PDA

View Full Version : shooting, reloading, LEAD and our health


Bobby Hated
10-18-2011, 6:33 AM
how concerned should we be?

i shoot at least a half dozen times a month with competitions on the wkend and practice during the week , plus a couple days reloading, and i always wonder if shooting alot, handling fired brass, reloading, etc. exposes me to dangerous levels of lead.

my biggest fear is eating after shooting. even after i wash my hands they still smell of gunpowder. but also i find fired brass and live rounds all over the place, in clothes, my cars, around the house, etc.

shooting is a big part of my life, but am i in danger health wise? what can we do to minimize the danger?

Soldier415
10-18-2011, 7:02 AM
Wash your hands, wash your gun clothes seperately, and don't wear your shooting boots in the house.

I have a high lead count due to work, but I havent had any health problems.

HighLander51
10-18-2011, 7:10 AM
Lead ingestion is typically a concern for indoor ranges, like longtime Bullseye shooters. You request a simple blood test for lead if you are worried. However, the safest thing to do is give me all your gear and quit shooting......

coyotebait
10-18-2011, 7:25 AM
Lead ingestion is typically a concern for indoor ranges, like longtime Bullseye shooters. You request a simple blood test for lead if you are worried. However, the safest thing to do is give me all your gear and quit shooting......

Agreed, anything that Highlander doesn't want, I'll take. :D

daveinwoodland
10-18-2011, 7:32 AM
I'd be more concerned if I shot indoors frequently. My Dad stopped shooting indoors because of his elevated lead levels that his doctor freaked out about. It is a definite concern and a blood test is the best step to take.

jyo
10-18-2011, 7:54 AM
In the "Good Old Days" we used to be more concerned about lead at indoor ranges---ventilation has improved greatly---still, I mostly shoot outdoors---not because of lead problems, because I enjoy it more. Having been exposed to the shooting sports for over 50 years, I don't believe lead is a problem if you properly wash your hands well. I think this is mostly an issue brought up by the Nature-Nazis to try and ban the shooting sports.

joefreas
10-18-2011, 7:58 AM
Also quality exam gloves during reloading can reduce the Pb residue on your hands. I have seen guys at indoor ranges wearing respirator style masks to cut down on Pb exposure.

Heavy metals are very toxic. Once ingested they remain in the body for a long time.

Here is a link from the CDC with some helpful information on Pb: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/lead/

Bobby Hated
10-19-2011, 5:54 AM
Lead ingestion is typically a concern for indoor ranges, like longtime Bullseye shooters. You request a simple blood test for lead if you are worried. However, the safest thing to do is give me all your gear and quit shooting......

fuhgedaboutit!! ha ha

well i never shoot indoors so i guess i just need to be careful about washing up good and packing range lunches that dont involve me eating with my hands.

JaeOne3345
10-25-2011, 7:02 AM
Bobby, keep a small amount of dishwasher fluid with you. Typically they have trisodium phosphate (TSP) which is effective at cleaning up lead.

Dillon and other places also sell those D-Lead wipes but I think dishwasher fluid is cheaper and easier to get.

I looked into this and found that dishwashing detergent/fluid is a great economical alternative to specific dedicated lead products.

I wipe my hands down with cleaning wipes after every stage.

When I reload I wear latex gloves.

I feel your concern.

sargenv
10-25-2011, 7:08 AM
I had my lead level tested a few years ago.. it came up as a 4.. I had it tested last year, a 4 again.. this year it's 5.1... handwashing, not eating/smoking when handling ammo/brass/lead, and not shooting indoors is about the best thing you can do to keep it outside of your body. Wearing a lead rated dust mask around your tumbler is probably a good idea or tumble and dump outside..

I cast bullets in a shack with positive ventilation to the outside.. no issues.. but then I don't cast at anything approaching vaporization temp (over 1100 deg F) for lead. DOn't be paranoid, just have common sense. I've been handling all of this stuff for over 30 years.. it's a no brainer.

xrMike
10-25-2011, 2:04 PM
Lead ingestion is typically a concern for indoor ranges, like longtime Bullseye shooters. You request a simple blood test for lead if you are worried.Yeah, if you're worried, just ask your regular doctor to request a lead level check the next time you give blood for your regular cholesterol screening.

