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lead poisoning

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jmorris, Jan 5, 2006.

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  1. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I was wondering if any other shooters have had themselves tested for lead poisoning? I’ve been shooting IDPA for about 2 years and after a recent blood test found out I have lead poisoning at 20mg/dl. All of my shooting for the past 8 months has been at outdoor ranges.
     
  2. rchernandez

    rchernandez Member

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    There has been a lot of traffic on this topic on the Bullseye list. I believe that latest studies show it less inhalation and more ingestion of lead that has been the culprit. Very important to wash hands with soap and cold water after shooting and before eating (of course). Use of wet-wipes for lead like D-Lead. Using gloves when cleaning guns, as lead residue in cleaning patches do deposit tons of it on your skin. Need to develop safe handling procedures if you reload...lead rounds.

    Good news is lead levels in blood can lower with all the right precautions (and still continue shooting) but it takes a little longer to go away.
     
  3. slopemeno

    slopemeno Member

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    I was in the same boat. I had done a major reloading area cleanup while I was between jobs. When I got the required physical from the battery shop I was starting at I came back at the same level you're at. The companies insurance almost wouldnt let me be hired. After that I was tested every 6 mos and i kept very close eye on my level until I left the biz five years ago. Dont let people tell you its no big deal-you can bring lead home to your kids this way.
    Gloves and d-lead are all great ideas, but simply washing your hands after handling your gear (think about it: rangebag, clothing, hat, those jeans you always wear to the range, the interior of your car where you touch) will make a huge difference.
     
  4. dracphelan

    dracphelan Member

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    This is a great reminder to us all. Don't eat or drink while doing reloading activities, and wash your hands! This just doesn't apply to shooting. I think I've avoided the flu for the past 5 years by washing my hands frequently. It takes 30 seconds and greatly improves your health.
     
  5. jtward01

    jtward01 Member

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    A worker at an indoor range here in Tampa was severely poisoned by lead and almost died. She was hospitalized for six weeks until they could flush the lead out of her system. Much of it was her own fault, though. When the boss wasn't around she wouldn't use the mask or overalls when sweeping out the shooting lanes. Several of us tried to warn her, but she said it was too hot. She died of a heart attack not too long after the poisoning and I've often wondered if her body was just so weakened from the lead that it led to the heart problems.

    Poor thing, she had a rough time working at that range. One night at closing three guys pushed their way in trying to rob the place. She'd already locked the rental guns and cash in the gun safe and as she was trying to flee from the store one of the robbers shot her with a .22LR pistol. Fortunately, the bullet passed through the soft tissue just above her left hip without causing much damage. The wound was more painful than serious. She was back to work in two days.
     
  6. JV_2108

    JV_2108 Member

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    Great post and topic. Great info for a newbie (such as myself).

    Thanks
     
  7. AZ Jeff

    AZ Jeff Member

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    To the best of my knowledge, your level is not considered "real high" by most sources. See below for details.
    ****************
    The following is taken from:
    RISKS OF LEAD POISONING IN FIREARMS INSTRUCTORS AND THEIR STUDENTS
    by Anthony M. Gregory, Copyright 1990 by THE ASLET JOURNAL, March/April 1990 Volume 4 Issue 2
    Lead exposure and lead poisoning are largely problems peculiar to industrialized civilizations. Average levels of lead in the blood of adult Americans runs from about 5 to 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood (5-10 mcg/dl), which is already much higher than "normal". Because lead is absorbed by the bones and stored there quite tenaciously, archaeologists have been able to examine the bones of ancient people in pre-industrialized societies and estimate their lead levels. Ancient people tended to have lead levels around 0 to 2 mcg/dl -- much lower than modern Americans.

    The first detrimental effects of lead are seen as an increase in blood pressure, starting at a blood lead level of about 7 mcg/dl. Blood pressure continues to rise as the lead level increases, indicating that lead is slightly toxic at almost any level.

