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Old March 15, 2013, 09:11 AM   #1
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Powder Residue an irritant / allergen?

Do any of you have any sensitivities to gunpowder residue, or know if that is a common issue? A friend went shooting. A couple hours later they reported a mild case of hives. Not sure if it's related but agreed to ask. I've not heard of this before, and it's not clear something else didn't cause it.
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Old March 15, 2013, 01:27 PM   #2
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It is possible...

I have allergies to grasses and milk products but gunpowder residue does not bother me.

However, as a precaution I always wash my hands immediately after a range session before I even leave the range. Then, I go straight home and take a shower and put on a fresh set of clothes. If the allergies manifest with sinus reactions, or lung reactions, I recommend using a respirator while shooting; especially in confined indoor ranges.

These precautions should help minimize any effects of allergies to gunpowder residue.
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Old March 15, 2013, 01:54 PM   #3
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No powder residue reactions, but...

I've noticed that any time I use Rem-Oil anywhere other than outside, like in the garage with the door up, or in the basement with the door open, my nose starts to run uncontronably and I start to sneeze a lot.
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Old March 15, 2013, 11:16 PM   #4
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Thanks WW2. The hand washing for the lead alone is worthwhile.

I searched for residue allergies but there is little on the web.
I'd bet it is something totally unrelated (like solvents or consumed food). These appear fairly common.
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Last edited by TXAZ; March 16, 2013 at 06:05 AM.
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Old March 16, 2013, 12:34 AM   #5
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I have seasonal allergies to trees and various pollens. Gunpowder doesn't bother me, even reloading.
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Old March 16, 2013, 06:37 AM   #6
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YES !! The most common should be the additives to the powder like solvents That will show up when you're reloading. Coatings on the powder may add to it .These are chemicals for reducing muzzle flash and blast. Primer chemicals may add to that.
Then come the combustion compounds .
Is the range indoor ? the range can be improved with proper ventilation which will also reduce lead in the air.
Any gun cleaning or lubricating chemical may cause allergic reactions.If you can identify the allergen you can change to another type [of gun oil] for example .Resparators help .
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Old March 16, 2013, 01:28 PM   #7
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Some of the "additives" to powder may affect some people, but fortunately not me.
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Old March 16, 2013, 07:28 PM   #8
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Some people can, especially to nitrates.

My classmate told me about a friend who OD on blackpowder shooting. Now he's allergic to black powder. Oh, the humanity!
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