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Old February 16, 2006, 07:11 PM   #1
Join Date: January 23, 2006
Location: AR
Posts: 18
Avoiding lead exposure

I'm new to reloading and I'm trying to decide where to put my reloading stuff. I'd all but decided to put it inside the house (as opposed to the garage), when I read warnings in a couple of loading books about possible lead exposure. I've got a couple of young kids in the house, and though they won't be allowed to get get at any of the equipment, I'm worried about lead exposure in the room anyway. Unfortunately the books weren't too specific about the sources of lead (aside from mentioning residue from lead bullets). All my bullets will be copper coated - what else would the lead come from (primer residue, it must be?), and what to do about managing exposure?

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Old February 16, 2006, 07:34 PM   #2
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Lead poisoning for shooters is more of a problem when shooting since you can get more particles an vapour from the heated lead .This is especially true of indoor ranges and most dangerous if the range is poorly ventilated !! Reloading is not too much of a problem especially if the bullets are copper plated.Keep you reloading area clean and always wash your hands thoroughly after reloading.
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Old February 16, 2006, 09:26 PM   #3
Join Date: March 28, 2005
Location: Northeast
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Actually the biggest problem isn’t so much having lead bullets in the house but rather if you are casting your own bullets. In that case, obviously you need to melt lead (as well as perhaps tin) and that’s something you should do in an extremely well ventilated area (or outside) since you will be creating some lead vapor. But re-loading lead and/or jacketed bullets does not necessarily present a lead problem as long as your children don’t play around with the lead bullets. And as mete says, it’s a good idea to wash your hands after a reloading session.

Regards kdb
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Old February 17, 2006, 09:35 PM   #4
Ken O
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Join Date: November 2, 2005
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Lead is soft and if you are using cast bullets the lead can rub off on your hands, so wash after reloading. Casting bullets doesn't vaporize lead, the tempetures used are too low, it is not a problem, if you get into bullet casting you will research and find what the parameters are. If the base of your jacketed bullets are exposed lead, it does reach a temperature that vaporizes when shooting, but shouldn't be a problem unless you are shooting indoors. The biggest source of lead exposure is when you tumble your cases, the vaporized lead left in the case is removed by the tumbling media and is in the dust, so keep it covered when tumbling, and try not to kick up to much dust when separating.
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Old February 23, 2006, 08:36 PM   #5
Join Date: February 20, 2006
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 36
I have been casting bullets for what seems to be forever. For that reason I refuse to tell you how old I am.
I also shoot at least once, sometimes twice a week in an indoor range. I am also a firearm instructor and officer with a large police service in Canada.
I get my blood checked regularly for lead content and have never had any problems with this respect.
A shooting acquaintance of mine is employed with a paper mill and for a while was pouring lead babbit regularly as part of his job duties. As a result of this, the lead content in his blood was high and he had to stop melting lead for awhile till the content of lead was reduced in his blood.
If you follow a few simple rules you should not have a problem. I cast only during the summer in my garage with all the doors and windows open. I also do not eat or for any reason place my fingers in or near my mouth till they are washed. As mentioned in the other replies, stir up as little dust when separating your cases from the media in your tumbler and educate your children not to play or handle lead, and if they do, get them to wash your hands. The most important, I think, is to watch when you cast to educate persons around you of the danger of lead if it comes into contact with water. I remember when my son was very young, during the summer months, playing with the hose, squirt guns etc. I tried to isolate myself from the rest of the world while casting to avoid accidents with lead and water. Lastly, keep your work and loading area clean. I hope this helps you out. Take care
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Old February 23, 2006, 09:10 PM   #6
Join Date: January 23, 2006
Location: AR
Posts: 18
Great news

Thanks to all of you who replied. I'm not too worried now since I won't be casting bullets nor shooting indoors.

Hansker, glad to hear about your blood tests, for your sake and also as a datapoint that can give a little peace of mind for the rest of us.
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