    The first level OSHA considered "elevated" in adults and used by most medical labs is 40 mcg/dl. At this level, most people will show hematologic (blood chemistry) changes, and adults will exhibit low level symptoms. OSHA requires continuous medical monitoring of employees who have tested at this level. The level of 60 mcg/dl is considered to be nominal lead poisoning, and OSHA requires removal from the source of exposure. At this level, almost everyone will exhibit symptoms of lead poisoning, while some will exhibit severe symptoms. At a level of about 75 mcg/dl, or if symptoms are severe, many physicians will want to intervene with a procedure called "chelation therapy".

    Children are much more sensitive to lead, and the Center for Disease Control considers a level of 25 mcg/dl to be toxic in children (they are considering lowering this to 20 mcg/dl -- half the adult level).
    ****************

    This is not to say that 20mcg/dl is not a notable increase over the general populus, but it's not considered elevated by most standards.
     
  8. esheato

    esheato Member

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    Yup...I've been tested. 35 mcg/dl a little over a year ago...not sure what it is now.

    Here's the link: Lead Poisoning

    Ed
     
  9. VARifleman

    VARifleman Member

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    I got mine checked and it was at 9 ug/dl, a little higher than it had been, but they don't start to worry until it gets around 25+. You don't have lead poisoning, although you should get a followup in about 6 months.
     
  10. neoncowboy

    neoncowboy Member

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    I've been using this product for about 9 months. A good friend of mine saw his lead levels rise, began taking Betagard and within a month lead levels were *minute*!

    It was formulated by the inventor of chemotherapy and his suggestion was that it serve as the antidote to chemo.

    betagard

     
  11. Taurus 66

    Taurus 66 Member

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    I wonder if one side effect of lead poisoning is

    Actually I lost my train of thought. I'll get back to you on this.
     
  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Lead exposure has been discussed extensivly in former threads. If you'd like to read those you can search for the topic under the general forum.

    I'd like to thank you folks for bringing the topic up again since we have so many new members and exposure is not difficult to control.

    One of the local competetive shooters is undergoing chelation to reduce his lead blood levels.
     
  13. rchernandez

    rchernandez Member

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    ...reloading before you were even a teenager?
     
  14. Jayman

    Jayman Member

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    I emailed back and forth very briefly with Brian Enos about this. It is a SERIOUS topic. He said that almost every pro shooter out there has some lead horror story. You need to watch your levels carefully, and if they start to rise, take steps to keep the problem at bay. I tested out at 34 mcg/dl about 1.5 years ago. Since then I've been wearing a respirator at the range. I tested at 19 a year ago, and 14 six months ago. I'd love to be back in the single digits, which is where we should all be.
     
  15. Poodleshooter

    Poodleshooter Member

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    I tested at 11mcg about 4 years back. At the time, I was shooting (some indoors) reloading and casting lead bullets. No one seemed alarmed in the least.
     
  16. Jayman

    Jayman Member

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    A lot of doctors have very little understanding of this issue unless they've dealt with workers and OSHA issues. I had to educate MY doc about lead. Don't let a medical professional's demeanor determine your response to your health.
     
  17. answerguy

    answerguy Member

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    Could it be drain bamage?
     
  18. ARperson

    ARperson Member

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    Never been tested.

    But lead is the major reason I'm not shooting for the next 9 or so months. Just not worth the risk.
     
  19. pax

    pax Member

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    ARperson ~

    Congratulations. :cool:

    pax
     
  20. AFhack

    AFhack Member

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    ??????????

    "never been tested" and then "lead is the major reason I'm not shoooting..."?


    ARperson - I'm sorry but I fail to follow the logic here. Can you elaborate?
     
  21. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    The big hint/clue was the comment about 9 months. ;)
     
  22. Rock and Glock

    Rock and Glock Member

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    Congratulations!!! :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
     
  23. Highland Ranger

    Highland Ranger Member

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    re 9 months . . .

    I missed it to and I have five of them . . . .
     
  24. Mighty Hd

    Mighty Hd Member

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    What if you shoot @ indoor ranges? How about the smoke, etc. Is there a higher threat?
     
  25. pax

    pax Member

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    Mighty Hd ~

    Yes, generally there is, although with really good ventilation you should still be okay.

    What I have always understood is that if you can taste the lead in the air, you are getting a pretty large dose of it. Whether that's on an outdoor range or an indoor one, it's not a good thing.

    pax
     
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