Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by TomJ, Feb 6, 2020.
I also wear nitrile gloves when reloading. Everyone I know thinks the gloves are over kill but I do it anyway.
I quit doing that but continued to shoot out door matches on Saturday/Sunday and cast bullets/reload during the week and my levels went down.
If ai have the correct amount of polish in my media, it’s not dusty but one can also wet tumble or ultrasonic clean brass too. With collated case and bullet feeders you can never touch a bullet or case until you case gauge.
If you don’t shoot indoors, just wash your hands more often and before eating, smoking and such.
you can wear nitrile gloves, apr mask, and/or a dust mask. wet pin cleaning will clean the best. best of luck with this and i hope you get better.
Everything I use is plated, with no exposed lead.
I use a spare bedroom as my reloading room and moved my tumbler to the garage to keep the dust out of the house. Thanks for the other suggestions. It sounds like dry tumbling with polish in the media followed by cleaning the brass in a bucket of Dawn and water will work.
I haven't been tested lately, but these seem reasonable precautions to me.
I also totally glove up when cleaning guns for reasons beyond just lead.
Is there any chance you have contact with lead outside of our sport?
Not that I'm aware of. The pipes in my house are either cast iron or PVC.
Lead is absorbed into the body only when it's oxidized, vaporized or ingested. You can't absorb it through your skin. I've had a bullet fragment in my body for years, and it hasn't affected my lead levels at all, and won't, according to my doctors and lead contamination experts. Simple hygiene is your best defense against lead exposure.
Hope this helps.
PS: I've been reloading since 1963, and casting bullets since about 1968, and now cast commercially. At my last physical, my lead level was 6, but that's probably more from the lead solder on the copper pipes in my house than from these activities. Taking large doses of Vitamin C will help to leach the lead from your system, too.
Mine is hovering around 6 too. I shot a lot at an indoor range a couple of years ago, and it jumped up to 18.
I've been told that continued exposure causes lead to be deposited in your bones that slowly leaches out over time. Shooting causes some exposure, no matter how careful you are. Those of us who are old enough to have grown up in the leaded gasoline era have been subjected to decades of low level exposure as well.
I'm just trying to keep mine below 10.
ETA: I started having my blood lead level checked when a shooting buddy of mine was diagnosed with lead poisoning.
That would be a considerable dose I would think.
Besides shooting the worst thing you can do is dry tumble in your living/reloading area. Same lead styphnate is in that dust coming off from the tumbler. I see so many pics of tumblers on the bench, worst idea ever.
Handling bullets, casting(the real danger is burns, not lead), very little to no danger as long as you keep your fingers out of your mouth, and don't eat or smoke until you wash your hands.
You could eat lead shot all day and all it will do is chip your teeth.
My old tumbler has a lid and no dust gets out. I also throw a dryer sheet in it to collect dust. Although it leaks no dust while running I still set it outside to run just because I don't like the noise it makes. I also dump it outside when a run is finished standing upwind from it. I seldom use the tumbler anymore. It's so easy to use lemon juice and water in a container that the tumbler just sits on a shelf.
?I'm confused @DocRock
Lead shot cannot pass through the tissue barrier. It's too large and it won't break down in digestion. The dust from tumbling contains lead from primers that is sufficiently small in size that the natural lesions in your mouth, throat, and intestinal wall will allow it in into the blood stream and could even be absorbed during digestion.
Or: Lead shot, big. Tumbler dust, tiny. ;-)
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