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Lead Exposure?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by BenelliM2, Feb 25, 2013.

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  1. BenelliM2

    BenelliM2 TS Member

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    Just got back from the the Doctors office,he suggests that I have a test to see what my lead content is. He also says I should wear a mask and gloves when I reload and if I can give up reloading. I can't imagine my lead level is to high being 21 years old. Has anyone on here had this test? What were your levels of lead? How long have u been loading for? Just like to hear some opinions on this.
     
  2. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    Always get a second opinion. There has been a discussion on here do a "search" and you'll probably find it.

    lead affect everyone different, is the take I got from reading all the post.
     
  3. laura!

    laura! Member

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    At 21 I would think you're past any danger of having permanent cognitive issues due to lead poisoning. Is your Dr a family doc? Any pediatrician's office can test you - it's just a finger prick. You get lead poisoning from putting lead objects in your mouth, breathing in the dust or from drinking water from pipes with lead solder. Lead is also found in soil from exhaust and the days of leaded gas. Was your house built before 1978? It could have been painted with lead paint if it was. I have a hard time believing reloading causes much lead dust and I seriously doubt you're absorbing it through your skin. Possibly when you dump a bag of lead in the hopper there may be some dust. Don't have food or drinks anywhere near the reloader and if you're worried, wear a dust mask. Far more likely you're breathing in dust from gun powder!

    Then again.. maybe lead exposure could explain why all of us keep trying to exterminate inanimate orange objects!
     
  4. himark

    himark Well-Known Member

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    Yeah as a Realtor we had to get a disclosure signed on EVERY deal saying the dangers of lead paint. If a buyer paused on signing it and looked at me with the "whats this" look I would just say........."nothing to worry about as long as you dont eat it...You didnt eat lead paint as a kid did you?" They would lol then sign away. Lots of truth to that, JUST DONT EAT IT.

    BTW, wear you at the DR. for symptoms of exposure? or was he a liberal just putting the gun scare in yah?
     
  5. shannon391

    shannon391 Active Member

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    When I was a refractory bricklayer we used to wreck out brick lined lead furnaces and reline them.

    A typical furnace was about the size of a train car and would have molten lead infused into every brick and mortar joint. When we hit the soft insulation brick with air jackhammers the lead and brick dust cloud was so great you could not see your buddy running a 90 next to you, or the several guys shoveling out the dusty debris into buckets.
    We wore bandannas over our faces like cowboys! When we blew our noses it was jet black for a couple days. Now that's a lead exposure!!! Asbestos ? that's another story...cough, cough.
     
  6. frostyman

    frostyman Well-Known Member

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    I have reloaded for about 35 years and just had a lead test last year along with a bunch of other tests. I also had one about 5 years ago. Both came back negative to any lead.

    Basically don't eat it, and wash your hands after handling it. If for some reason you had a bunch of lead that got wet and oxidized, the dust from it could cause an issue. Also if you were melting lead or making shot, you might run a higher chance of lead exposure.

    The "refractory bricklayer" job in the old days probably rated right up there with underground coal miner and mercury handler. At least now they probably do that job in little white suits and breathing filters.
     
  7. superxjeff

    superxjeff Active Member

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    I would ask the DR. why he thinks you need a test. Just because you reload is a pretty stupid reason. Jeff
     
  8. Shootrman

    Shootrman Member

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    Because I deal with lead, I get tested every 6 months. Altho' it always comes back negative, I DO take precautions & I wash my hands religiously.
     
  9. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    Make sure you Dr. your seeing isn't a "anti-lead" person.

    Doctors aren't immune(pun intended) from lying.
     
  10. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    There are a number of symptoms that go along with toxic lead levels in your bloodstream - do a search and read up on it. I don't know why the Dr. is requesting the lead test unless you do have some symptoms of heavy metal poisoning. Doubtful but there must be more to the story.

    Reloading is probably never going to cause you any problems with lead toxicity but use good hygene. Wash up after a loading session and don't eat anything until you do wash.
     
  11. BenelliM2

    BenelliM2 TS Member

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    Went to the Dr. for a different minor issue but about 100 ?'s later he asked me if I handle any type of chemicals or if I am around anything toxic like lead which then I mentioned reloading which I shouldn't of! He told me he has a patient that is an older guy who is a shooter and reloader he then told me he did a lead test on this guy and it came back that his lead level was high and thats when he suggested because I am younger I should have a test done to figure this out. In the near future I plan on having a test done because I would just like to know for my own sake. Nothing I am to worried about just wanted to know.

    He also asked me if I exercise at all I told him I walk from post 5 all the way to post 1 and I do that on a weekly bases I asked him if that was enough he said I need to do a little more than that! (The Dr. was a shooter many years ago)
     
  12. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    As a shotgun shooter, I fail to see where you could come in physical contact with lead with the exception of MAYBE a very TINY amount of atomized/aerosolized lead that is released into the air when you pour it from the bag to the bottle (and even that is going to be almost completely graphite dust).

