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Lead Poisoning --Valuable Health Information

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by actionflies, Oct 4, 2007.

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  1. jamesicus

    jamesicus Member

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    reconsidered -- too "flip" a post for a serious subject, sorry.

    jamesicus
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  2. sig2009

    sig2009 Member

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    Don't eat lead for dinner and you will be fine!
     
  3. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

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    Agreed. The whole "bullet casting creates cancer causing lead vapor in the air" talk is just bull.
     
  4. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck member

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    While I'm assuming that the lead is from all of the shooting, I did read an interesting article recently (Yahoo news I think) attributing high lead counts in children from crawling around on the dust that has settled floors. It never really stated how the lead got there, I'm guessing off of paint or something. But it does make me wonder how many sources of lead we really are being subjected to. So like a few others and I said, we should also be checking out other potential sources too. Only to be on the safe side.

    Is there a "cheap" air filtration system that will take lead out of the air in my basement where I do my reloading?
     
  5. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    Personally I think you're worring to much. I really doubt there is much "dust" coming from your bullets.
     
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Hepa Filter might work.

    Contractors use them all the time to filter air in working space to prtect the occupants from dust etc..
     
  7. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck member

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    You're probably right. Though sometimes I wonder about the old building I live in. AT least I don't have other unidentifiable plastic fumes in the air though as is what's common in new houses.
     
  8. klw

    klw Member

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    Lead Levels

    My understanding is that if your blood lead level is below 20 there isn't much cause for concern. Between 20 and 30 you should be trying to find out where the exposure is coming from. Between 30 and 40 you should be seeing a doctor. Above 40 you are going to need serious treatment.

    Lead levels will drop if the exposure stops. I have my lead levels tested at the beginning and end of each shooting season. At the end of a year of casting bullets and shooting cast bullets my lead levels will be between 23 and 28. After four months off during the winter they will drop to about 15 to 17. You get rid of lead by literally pissing it away. So for lead levels in this range simply taking time off solves the problem.
     
  9. HighExpert

    HighExpert Member

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    I had a bad case of lead contamination back in the middle 90's. Mine was 59 and the doctor went straight up. I was training at an indoor range and shooting 6 days a week for a total of about 5000 rds per week. When I went back to the range to let them know, they discovered that the rear ventilation fans were blowing air out of the range instead of into the range. They appologized and pointed to the waiver posted on the wall that they were not responsible. I told them I had no intention of sueing and was glad they had discovered the mechanical problem. I certainly did not want to rock the boat too much because the other range in town had already gone to a no-lead policy. The doc make me shoot outside only for 6 months, if I was going to shoot at all, and I was down to 9 on the last test. I also started using nitrile gloves when I have any sort of cut on my hands when I reload and, of coarse, washing up well when done.
     
  10. SifuGun

    SifuGun Member

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    Thanks Member "Actionfiles" for that information. You are an asset to the community.
    Well I am just starting to reload. And Luckily the only bullet available were the "TMJ's" by Speers. Tmj stand for total metal jacket. Supposedly you will not be handling any lead because bullet is "plated" with copper. But as soon as i saw them a the gun store i said I'll have those, thank you.
     
  11. ReloaderEd

    ReloaderEd Member

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    hood over lead pot

    My wife was worried about lead fumes being dangerous (I have case bullets for some 54 years since I was 12 years old.
    I purchased a cheap hood for a bathroom, mounted it on a cake pan of the correct size and put it on legs attached to a plywood platform under the lead pot. Then the cake pan was attached to the four legs. A dryer vent and flex air duct was attached to the hood and run outside or it can be put into a bucket of water. It removes most the the lead smoke and fumes. I still use plenty of surrounding ventalatallation and it seems to work very well
    I submitted the idea to Lee and the old man declined but said it was a good idea. I have several movies of it working and attaching one picture below.
    I would appreciate any comments.
    http://yfrog.com/n7leadmeltingfluxinghood0j:)
     
  12. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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  13. evan price

    evan price Member

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    I handle thousands of pounds of range brass and lead every year. I just had my lead test, it was under ten. I don't take anything but the most basic precautions- I don't even wear gloves regularly except for handling hot items. Ventilation, and not putting anything in your mouth until after you wash, are the keys. Don't worry so much about a little casting or reloading as long as you take those precautions.
     
