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Real Reloading Headaches?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by GrandpasArms, Apr 19, 2011.

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  1. GrandpasArms

    GrandpasArms Active Member

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    I am working on an article about reloading. More accurately, its about the health dangers that may result from absorbing/inhaling nitroglycerin from gunpowder. I understand that the majority of all shotgun powder is dust free, but that doesn't mean that there isn't any possibility of coming into contact with the product.

    I am interested because I have experienced headaches when I loaded in a small area. They disappeared when I moved the location and began wearing disposable gloves and (sometimes) a paper mask. I don't think this was a coincidence.

    I've been a pharmacist since 1971 and I understand the side effects from drugs - one of which is the same nitroglycerin used to prepare gunpowder. I would appreciate any stories or anecdotes from members of this forum. If everyone and their uncle has been reloading for decades without an issue, I'll stop my inquiry. But, on the odd chance that reloading might be associated with nitroglycerin side effects, I think I should at least do some research.

    Thanks in advance for anything you can share. Larry Frieders
     
  2. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    Well Larry, it sure sounds like more misdirected information for the anti gunners to me. The warning are already on the labels.

    Ajax
     
  3. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Safer than driving around the block with your car.
     
  4. Ahab

    Ahab Well-Known Member

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    Last time that I was in for a check up, my Cardiologist asked me if I needed some new nitro tablets because what he ha d given me would be long expired. I told him that I had tossed them away long ago, since I had never needed them.

    He said "What if you should need them for pains?" I told him I would just go out to my loading bench and grab a pinch of Red Dot since it was about 20% nitroglycerine.

    He just looked at me and said "Why wouldn't I expect an answer like that out of you?"

    Seriously ... I have never had a problem from gunpowder headaches, nor anyone that I know ... but there is the possibility that you are hypersensitive to nitroglycerine due to exposure of a multitude of drugs over the course of 30+ years.
     
  5. dcb_wvu

    dcb_wvu Member

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    This reminds me of that bozo from my hometown in WV who sued Hoppes because he got headaches from using their product in his living room to clean his guns. What an idiot! Being a chemist myself, read the label and when they say use in ventilated area, it might be a good idea. As far as I am concerned using a product against the posted warnings is not a health hazard, it is stupidity. Why not smoke while reloading? If there are effects from using in a proper manner, then there is a story, otherwise, what's the point?
     
  6. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

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    After almost 40 years of reloading and handling powder and lead several times a week, for all that time, I have no apparent problem as a result. None, zero, nada....
     
  7. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    If you consider the Wikipedia to be a usually reliable source, this is in the Nitroglycerin entry:<blockquote>"SIDE EFFECTS

    The side effects of nitroglycerin include lack of sexual desire, headache, painful urination and increased bowel movements. Patients are often told to sit or lie down during and immediately after taking nitroglycerin to reduce the risk of low blood pressure. A drop in blood pressure can be accompanied by weakness or dizziness.

    Shortly after the invention of nitroglycerin, this substance was noticed to be capable of inducing a violent headache. Headaches are the most prominent side effect of nitrate therapy. This was due to the release of nitric oxide (NO) by nitroglycerin. Such studies have led to propose that NO may be the causative molecule in migraine pain. The importance of NO as a potential initiator of the migraine attack opens new directions for other vascular headaches and pharmacological treatment of migraines.

    INDUSTRIAL EXPOSURE

    Infrequent exposure to high doses of nitroglycerin can cause severe headaches known as "NG head". These headaches can be severe enough to incapacitate some people; however, humans develop a tolerance to and dependence on nitroglycerin after long-term exposure. Withdrawal can (rarely) be fatal; withdrawal symptoms include headaches and heart problems; with re-exposure to nitroglycerin, these symptoms may disappear.

    For workers in nitroglycerin (NTG) manufacturing facilities, this can result in a "Monday morning headache" phenomenon for those who experience regular nitroglycerin exposure in the workplace leading to the development of NTG tolerance for the vasodilating effects. Over the weekend the workers lose the tolerance to NTG and when they are reexposed on Monday the prominent vasodilation produces tachycardia, dizziness, and a headache.</blockquote>

    This does NOT address the issue of whether the nitroglycerin in smokeless powder becomes available to be inhaled by the user during reloading. THAT seems to be the situation that needs research.

    MK
     
  8. primed

    primed Well-Known Member

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    "SIDE EFFECTS
    The side effects of nitroglycerin include lack of sexual desire, headache, painful urination and increased bowel movements.

    But, but, but my wife doesn't even reload?????

    Bob
     
  9. blkcloud

    blkcloud Active Member

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    The only headaches I get while reloading is when I try to load some 28's on my 366...
     
  10. Remington STS

    Remington STS TS Member

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    I smoke, drink beer, and reload shells every afternoon. The smoking helps keep the humidity down and the beer wets my whistle. No problems yet....... STS
     
  11. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

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    My kind of man STS!



    I must confess however that I did quit smoking 3 months ago, and prefer a nice tumbler charged with whisky and rocks to wet my whistle over cold beer.


    I'll bet that I'm one of the only reloaders what frequent this forum that loads to Rob Zombie tho... Nothing like pulling that MEC650 handle in time with More Human than Human cranked-up!!!


    Larry,

    More to the point of reloading side effects, I sometimes get a kink in my buttocks when my shell count gets around the 300 mark in one session.


    To be a tad more useful, I use Am Sel and it is dusty as I pour it from the 8lb jugs into the powder tube--I hold my breath while pouring.



    I do worry about the lead a little though; always careful to wash my hands before I eats me ham sammich.



    Guy Babin
     
  12. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    The worst side affect of nitroglycerin is when you drop it, the explosion can be harmful to your health. HMB
     
  13. shadow

    shadow Active Member

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    Try handling dynamite with bare hands if you want a REALLY bad headache !!!!
     
  14. GrandpasArms

    GrandpasArms Active Member

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    Thank you all for the input. The ill effects are likely transient and only apply to a very small number of people. The best advice I've received is, "why bother?" I won't.
     
  15. Hardage

    Hardage TS Member

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    Maybe you just need some reading glasses for the close up work...just kidding of course...I have been reloading for about 18 years with no headaches other than from watching the primer drop on my MEC!
     
  16. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Could it be a possibility that the headaches from small spaces are in some way related to claustrophobia?!

    regards,

    Jay
     
  17. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    In any large group of people a tiny minority will show a negative reaction to a specific substance. As a pharmacist it sounds like you have already figured out you may have a sensitivity to nitro that doesn't occur in the larger populace. Me, I break out in hives over exposure to work. It doesn't affect me when I watch others work, only when I work.
     
  18. Bertmuss

    Bertmuss Member

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    My reloading room is a small closet that I have used for 30 years, no headaches even though I have often noticed a sprinkling of gun powder on my glass of wine that I drink while reloading. I think your problem might be too much wad pressure...your panties are getting in a wad from being in a confined space too long. Relax, take a break and up the proof level of of your requisite beverage. RM
     
  19. Shooter R

    Shooter R Active Member

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    I always thought that nitoglycerine and nitrocellulose (the "other" part of smokeless powder), formed a sort of plastic like substance when mixed together. Once dried, the nitroglycerine was not in an "easily absorbable" state, like a nitro patch, or a nitro tablet used for coronary dilation. (Heart patients use those and many get initial headaches, but they seem to lessen with use).

    Common table salt, (which is sodium chloride), is made of sodium and chlorine, but you will never smell a chlorine odor from it.
     
  20. DoRaMa

    DoRaMa Member

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    I seem to have more problems with MSG than gun powder!

    Kevin @ 402-463-3415
     
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