    Unless you are running your hands through the bag of shot, it should be a non-issue. There is no contact when you reload (shot goes from bag to bottle to shell) and no contact when you shoot.

    I doubt washing your hands is even really that necessary, since the cause of your hands getting dirty is from the carbon of the burnt powder, not from the lead (you never touch the lead, and nothing you ever touch touches the lead).

    The only time I could see it being an issue would be if you were making your own lead shot, working with cast lead bullets, or shooting rifle/pistol @ an indoor range. Other than that, there is no way you can physically come into contact with lead (other than what I outlined before) unless you are purposefully doing it.
     
  13. dhip

    dhip Active Member

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    Apparently the minor issue is what triggered his question.He hasn't figured out what is causing the issue so he's grabbing at everything that might cause it. Is it Shaking of hands,hair turning green,both of these are symtoms of lead poisoning,but not neccessarily the only cause for these symtoms.Just know about those 2 because of a person I new at work that developed it.Got so bad he couldn't hold a full cup of coffee with out spilling it.He was quite a bit older than you when he developed it,but thank goodness he got things cleared up before it became lethal.What ever your minor issue is,sounds like doc is getting stumped and searching for cause.May be time to see a specialist about your minor issue,what ever it is.

    Doug H. (pa.)
     
  14. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    Your doc could be anti gun or a person who is afraid of his own shadow. In other word I have told people about making shot and they think I'm poisoning myself. I tell them melting lead is ok as long as the lead is not above a XXX degree. At that point it does become harmful with the fumes. But below that its OK. They still think I'm crazy because I'm melting lead.

    I go to my doc to get blood work done and this is when I was also melting lead in to ingots. I had my blood checked for lead 3 times and no problem what so ever. I also do alot of reloading. Gloves and a mask while reloading is BS.

    The only lead poisoning I'm afraid of is a mad girlfriend, Her mad boyfriend or husband or a mad father. LOL
     
  15. GunDr

    GunDr Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure a lead test can come back as being "positive or negative". There is a scale that determines the lead levels. The first test I had came back with the number "16". The doc told me it was 4 times the acceptable limit. At that same time, I was doing a lot of patterning..A LOT of patterning. I also smoke. The two do not work together. Rubbing my hands on the patterning paper counting holes and such, then having a smoke...hell, I might as well just ate the shot for breakfast.

    I no longer pattern as much, use proper hygiene all the time after handling anything made of lead, My count continued to decrease to the point that right now I no longer need to be tested. My number is around 1-2.

    The only exposure I get from lead now are the gunstocks with lead shot in them for recoil reduction.

    Doug
     
  16. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Well-Known Member

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    There was a long thread referencing lead exposure started by me. I linked the thread. Here it is to copy and paste if that doesn't work.

    http://www.trapshooters.com/cfpages/sthread.cfm?ThreadID=313156

    It's not the organic lead that's the problem as much as the lead compounds that can form on shot and the lead phosphinate that forms when a primer goes off. That lead compound stays with the shells and can be ingested by touching fired shells or breathing their smoke.

    Those that think shot-gunners are immune from lead ingestion are mistaken. BTW once you have symptoms the cure isn't very pleasant and takes a long time. It's called chelation therapy and you don't want to go through it.
     
  17. Dr A C Jones

    Dr A C Jones Member

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    I had lead poisoning when I was 19-22 years old give or take. I was about 4x over the value when they start to worry about it and recommend treatement. The treatment was experimental at the time but worked (well, seemed to) and was nothing more than a series of pills. The doc giving me the pills was quite excited because he normally only got to try the medicines on swans that had swallowed fishing weights.

    Joe is correct, the pills contain a chelating agent - it binds to the lead and then you excrete it out. The only complication is if you have had long term exposure the lead gets into the bones and several series of medicine are needed. The medicine clears the blood and then the lead slowly leaches back out of the bones into the blood, hence medication is repeated until the "bounce back" after treatment is sufficiently low.

    Normal treatment for low levels of lead in the blood is simply taking away the source of contamination.

    Sometimes I wonder how smart I would have become without lead poisoning in my college years . . . other times I just forget.

    You should avoid lead poisoning if you can!

    Andrew.
     
  18. tomk2

    tomk2 Member

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    Shooting pistols and rifles at indoor ranges A LOT is one way to get high lead levels. Especially if the ventillation system sucks, but even if it doesn't. Handgun instructors are notorious victims, since they spend a lot of time at indoor ranges, as are other range employees. Lots of vaporized lead to inhale there. Respirators are effective, though inconvenient.
     
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