  14. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    Good to see this thread.
    Lead poisoning
    something to be concerned about.
    I just got my latest results back = 21.0.
    Too high. Hate to admit it but this is my third time over twenty (the others were 40 and 25) over the last ten years. I keep looking at my practices when shooting and casting......and trying to adhere to the basics. Obviously every few years I get sloppy about something and then have to go figure what I've left out or ignored.
    About this idea:
    That's true only if you don't have elevated lead levels.

    Pete
     
  15. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    Are you absolutely positively beyond any doubt sure that your elevated levels are caused by reloading and/or casting?

    Elevated levels can by caused by many many things, even the water one drinks or the coffee mug one uses.
     
  16. klw

    klw Member

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    2012 Gun Digest

    The 2012 Gun Digest should have an article on blood lead levels. Covers the causes and how to prevent high lead levels.
     
  17. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    Yeah. The only time that I am anywhere near lead is when I am shooting, reloading or casting. Building is lead free - not the paint, the plaster, or the pipe.
    Water - not an issue. Clean.
    cups and dishes......don't actually know. Buy'em. Use'em. Lead in the glazes??
    Pete
     
  18. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    This is a very strong posibility. Do You use the common Coffee Mugs available? Most are made in china. This was brought out a few years ago on another forum as a cause of one of the members elevated lead levels.
     
  19. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    Iron

    I meant to add this note earlier.
    A number of posters mentioned taking an iron supplement. I had thought that a good idea some years ago. It is not. Men have no way of eliminating iron from the body. Iron accumulates in the male body much like lead does and becomes toxic, attacking the pancreas and liver. Women - at whom the iron supplements are aimed - don't have this problem due to the menstrual cycle.
    Pete
     
  20. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    Are you positive of this for a fact? Are you a MD?

    My wife gives blood every time she can and is turned down at times for low iron and believe me it's not from menstrual cycles, she has had a hysterectomy, has not had those cycles for almost 20 years. So say what?

    Furthermore I do not remember seeing any warning on bottles of iron supplements, or on bottles of multi vitamins like we take. I'm sure I would know about ANY elevated levels of anything as I have my blood tested 4 times a year at present, And yes heavy metals are one of the tests they do. I'm now down to 4 times a year, 2 years ago I was at 6 tests a year.
     
  21. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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  22. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    Makes perfect sense. Donating blood is one recommended method for reducing iron levels.
     
  23. Doc Mongo

    Doc Mongo Member

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    North Safety and MSA are good sources for half face masks. For getting lead off your skin you need TSP, or tri-sodium phosphate. Simple Green is a good product, and has TSP added to it already.

    With the half face mask, you will need HEPA filters, which are purple. There are others that dont filter lead (the particles are pretty tiny) that are different colors. Rmember: lead filter = purple.

    Ventilation is critical. Lots of people set up in basements or sheds and dont have great ventilation there. The fumes have got to get out and away; I really dont know how much fumes are put off by melting down lead bars but I would assume the worst and ventilate well. Id also wear a respirator while melting down the scrap. Im not a reloader(yet- saving for it though), but I had to deal with lead before and its way better to be safe than to go through chelation (similar to chemotherapy - almost, but not quite, worse than the disease).

    Having a lead test done in your workshop may be a good idea. Dont let an inspector sell you on a risk assessment: if you reload, your risk has already been assessed. Get it tested so you dont get charged twice. The home lead test kits usually only thell you that there is lead around, not how much. A lead inspector can send samples off to a laboratory and determine if, how much, and where. Then they can tell you how to get it clean, or reccomend someone to do it for you. Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  24. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    lead smelter upwind from you?

    Folk, esp. children, who live downwind from lead smelters or car battery recycling foundries are known to have high levels of exposure. There are many other occupational exposure opportunities.

    For some here who are looking for that mysterious source of exposure they can't trace to their own reloading activities, the above might just be the source.

    Apparently, before unleaded gasoline, the general population's background lead levels were much higher than they now are. Many European countries banned lead from paint in the 1920s, while America waited till 1970....
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
  25. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

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    Going for a lead test on the 4th. Idiots at work are burning massive quantities of CDD caked in lead based paint. The fun never ends.
     
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