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Old October 15, 2005, 02:51 PM   #1
StormTrooper
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primer and lead concerns

how much should one be concerned with the exposer to these two. When I go to the range, my finger tips get a little blackened from reloading mags, tossing my casings etc. I do wash up well when done shooting, but how much concern shoud there be to this. I shoot FMJ and JHP rounds but not with lead bullets, I think they are copper or so.
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Old October 15, 2005, 03:05 PM   #2
Gary H
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It seems that most of the exposure comes from shooting at indoor ranges. Otherwise, just wash your hands when you are done shooting. I rarely shoot indoors these days, but when I do, I don't use lead bullets and I not only wash my hands, but wash my face, blow my nose, wash my clothing and call for an EPA hazmat team. I do clean up a bit better after indoor's sessions.
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Old October 15, 2005, 03:11 PM   #3
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The range i go to is outdoor only though has some nice shelter to the lanes. It just crossed my mind today when i looked at the primer and possibly lead on my hands that it may not be good over the long term and maybe I should get a pair of shooting gloves just to lessen this a bit. As far as sometimes breathing in a little blow back gas, well....somethings cant be avoided all the time. I guess a dst mask might help, but then people my ask me to do the moon walk too.
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Old October 16, 2005, 09:25 PM   #4
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I would add wash your hands with cold water. Warm/hot water will open the pores of the skin, allowing any lead to absorb quicker.

Denny
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Old October 16, 2005, 09:31 PM   #5
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how much lead content is there in the loads themselves, not the bullet per se' but the load in the casing? I wash my hands at the range before I leave and then when I get home. The cold water makes sense. Is this really much to be concerned with?
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Old October 16, 2005, 10:44 PM   #6
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There will be some lead on the cases if firing open bottom FMJ or (obviously) lead bullets. I've seen folks use their caps to pick up empty cases. Don't do it! I would not say you have to be overly concerned, but lead is a heavy metal that, IIRC, won't leave the body and accumulates over time. Don't go crazy over it, but do be careful.

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Old October 16, 2005, 11:07 PM   #7
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Are ya lickin' the cast lead bullets or huffin' the fumes? No need to worry. You get more radiation from a ride in a jet than you will get harm from shooting indoors with the best venitlation or from shooting outdoors at a range. Don't go lickin' the primers either, bad medicine.
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Old October 17, 2005, 09:00 AM   #8
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You will not absorb enough lead through your skin to create a problem. Just wash up, hot or cold.
Lead compounds that are absorbed through the lungs and mouth could be a problem. Mettalic lead is not a significant hazard, just compounds that may be soluble in water (or mild acids like the fuid in the lungs).
Cleaning firearms is liable to produce more exposure, and the presence of various cleaning chemicals that can move lead around (or even disolve the compounds) could produce exposure.
Nitrile (usually blue) gloves are pretty effective. Latex is useless against the solvents.
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Old October 17, 2005, 05:11 PM   #9
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Lead poisoning

The biggest threat is from inhalation and injestion. Don't eat at the range, clean up after shooting and try to use ammo with low lead primers and fully encased bullets. Studies I've read indicate the greatest amount of lead is from the primers. Periodically (monthly) get blood tested for lead. That's really the only way you will know for sure your specific lead level.
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Old October 17, 2005, 06:01 PM   #10
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Being concerned, and reading some of the literature is fine. I think that will allay your worries. I have never heard of a case were someone was injured by being around primers and shooting. Well, other than being shot, that is.
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Old October 17, 2005, 08:09 PM   #11
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The indoor range have vent systems that remove most of the lead.

Also, many of the older codgers still cast their own bullets and when they were younger, didn't do everythng to protect themselves that they do now. Sure, some abit "loopy" but I don't know if that is from the lead or age (please, don't hit me for that one ).

Denny is correct. When you use chemical and you get any overspray on you, the instructions say to wash with cold water (and soap). They don't mention why but after looking in on it, the cold water doesn't make the pores open while hot water will. Your body is basically trying to regulate temperature and thus will open, or close pores to adjust the body heat.

For a grown man, I wouldn't worry much about it. Children and pregnant(sp) women I would worry because of the kid is still developing, both the ones inside and outside of the women's body. (if not in a well ventiliated area).

You could have your doc mark off the square for a lead test (heavy metal test including mercury with the fish and mercury scare that goes on in some areas) and they can find out what your levels are.

I know (knew, I knew him from the Military) of one person, he's a hyprochandriac anyway , that wears a respirator at the shooting range, in or out (side).

But then, when he came over to my house he would do the same since I'm a smoker. He was kinding but I did open up the entire house for good airflow.

Wayne
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Old October 18, 2005, 03:07 PM   #12
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The advice to wash you hands after shooting and to use FMJ ammo is excellent. I would advise washing up to the elbows as well if wearing a short sleeved shirt. Matter of fact, I'd advise shooting in a long sleeved shirt you can take off before getting in your car to go home. If you're shooting at an indoor range for an extended period of time (an hour or more) try to wash your shooting clothes by themselve on a full setting as soon as you get home and take a shower.

The hazard comes from hand to mouth contact without washing properly when on an outdoor range. In an indoor range add inhalation if the ventilation system isn't removing the airborne lead.

Long term exposure leading to hazardous blood lead levels has been seen in shooting teams that used indoor ranges with poor ventilation and inadequate hygiene practices. Teams in the study that shot in more modern facilities with good ventilation and good sanitation facilities did not show high blood lead levels.
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Old October 19, 2005, 08:08 AM   #13
tanstaafl4y
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+1 one airborne/ingestion. Wash your hands before you eat.

For me I am not concerned about lead exposure... I smoke a pack of cigs per day, eat fatty foods, and haven't exercised since I left the military...

I would find other area's in my life to improve
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