It will tell him right away if you've got an abnormally high level and also provide a baseline for future checks.

jwb28
10-25-2011, 6:56 PM
Like others have said. Get your blood tested if it bothers you.

Me, I figure I'll die from Pepsi, chocolate, burgers, t.v. tray dinners, Spilled gas, changing my oil, Smoke from the leaves I burn, clorinated H2O Etc, Etc.

The only way I see myself dieing from lead is if some fool shoots me.

smle-man
10-25-2011, 8:34 PM
I was thinking of converting an empty bedroom into a reloading and gun room. I hadn't thought about residual lead in empty cases plus from the bullets, primers, etc. Maybe not a good idea? Right now I do it all in the garage.

misterjake
10-26-2011, 12:54 AM
Wash your hands in cold water, don't want the pores to open up and absorb any lead now do we? :)

I use gloves when cleaning, be careful when you clean the barrel, lots of lead dust pops out when your bore brush pops out of the end.

Also, more toxic than lead is the chemicals in gun cleaners, I highly recommend non-toxic cleaners like Slip 2000 ewl carbon cutter, frog lube etc...

Petroleum cleaners have lots of cancer causing chemicals which absorb into your body when they drip on your fingers etc...


Wish I was more aware of this stuff before I started shooting.

chim-chim7
10-26-2011, 3:59 AM
With everything we know about heavy metals these days I am happy to see that most of us are taking steps to keep the levels down. Kinda like harsh gun cleaning chemicles, I am way over using poisons on anything that I touch or breath when it comes to gun cleaning. Even switched to CMJ and plated bullets over FMJ or cast lead. I shoot a ton of indoor so it's a risk for me and others around me.

Of course there are those stubborn Marlboro men who will be quick to point out that "they" have been shooting for XX amount of years and "you" should be fine, because everyone is exactly the same.

Tier One Arms
10-26-2011, 6:35 AM
Also quality exam gloves during reloading can reduce the Pb residue on your hands. I have seen guys at indoor ranges wearing respirator style masks to cut down on Pb exposure.

Heavy metals are very toxic. Once ingested they remain in the body for a long time.

Here is a link from the CDC with some helpful information on Pb: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/lead/

I'm going to +1 this, ware some latex mechanic gloves, but still wash hands after you are done.

xrMike
10-26-2011, 7:51 AM
I was thinking of converting an empty bedroom into a reloading and gun room. I hadn't thought about residual lead in empty cases plus from the bullets, primers, etc. Maybe not a good idea? Right now I do it all in the garage.I don't think that's a problem, except personally, I would continue to run the tumbler in the garage, and then when I emptied or loaded my tumbler, or seperated my cases from the media, I would do all of that OUTside.

Deadbolt
10-26-2011, 12:55 PM
for those of u already exposed to a high amount or just generally proactive with your health:


Bracolli, seaweed and i think most mushrooms help expedite the removal of heavy metals from your body - seaweed is the best at it.

Army
10-26-2011, 2:03 PM
Lead oxide is toxic, not the actual metal. There are thousands of GI's with bullets and bullet frag still in their bodies, living into their late 80's and 90's and more.

South Dakota did an extensive study on lead bullet shot game meat, finding that hunters had far less lead in their systems than did city folk, despite eating venison, buffalo, antelope, elk, moose, ducks and game birds all shot with lead or lead componant bullets.

The enviro-weanie lead scare is hokum. The Condor bullet ban was the result of enviro's finding.....zero bullets in the birds. More die of power line electrocution, and drowning than any lead poisoning discovered.

TKM
10-26-2011, 6:57 PM
Lead poisoning has been bery bery bad to me.

Try this on for fun.

http://www.leadpoisoningnews.com/lead_poisoning_sources_and_symptoms.html

Lead colic is a hoot.

Peter.Steele
10-26-2011, 7:17 PM
Lead poisoning has been bery bery bad to me.

Try this on for fun.

http://www.leadpoisoningnews.com/lead_poisoning_sources_and_symptoms.html

Lead colic is a hoot.



Yeah, I tried reading that, but once I got to "organic lead," I lost my ability to take them seriously ...

TKM
10-28-2011, 10:02 PM
Yeah, I tried reading that, but once I got to "organic lead," I lost my ability to take them seriously ...

Screw the "organic this and that" folks.

Go down the line of symptoms and check them off one by one. Now imagine you don't know what the hell is going on.

Pissed off, depressed, feel like ****, pissed off, fingers and toes tingle, guts don't work when you want them to, pissed off, headaches, pissed off, guts work when you don't want them to, pissed off, feel like ****. High blood pressure, pissed off, medication for something caused by something else, high blood pressure meds working over little elvis, pissed off.

Seeing a pattern here?

Not fun, but it can be fixed.

I'm not trying to be funny here, this is a bad thing.

I was poisoned by one of my hobbies.

It sucks, but it can be fixed.

jimmykan
10-28-2011, 10:42 PM
...

I was poisoned by one of my hobbies.

...



Was that hobby shooting? Reloading?

Renaissance Fairs?

TKM
10-29-2011, 2:38 PM
And competitive paint chip tasting.

It's like wine tasting, I know you aren't supposed to indulge but they are so damn yummy.

CZlover
10-30-2011, 11:45 AM
Like others have said. Get your blood tested if it bothers you.

Me, I figure I'll die from Pepsi, chocolate, burgers, t.v. tray dinners, Spilled gas, changing my oil, Smoke from the leaves I burn, clorinated H2O Etc, Etc.

The only way I see myself dieing from lead is if some fool shoots me.

^ ^ This!!! I LOL'ed...:cool2:

wash
10-30-2011, 12:35 PM
It is my understanding that the major lead exposure in shooting is the lead contained in primers, not bullets.

It becomes air borne when the primer ignites and if you are shooting in a poorly ventilated indoor range you can have problems.

In reloading I would be worried around bullet casting and the tumbler media used to clean your brass.

As far as eating after shooting goes, just wash your hands and avoid finger foods.

I do most of my shooting outdoors and have not begun reloading yet so I'm not worried at all.

Dion
10-30-2011, 2:30 PM
Like others have said. Get your blood tested if it bothers you.

Me, I figure I'll die from Pepsi, chocolate, burgers, t.v. tray dinners, Spilled gas, changing my oil, Smoke from the leaves I burn, clorinated H2O Etc, Etc.

The only way I see myself dieing from lead is if some fool shoots me.

This.


Pissed off, depressed, feel like ****, pissed off, fingers and toes tingle, guts don't work when you want them to, pissed off, headaches, pissed off, guts work when you don't want them to, pissed off, feel like ****. High blood pressure, pissed off, medication for something caused by something else, high blood pressure meds working over little elvis, pissed off.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_sKedTPAxoUs/S8eFDYxA1ZI/AAAAAAAABBI/jcehybw_oFs/s1600/diabetes.bmp

TKM
10-31-2011, 8:18 PM
That's weird, the letter that I got from the California Department of Public Health Occupational Lead Poisoning Prevention Program with my lead level results didn't mention diabetes.

Thanks, I'll mention that to them the next time I see them.

Echidin
10-31-2011, 8:51 PM
how concerned should we be?

i shoot at least a half dozen times a month with competitions on the wkend and practice during the week , plus a couple days reloading, and i always wonder if shooting alot, handling fired brass, reloading, etc. exposes me to dangerous levels of lead.

my biggest fear is eating after shooting. even after i wash my hands they still smell of gunpowder. but also i find fired brass and live rounds all over the place, in clothes, my cars, around the house, etc.

shooting is a big part of my life, but am i in danger health wise? what can we do to minimize the danger?

Dairy foods high in calcium are known to slow and even prevent the absorption of lead into the body. So if you're worried about eating after shooting, downing a glass of milk with your meal may give you a little peace of mind.