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max it
September 1, 2009, 03:14 PM
Out of a possible 25 allowable by OSHA<who would have ever thought That I would find OSHA helpful>
My dr. whom we call "Bones" claims that his research allows 10 as the acceptable limit with no neurological effects.
What effects?
Who has concerned themselves before me?
And maybe it isnt from lead reloading or casting but rather the indoor range; i spend an hour or two a week at?

Much obliged,

Max

QBall45
September 1, 2009, 03:50 PM
I would tend to lean toward poor ventilation at that indoor range.

How's their vent/air exchange work? How often does it turn the air over?

You are melting lead outside and well vented? Right?

If I were you I'd try not shooting indoors for a month. Then have your lead level re checked. If it drops, you will know the source of your trouble.

Good luck

max it
September 1, 2009, 03:56 PM
Hi Q,

I hope not. The indoor range is 1 mile away, the outdoor is 20. Try that when I want to test a load.
And yes, what little casting I have done so far is outdoor. What I do notice is the substantial lead on my fingers after loading those bullets vs bought bullets with a higher BHN.
And a knowledgeable mentor of mine believes that the ventilators at the indoor range are top notch.
But I like your test, that will do it.

Much obliged,

Max

oneounceload
September 1, 2009, 04:05 PM
Lead doesn't leave your blood system. Unless you lay off to see if your levels don't increase, the amount will not decrease. I would suspect poor ventilation- one reason I hate using indoor ranges

trip_sticker
September 1, 2009, 04:52 PM
Don't handle lead with bare hands. Get some of those disposable vinyl gloves from CVS. They still allow good feeling in your fingers but keep the lead off your skin.

From what I've read, lead isn't absorbed directly thru your skin anyway, it enters when you eat/smoke or touch your eyes, mouth with it on your hands. Wash your hands often and make it a good cleaning.

Don't use any kitchen utensils in your molding, casting and then reuse them in the kitchen.

GP100man
September 1, 2009, 09:46 PM
while surface lead (lead on fingers eaten, rubbed in eyes & so on) the culprit is lead vapor inhaled into the lungs , direct path to blood stream!!

MikeGoob
September 2, 2009, 12:48 AM
is a lead test a specific test you have done or would it be picked up in a normal 'complete blood test' the doc's usually do.

Stiofan
September 2, 2009, 12:57 AM
Hmmm, 10 parts per decaliter is toxic to children, 30 parts is toxic to adults.

I had a family member poisoned by a spouse about 8 years ago, she tested in at 156 parts.

Needless to say, she passed away two years later, after suffering from multiple types of cancers. Her cell DNA was so screwed up they were starting everywhere.

Lead is not something to mess around with, without being careful. BTW, he was a reloader and got the lead from his castings.

Unclenick
September 2, 2009, 02:23 AM
The last post points up one of the symptoms, which is loss of rational thought; on the part of the poisoner, that is, who probably had high lead levels, too.

The metal is not all that poisonous. People have lived with lead bullet fragements in their bodies for decades. You need adequate acidity to put the lead in a soluble form. Eating the oxide (as in lead-based paint) will do it as stomach acid breaks it down into a soluble form.

Kids are a lot more susceptable than adults. The acceptable levels were lowered a number of years back, but mostly because of the effects on neural development in kids. I've seen it debated whether even the old limit of 50 will noticably affect most adults? I had a level of 11 about 25 years back, despite indoor shooting where there was no propber ventillation by current standards and doing bullet casting (though I had a vent for the casting). Washing hands adequately using a nail brush to get oxides out from under fingernails before eating seems to be a key.

You can sweat lead out gradually with a sauna. That's what the treatment for mercury poisoning always was before chelation therapy. It may still be for milder cases, which I would put yours in, as you are adult. Besides, it's an excuse to relax in the steam room.

max it
September 2, 2009, 10:25 AM
HI Ya,

Mike, I asked for the lead test to be included in my routine blood test. I have one every three months; i think it is to CYA on the Dr who prescribes all my various blood pressure and cholesterol meds. Anyway I was warned by the guys at the outdoor range to check lead levels as I spend two hours a week in the indoor range, and untold hours as a 'range rat'.
Unkle, I am searching for a sauna even as we speak :D. Next month in Minnesota!

