pots in the same room that he lived.....the air in there was always a little smoky from fluxing and casting.......that guy no longer casts bullets and he is just fine as far as i can tell...i asked him once if he ever had his lead level checked and the answer was yes and it was OK......if this guy didn't get lead poisoning, nobody will.....i still wash hands regularly myself and don't eat in the room but other than that i don't worry about it......D I C K
     
  6. PinnedAndRecessed

    PinnedAndRecessed member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,541
    I shoot only jacketed or copper plated bullets. I rarely shoot in an indoor range, anymore, especially if there are other shooters.
     
  7. fecmech

    fecmech Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2004
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Buffalo NY
    Basically I think it comes down to washing your hands after handling lead before you eat. The lead pots sold for casting don't get much over 800 deg. and my understanding is there are no lead fumes till about 1100 deg. If you are smelting down your wheel weights over a burner or fire I would make sure that was out doors and well ventilated cause you don't have much temp control in that situation. Also all the crap that comes with wheel weights (valve stems etc) can get pretty stinky when you melt the lead. Nick
     
  8. Rabid Rabbit

    Rabid Rabbit Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Messages:
    464
    Don't breathe.

    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.
     
  9. JuniorG

    JuniorG Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2004
    Messages:
    91
    Location:
    Oregon USA
    I wear regular old latex gloves when loading massive amounts of ammo using lead bullets. Wash hands ALOT and have my lead levels checked a couple times a year. No problems yet.
     
  10. lee n. field

    lee n. field Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    3,924
    I had a lead scare last year (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.
     
  11. pumpgunn

    pumpgunn Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    USA
    My father used to own a blackpowder gun shop. He would cast mini and round balls for sell. The problem was he didn't have any ventilation in the casting room. Started to complain on muscle/bone pain and was checked for lead, high blood levels of lead. :what:

    Just use common sense, ventilation and hand washing.
    Keep water away from the casting pot. ;)
     
  12. Grump

    Grump Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    1,340
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Yeah, THAT type of lead exposure is most undesireable!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice