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Old May 13, 2007, 11:09 PM   #1
Tanzer
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Be careful with lead!

I've always considered myself very careful in all aspects of reloading. I wasn't feeling well a month ago and the doc wanted some blood work done. I asked him to do a lead test while he was at it just for the heck of it. I tested at almost twice the acceptable level. Second test-same results. Here's what the specialist I was referred to told me; (he has handled many such cases).
"You're doing almost everything right, the problem seems to be in retrieving and cleaning your brass".
I now wear a surgical mask (wife's a nurse) when sweeping up at the range. I load the tumbler OUTSIDE - not just in the garage, mask on. I wash my hands even when I don't think it's necessary. Of course, I take the other standard precautions.
My levels are almost back to normal.
Just a heads up.
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Old May 14, 2007, 01:35 AM   #2
BillCA
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Tanzer,

Thank goodness you asked for the test. I'm happy to hear you're recovering.

Yes, lead is a toxic substance and there are repeated exposures are cummualtive. Fortunately the effects can be reduced over time using simple precautions.

Wash your hands after shooting, reloading or handling lead. Especially before eating, drinking or smoking.

If don't wear a mask, after a shooting session blow your nose especially when using an indoor range. Lead contamination will enter your nose with powder residue. Blow it out rather than let your body absorb it.

Avoid handling lead with exposed cuts, scratches or other skin breaks unless they are covered.

Wash lead exposed clothing separately with lots of water.
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Old May 14, 2007, 10:07 AM   #3
benedict1
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I wear rubber gloves at all times while reloading, handling brass and even on my 'weak' hand when shooting. We also carry D-Lead Hand Cleaner to the range and use it at home.

Can't be too careful.
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Old May 14, 2007, 12:05 PM   #4
brickeyee
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Metallic lead is not a significant source unless it has been reduced to an extremely fine powder.
Organic lead is easily absorbed, and finely divided lead has enough surface area to release into the body if ingested.
Organic lead is also found in the residue of primers, and even the lead vaporized from bullets that then can react with other materials present in the powder gases.

Lead bullets are left inside shooting victims all the time.
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Old May 14, 2007, 09:47 PM   #5
Tanzer
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Brickeyee, BillCA, Benedict

Brickeyee, Point well taken. It wasn't the actual element - inorganic, but rather the leftover residuals - organic, that airate. I understand that the manufacturers use these compounds to stabilize and affect burn rate etc.
I remember an old cowboy movie where the winner of a gunfight said of his victim; "He died of lead poisoning".
BillCA, Thanks for the nose blowing tip. I never thought of that.
Benedict, Already got the gloves. It's surprising how dirty they are just after sorting headstamps.
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Old May 15, 2007, 06:56 AM   #6
ulflyer
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Would this mean that well used media in the tumbler is loaded with lead residue? I've been using my walnut stuff forever, just tossing in some peices of paper towel to absorb some of the dust. Should the media be changed more often..........as well as using gloves and mask?
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Old May 15, 2007, 08:18 AM   #7
benedict1
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That media, after use, is where a lot of lead crud is lurking. I wear gloves and a mask and also throw a couple of old clothes dryer fabric softener sheets in it to suppress dust.
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Old May 15, 2007, 10:01 PM   #8
Tanzer
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I clean the media often. I use an old pair of panty hose (courtesy of my wife), soak in hot soapy water, rinse the heck out of it and let it dry completely on old sheet pans. I change media after 3 cleanings. I cut dryer sheets into 2 inch squares and use 3-4 in the tumbler. They look like sh** after just a few uses, so I know they work. The glove deal referrs to picking it up at the range and sorting it before tumbling. If you use a dustpan, notice how much nitro gunk is present.
I started this thread mainly to to warn others to use all precautions. my latest test showed the levels are still on the way down. Just want everyone to be careful. I do appreciate any added advice though, so thanks to all. Next time the doc wants bloodwork, might as well ask for one just to see how you're doing.
Be safe!
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Old May 16, 2007, 02:00 PM   #9
NavyLT
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I just don't get checked....
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Old May 17, 2007, 09:18 PM   #10
Shoney
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Tanzer
One of your key phrases was AT THE RANGE . I refuse to shoot in indoor ranges, unless I can stand behind the firing line, toss a single ply square of toilet paper high into the air, and have it float downrange at a very noticeable rate. (3-4 ft or more from point of release) If there is insufficient ventilation downrange, you will get dosed.

When bullets (other than TMJ’s) are fired, substantial amounts of lead are vaporized into fumes and/or aerosolized to settle out as dust. Primers contain miniscule amounts of lead styphnate and barium nitrate, and a lot of tin and copper. In addition to vaporizing and/or aerosolizing the lead and barium, very small amounts of tin and copper are released. MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for primers list all four of these compounds as Hazardous Chemicals. Copper intoxications mimic bacterial infections and are often misdiagnosed by doctors.

No need to be paranoid, just be careful.
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Old May 19, 2007, 08:22 PM   #11
TEDDY
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lead

I shot on indoor ranges from1969 to2000.had lead check 45mpm I believe the reading was.last check it was 9.never could get answer to lead questions.had to take iron sup for anemia and took zinc sup.not for the lead. I never smoked or ate while loading or shooting.(I dont smoke)good exaust system is must.and washing after shooting or loading is a must.back to loading and molding again.
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Old May 20, 2007, 02:57 AM   #12
Dannyboy303
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So that means quit sniffing the sweet smell of freshly burnt gunpowder?
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Old May 20, 2007, 01:51 PM   #13
TEDDY
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smell this

that and hoppes #9
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