Much obliged,

Max

snuffy
September 2, 2009, 12:28 PM
I've posted this on here on TFL and on other forums. There's a lot of hype, paranoia and just plain myth involved with lead poisoning.

Metallic lead cannot be absorbed through the skin! At least not unbroken skin. If you have a cut or sore, best not be touching anything lead. Lead salts are much more readily absorbed. Lead styphonate is present in the primers we use. That's what is responsible for most of the lead we see in blood tests. Shooting at ANY indoor range will expose you to lead styphonate. Tumbling fired cases also removes it from inside the cases and primer residue if you deprime first.

There's little or no fumes associated with casting molten lead. Casting temps are BELOW the temperature needed to produce lead vapors. Vapors are generated in quantity at and above 1200 degrees F. Electric furnaces we use for casting cannot go much above 900 degrees F. If you're using a gas fired pot, THEN you could easily get over 1200, but you bullets would be heavily frosted. The smoke you see when fluxing is just that SMOKE not lead fumes!

I cast a lot of bullets, INSIDE without ventilation. I shoot mostly outside, but do belong to an indoor range that is seriously in need of better ventilation. That said, my last blood test was 7.0! Since I do everything wrong, why isn't mine higher? Because I'm religious about cleanliness. If I even enter the reloading man cave, I wash my hands with a good strong soap before I eat or do anything. I resist the urge to scratch my eyes, or any part of my face while loading. I wear a dust mask when I'm loading or unloading my tumbler!

The EPA has grabbed onto lead as a way to circumvent us shooters. Californicate has already banned lead wheelweights. And made it mandatory to use non toxic bullets for hunting in most parts of the state. Just to protect a carrion eating buzzard! Ya know what? The substitute for lead core bullets is solid copper bullets, hmmm copper is toxic also!

IllinoisCoyoteHunter
September 2, 2009, 12:32 PM
My grandpa has had a 12 gauge slug floating around in his hip area for about 25 years. When he was shot (while on patrol) the slug actually broke in 2 pieces. He has had no issues with it as of yet. But, lead vapors are indeed bad. Normal casting temps will not create lead fumes.

max it
September 2, 2009, 04:14 PM
Hi,

Snuffy, I just printed the thread out to show my Dr." Bones"

He is a good med man but a bleeding heart liberal otherwise,

this should be good. As they looked askance when I asked for the lead test.

He already told me about the lead in primers. I thought not. I guess that one I will have to eat humble pie.

Much obliged,

Max

Shane Tuttle
September 2, 2009, 09:50 PM
Lead doesn't leave your blood system. Unless you lay off to see if your levels don't increase, the amount will not decrease.

Unless I'm misunderstanding your post, I must disagree. Treatments such as a balanced diet to Chelation therapy helps rid the body of lead content.

snuffy
September 7, 2009, 01:24 PM
Treatments such as a balanced diet to Chelation therapy helps rid the body of lead content.

Yup! There's an internet myth/partial fact that high doses of vitamin C will help in removal of lead from the body. The body does it by itself, if it didn't, we'd all be dead from lead poisoning. Chelation therapy is mostly done under a doctors supervision. I know that in the past, it involved passing the blood through a filter or machine to remove the heavy metals. Some claimed it removed cholesterol as well.

Crosshair
September 7, 2009, 01:50 PM
I have no idea if this is true or not, perhaps someone can answer it.

Where lead becomes toxic is that the body mistakes it for calcium. Supposedly taking plenty of calcium will reduce lead absorption in the same way that taking iodine saturates the body and reduces the absorption of the dangerous isotope Iodine-131.

hockea
September 7, 2009, 04:20 PM
I have dozens of shotgun pellets embedded in my skull for over 30 years, some of them soo deeply, penetrating the bone. My lead level has held steadily at 17; no amount of casting or chelating has affected this; no sauna, no calcium, no vitamin C has affected this. The only thing EDTA has an affect on is the lead in the barrel in the cleaning of my handguns (and I have a method for doing this). Iodine supplement analog is false; Iodine supplements simply replaces the iodine-131 already held by your system. While hygiene is commendable it has no root in lead dosages.


OTOH maybe this nervous ticking is just an artifact /s

Farmland
September 7, 2009, 07:12 PM
An old farm tale to reduce the cat population was to put pennies in their drinking water.

Crosshair
September 7, 2009, 09:21 PM
An old farm tale to reduce the cat population was to put pennies in their drinking water.
My grandpa just put anti-freeze outside in bowls for them in places only the cats could get to. Don't think that would fly too well in today's world.

trip_sticker
September 7, 2009, 09:36 PM
Quote:
An old farm tale to reduce the cat population was to put pennies in their drinking water.

My grandpa just put anti-freeze outside in bowls for them in places only the cats could get to. Don't think that would fly too well in today's world.

That still works great today for rodent control. If you have mice or rats the old style anti-freeze will kill them. Just keep your pets away from it.

trip_sticker
September 17, 2009, 03:18 PM
I saw this thread awhile back and remembered it when I recently went to have my cholesterol checked, so I asked my doc to check for lead too. He did and I got the results today. He said my lead count was 2!

IllinoisCoyoteHunter
September 17, 2009, 03:52 PM
2...that's it!?....NOOB! LOL :D

trip_sticker
September 17, 2009, 04:05 PM
I'm pretty happy with that. Considering all the thousands of rounds I've fired out of a 50 cal during my military years, all the rounds I fired indoors and the limited smelting I've done I'm pretty happy with a 2!

Crosshair
September 17, 2009, 08:09 PM
At least we all aren't trying to go for the high score.:p

Shane Tuttle
September 17, 2009, 08:25 PM
Yep, I wish I could go Nello....:D

Jector
September 24, 2009, 09:23 PM
He said my lead count was 2!

Think I'll go shoot myself in the foot to catch up! ;)

darkgael
September 25, 2009, 09:21 AM
It's always good to see threads like this one.
I wonder whether some folk are more susceptible to absorbing lead and to "holding" on to it. Since I have been having my lead levels tested, try as I might - no casting, no indoor shooting, careful washing, etc. - my level has never tested at less than 8 and normally hovers in the 10-12 area. It had once risen to 40 - lots of sloppiness on my part. It came down steadily - about 3 to 4 parts/decaliter per month - when I stopped the careless behavior (Actually, I stopped all firearms activity for about six months. Lots of archery)
Nowadays, when I shoot indoors I wear a HEPA rated mask and change it out regularly. Gloves always when casting - always well vented.
Still at 10-12 parts.
Pete

max it
April 20, 2012, 08:35 AM
Old Thread of mine. I am glad I made it as there is a lots of info here as well as a time line. Ill see if I can figure out how to make a new thread that links to this one. Meanwhile I have to report that my blood lead level went up to 20 from 17. Although I have taken some precautions I did move the casting pot into the garage. I am convinced that is most of it. Despite keeping the bay door and the side door open I must have inhaled a lot of lead. The other methods of ingesting lead just dont add up; the range gets a A plus from the testing authority, and the owner went to great pains to vent well when he built it. The primers do count, and I regularly throw out my tumbling media. Heavy metal soap is a help, however I cant argue with the test results. Now I have to drop casting for a while, maybe a year to see if it drops. I am also drinking milk again.
Keep safe out there,

Max

Slamfire
April 20, 2012, 01:47 PM
Your experience is interesting and thank you for sharing it.

Spudgunr on Cast Boolits calculated the amount of lead in the air :
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=75964

I found an OSHA letter stating the max lead concentration for an indoor range is 50 micrograms per cubic meter (this should be the PEL, permissible exposure limit, based on breathing this for an 8 hour shift).

At lead's melting point (621F) the vapor pressure is 4X10^-7 Pa (400 parts per trillion)

@815F its 1X10^-4 Pa (1 part per billion)
@1300F it is 1Pa (10 ppm)

So, at 815F that is 12 micrograms per cubic meter, at the molten leads SURFACE, 1/4 of OSHA's PEL (and you KNOW they are conservative!)

870 degrees - 5X10^-4 Pa - 60 micrograms per cubic meter (just above OSHA PEL)

925 - 1X10^-3 Pa - 125 micrograms per cubic meter (2.5 times OSHA's limit for an 8 hour shift).

1000 - .01 PA (.1 ppm) = 1200 micrograms per cubic meter.

1100 (Added in on the edit just because this value was mentioned above) .13 PA - 15,600 micrograms per cubic meter, three hundred times the OSHA guidelines.

This came from NIOSH STD 78-158, just multiply by 1000 to get micrograms.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Lead%20Toxicity/LeadConcentrationsoverleadpots.jpg

I am of the opinion that one should use forced air circulation over your casting pot. People should be mindful of the lead particles that collect not only on surfaces, but on clothing.

Lead particles don’t have to be visible, there are billions of particles floating around in front of you that you cannot see. When they get micron size they will float, can float for weeks given air circulation. Of course human lungs are very good at absorbing these things and passing them directly into your blood stream.

I would recommend buying lead wipes and wiping off the areas around your casting pot. Apparently people have bought lead testers at Home Depot and found very high lead levels in their casting area. Might be worth looking into to determine the extent of your problem.

max it
June 8, 2012, 09:37 AM
hi Mr. Fire,
Very good summation, I think that Dillon Reloading sells the wipes. I have been using the soap but will add the wipes. That is if I feel free to cast again. Let's see how long it takes to get my lead level down to below 10; My new Dr. who isnt quite the diligence of the old one, has put me on blood tests at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, and 6 months. Saying that he will monitor it and call me in if he doesn like the progress. Then I have an appt for the six month test. And we will review the situation.
There may be a lot of equipment and lead for sale soon.
My bullet supplier who sells me moly coated bullets has offered to buy the lead. I dont know what he would pay; I may ask for .90c/#.

developing.....

much obliged,

Max

Arizona Smithshooter
June 8, 2012, 04:58 PM
Some interesting responses...guess I should be dead by now.

I have been shooting and reloading most of my 68 years of life, worked in electronics and breathed lots of solder smoke for 20 years, collected mercury from old thermometers and played with it as a kid...we even used to play with it at school during recess, still have some lead embedded in my hand from a lead pencil that I got stabbed with in 4th grade. Plus, I was a semi-tanker driver driving the smog, lead filled air of the Southern California freeways for another 27 years.

Ah, the memories.........

dahermit
June 8, 2012, 05:10 PM
"...still have some lead embedded in my hand from a lead pencil that I got stabbed with in 4th grade..." Although it is called lead, the black stuff in a lead pencil is made up of a mixture of graphite, clay, and wax...no lead. Or, I would be melting them to cast bullets.

max it
November 2, 2012, 10:27 AM
hi Ya Guys, It's still 20!
I need to be under 10.
No casting for me
Can't give up the indoor range, it's addictive.
Much obliged,
Max

Slamfire
November 2, 2012, 11:11 AM
Since my April post I found more data on where we get exposed to lead, and unfortunately, the greatest exposure comes from shooting lead bullets.

The table from the report below shows that each round from a 158 L in a 38 Spl M10 puts out an average of 5600 micrograms of lead.

If you remember the OSHA limit is 50 micrograms per cubic meter.

LP stands for lead primer, they also tested lead free primers. Lead primers put out a surprising amount of lead in the air.

The lead in the air level dropped significantly using jacketed bullets.

I believe this is why indoor range users report high lead levels, people are pumping an amazing amount of lead with each shot.

I think using jacketed bullets, plated bullets, and if you can find lead free primers, will reduce your lead exposure.

Assuming you stay away from indoor ranges.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Reloading/Lead%20Toxicity/LeadinAir38Special158grainbullets.jpg

richfr
November 12, 2012, 08:49 AM
I have been casting now for 8 months and just had a lead test done and its 17. I shoot at an indoor range with very little ventilation once a week for an hour or two but occasionally I am there all day.
I cast and tumble in a shed (but don’t tumble while I am in there) so will move these jobs outside and do all media separation outside from now on.
I wash my hands whenever I handle lead, cases etc, don’t eat and wash clothing after casting so that shouldn't be an issue.
I reload on a bench in the house used primers go into a tube on the press but I have been cleaning the primer pockets onto a sheet of paper. Will do that outside from now on only clean brass in the house.
Will report back next blood test in a few months see if the above steps help.

max it
November 13, 2012, 11:14 AM
hi Slam,
The statistics dont make sense clearly; what is in the air is not in the blood.
But I am concerned about the lead primers and the lead bullets especially at the indoor range I frequent. My armorer also has a blood lead level of 20m/dll. And he doesn't cast which is where I expect that I got it. But that might not be the case as you stated it could be the primers and lead bullets. So far the level in my blood has not gone down. Next test in a couple of months. I will report it here.
Much obliged,

Max

Old Grump
November 13, 2012, 11:37 AM
Lead doesn't leave your blood system. Unless you lay off to see if your levels don't increase, the amount will not decrease. I would suspect poor ventilation- one reason I hate using indoor ranges I know the above post is 3 years old but a lot of people believe it. You lose lead every time you expel bodily fluids because the lead shows up everywhere, sweat, urine spit, you name it if it leaves your body miniscule amounts of lead go with it. Picked up most of my lead when I was teaching and spent 5-6 hours a week inside an old indoor range. Since then I have lost over a third of what it used to be. Took 30 years but it's gone and I only shoot outdoors now. I cast inside but my pot is under a hood and vented outside with a pretty nice blower sucking up the fumes.

spacecoast
November 13, 2012, 11:45 AM
Lead doesn't leave your blood system.

I give blood regularly, I have to believe that has a positive effect (for me, anyway). ;) I was tested a couple of years ago and it was 14.

FlyFish
November 13, 2012, 11:48 AM
Old Grump is correct - the lead does eventually leave the body, albeit slowly.

I shoot in a number of indoor pistol leagues and all of the ranges have inadequate ventilation. A number of years ago, I had my serum (blood) lead level tested and it came back at about 31 mcg/dl, well above the recommended maximum for adults of 10 mcg/dl. I started shooting with a half-face respirator - and also trying to be a bit better about hand-washing after shooting, although I was already doing that - and my lead came down to the high 'teens in about a year, then to 7.9 mcg/dl about a year after that. The respirators work and after a short adjustment period they're no more bothersome to wear than the standard eye and ear protection.

Slamfire
November 13, 2012, 04:17 PM
The statistics dont make sense clearly; what is in the air is not in the blood.

What is in the air will be in your blood if you breathe the air.

Now if you are a fish, that is a different matter.

Unclenick
November 14, 2012, 12:14 AM
Another fellow on the forum said a friend who had access to lead test gear had checked out his work areas. No lead contamination problem at the loading bench. None at the casting bench (lead vapor from normal casting temperatures is actually very low). The place it did show up? Around the case tumbler. That's primer dust. It's the bad stuff, and it's enough to make you want to use a wet tumbling medium. Doing your tumbling and media separating outdoors turns out to matter more than casting and other activities except maybe indoor shooting. I use a respirator for that. No big deal.

max it
January 10, 2013, 08:05 PM
HI Ya, I am glad I revisited this thread. I really need to use the Niosh 95 masks when i load and unload the tumbler. As the title says, its been quite a while since i stopped casting now. I sold 750# of lead for moly coated bullets. But the lead level has not lowered. Which leads me to believe that it is not from casting; it is the primers fired in the indoor range and on the cases. But I am not about to quit the range. I do shoot outdoors for meets also.

Slamfire
January 18, 2013, 05:04 PM
Thanks for the update and I hope that you can get your lead levels down.

NWPilgrim
January 18, 2013, 06:03 PM
Another fellow on the forum said a friend who had access to lead test gear had checked out his work areas. No lead contamination problem at the loading bench. None at the casting bench (lead vapor from normal casting temperatures is actually very low). The place it did show up? Around the case tumbler. That's primer dust. It's the bad stuff, and it's enough to make you want to use a wet tumbling medium. Doing your tumbling and media separating outdoors turns out to matter more than casting and other activities except maybe indoor shooting. I use a respirator for that. No big deal.

Glad I added sonic cleaning as an early step then. Mainly for cosmetic reason but also to eliminate primers from the tumble media, I use an universal deprimer, sonic clean, size, trim, then tumble before loading.

Thanks for all the discussion of lead.

max it
March 1, 2013, 11:15 AM
Pilgrim, good reminder. I just went out to the garage and changed media. I am determined to keep it fresh. I use crushed walnut shells from the Bird store; $3.75 for 10#
much obliged,

Max

TXGunNut
March 1, 2013, 11:09 PM
This thread is part of the reason I'm building a casting shed with an outdoor case cleaning and smelting facility. Shooters I know who got lead poisoning got it from being on the firing line during training and/or comp shooting. Case cleaning seems to be a leading cause as well, I mostly handle media outdoors and practice good hygiene.
Max it: have your healthcare professionals talked to you about washing your hands and face after shooting, wearing a cap, protective eyewear and changing clothes soon after a match? Also be sure not to eat or drink and try not to touch your face while shooting indoors.
Some folks have a hard time getting lead out of their system, some alternative medicine remedies seem sensible.

zxcvbob
March 1, 2013, 11:36 PM
Why not wear a N95 or better mask while shooting at the indoor range?

When you leave, make sure to wash your hands and blow your nose (especially the blow-your-nose part if you *dont* wear a mask)

And it wouldn't hurt to take a daily vitamin C and a couple of Tums (calcium) -- but don't take them at the same time. Take one in the morning at the other at night. The calcium is to help your bones keep from absorbing lead. Not sure if it will drive out the lead that's already in your bones, but they will turn loose of it eventually and you pee it out.

max it
March 2, 2013, 08:54 PM
Guys TeX and Bob, I have the Niosh 95 mask but i would feel foolish to wear it indoors. Especially as I am friends with the gunsmiths there and I know one of them has a 20 also.
Also the media thingie, seems important.
Blow nose sounds good; i do wash after every session, and shower and change after competitions. All good ideas though,

much obliged,

Max

LAH
March 14, 2013, 09:06 PM
Last check mine was 4. I don't shoot indoors but I do cast & handle plenty of lead bare handed.

Beagle333
March 14, 2013, 09:14 PM
My last one was a 2. I cast and shoot outside only.:)

max it
April 10, 2013, 10:42 AM
hi Ya, Finally i am down to 15mcg/dl lead in blood.
what did it? dunno but here are the changes since it reached 20:
no smelting
no casting
wash when shooting
no lead shooting indoor ranges
mask when working media and tumbler
no drinking or eating when loading/shooting. ok water when doing outdoor matches.
cheers,
max

orisolo
June 7, 2013, 04:22 AM
Print and hang on your wall...

http://www.oem.msu.edu/userfiles/file/ABLES/LEAD%20HAZARDS%20FROM%20CASTING%20BULLETS-c07-10-09.pdf

Unclenick
June 7, 2013, 09:10 AM
Good link. Thanks for finding and posting that.

Silver00LT
June 18, 2013, 02:06 PM
Great thread, and also kinda deterring me from picking up casting and shooting hard cast lead bullets.

I moved my tumbler and do it in the reloading room while NOT in there(prior to reading this thread). I do sort through brass and media without a lid though as its a cheap DIY sorter. Guess I will look into a actual separator.

I've noticed I get lead on my fingers and I take a alcohol prep pad and wipe down my hands as there is no sink available at the range this is from loading magazines at the range.

max it
June 19, 2013, 09:09 AM
HI Ya, Weeeel I haven't really dropped casting although I did swap some 750# of good lead for hard cast moly coated bullets. I just have not done it since.
I am much more aware now: change media in tumbler often. Mine comes from the bird store in 10# sacks for a pittance.
Wash hands at all range sessions; I have some hand cleaner from Walmart in trunk if none at range.
No eating and drinking while reloading in garage.

Other precautions carefully evaluated: mask, gloves, fan, tyvek suit, plated bullets for indoor shoots.

Next blood test in Sept.

Much obliged,

Max