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Shooters, what are your blood lead levels?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Jerry944t, Jan 17, 2013.

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  1. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Well-Known Member

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    Since I have been reloading and shooting all my life I decided to get my blood lead levels checked.

    At my last physical I asked my Doctor to check this as part of my blood test. She told me that it was an unusual request but she'd do it since I was a shooter and reloader.

    The results were a bit disturbing. My levels were moderately elevated which is not a good thing. You can Google elevated lead levels if you are interested to see all the possible side effects of excessive lead.

    My research indicates that pure lead is not easily absorbed by the body but there are compounds of lead in primers that are dangerous. I've modified my reloading techniques to minimize exposure when pouring shot into my Dillon hopper. I simply wear a surgical mask. I also drop all fired primers into a container filled with water. I wear Nitrile gloves when handling fired cases. No harm in a taking a few precautions.

    Bottom line is that since we are all exposed to lead contaminates when reloading and shooting it might be a good idea to ask your MD to check it at your next routine physical since it's not part of the normal protocol.
     
  2. shooterIII

    shooterIII Member

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    Lets see I've been reloading for 50+ years and I'm still alive.
     
  3. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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    Did you eat any paint chips when you where a youngster?
     
  4. Jim101

    Jim101 Active Member

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    I have mine checked once a year since I reload a lot and have been making shot for several years.

    So far my lead/heavy metal levels have stayed low.




    Jim
     
  5. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    Jerry,

    Glad to see you taking he issue seriously. Heavy metal poisoning is deadly stuff. I have working in various metal processing industries during my career and have seen a few people that did accumulate toxic levels of lead and it was bad news for them.

    The reloading operations are fairly safe as the lead you handle is in large particle elemental state and not usually respirable. Where you get into trouble is with the very fine particulates (dust) which may oxidize and become solubile in your bloodstream should they enter your body. A good place for that to happen is when shooting lead bullets in an enclosed area (indoor range with poor ventilation) or some other high temperature operation like bullet casting. Wearing a bit of PPE (mask/gloves) is a reasonable thing to do as is washing up before eating.

    Good luck and stay well.
     
  6. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Well-Known Member

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    No paint chips but I did do a bunch of indoor Bullseye shooting 30 years ago. Still do that but outdoors.

    Trapshooting outdoors seems relatively safe except if the wind is blowing the products of combustion, which include lead byproducts from the primers, back into your face. On the flip side I'm not aware of any studies that show increased lead absorption through trapshooting.

    It is a bit surprising seeing indoor Bullseye shooters wearing respirators since their lead levels are so high. That is a growing trend along with better range ventilation.

    Seems high lead levels have been linked to unpleasant neurological conditions.

    I just think it's prudent to check your lead levels and practice good "lead hygiene."
     
  7. Lead Miner

    Lead Miner Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    Jerry. You say elevated levels. What was the number that she gave you. 5, 10, or 40? Terry
     
  8. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    If an indoor shooter, something you may want to have checked, especially if shooting on the older ranges that have not seen any updates!

    Did some research a few years back, as the club was thinking of building a new range. Even the location of doors (drafts when open can closing) can cause lead problem for the shooter.
     
  9. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Well-Known Member

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    Lead Miner as I understand it 20 parts per something (I don't remember the reference volume) or lower is OK for adults and 10 parts per whatever is the safe limit for children.

    Mine was 26 which isn't horribly high but certainly got my attention. I do know a Bullseye shooter who was over 100 and had to have chelation therapy. He noticed it because his scores were getting lower and lower due to tremors related to his high levels.
     
  10. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    I know a dentist who is a Skeet shooter and he had high levels of lead and was treated with chelation therapy. Since he was not a reloader, you would think something else perhaps his occupation caused the problem.
     
  11. dhip

    dhip Active Member

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    If Your hair turns green,and you get the tremors so bad you can't hold a full cup of coffee without spilling it.Get to a doctor right away.Lead poisoning

    I know that's extreme,but actually seen it happen to a fella while working in the auto industry.They used lead to fill in after body parts are welded together in body shop.

    OH,and for all you ANTI-Union people,the Union had to take up the fight for this guy,company said it wasn't their fault.UNION made them do a lead test,and behold,lead poisoning,fella had a complete recovery,but was move out of body shop.If it wasn't for the UNION,it would of been ignored and he would of died.Happened in 1978,not that long ago really.

    Doug H
     
  12. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Well-Known Member

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    I know for a fact that there is no lead used in dentistry Mike. Now if you said he had high levels of mercury that's a different story.

    His lead could have come from a number of sources such as lead based paints, lead pipes in old houses, or ingesting allot of fumes from fired shells.

    It is thought by many that the Roman Empire fell partially because they used lead aquaducts and they all became lead poisoned.
     
  13. Lead Miner

    Lead Miner Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    26 is elevated. 10 or below is normal for a male adult. Anything over a 40 is cause for yearly nurological testing and anything that is 85 or higher is definately doing internal harm to you. I reclaim lead shot every day and definately take many precautions and have my lead levels checked regularly. Even with all that my levels are now getting close to the 40 level. I am now looking at other precautions and possibly have treatments done to help control. Early on i was stubborn about wearing protection but not so stubborn anymore. Terry
     
  14. Hammer1

    Hammer1 Active Member

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    .

    I would be careful about how this test was run and by whom.

    Gives Obama another way for doctors to snitch on gun owners.

    .
     
  15. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

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    I have heard stories of high levels of lead in young children in Mexico who were using/handling pottery made with unsafe materials ??
     
  16. b12

    b12 Well-Known Member

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    Some how I smell a Obamaship in this thread.
    Now to the lead. The only way lead is going to hurt you is if the temp. is going to raise over 800degrees. I don't remember the exact temperature but thats close. This is by government statics.
    When my daughter was little she swallowed a 22 shell. Took her to the Dr. and he said not to worry that she would pass it and the lead will not affect anything. She was not inhaling fumes from lead and thats the only way its effective. Unless she was eating it everyday for years. Now thats where lead pipes, paint, and so on come into play.

    I have been watching these threads as I sure a few of you have and some of the people here just seem out of place in this enviroment. Seem they try to stir and twist the truth to antangnoize the sport and shooters.

    Anyone who has been in this sport for a number of years no there is no danger to handling of the materials.So if you are worried about your health at what most of our ages are. I won't make no difference anyway. And if you are one of them who do worry about the effects then you better go home to mommy and wipe your nose and rock you to sleep. Bill
     
  17. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    We are all going to die some day. Some sooner then others.

    Funny thing is, we are all different, there are no two people who are alike, even Identical twins.

    We all react differently to everything. Allergies are a prime example.

    My father-in-law could never wear a battery operated watch, the battery would never last more then a day. We tried a whole slue of watches, same results.
    Doctors claimed his body actually produced a "field" of electricity that would drain the battery. Same thing would happen when working with cordless drills, his battery life while he was using it was noticeable way shorter then anyone else on the job.

    One thing to remember about "lead" issues, Who is trying to ban it, and who regulates it. Then if you can TRUST that source, live your life under their care!!

    As for me, I will enjoy life not worrying about falsehoods. When you understand "hidden agenda's" a lot of so called facts are easily shredded to pieces.

    Spotted owl anyone! or better yet, love being forced to shoot steel???

    And just for the fun of it, I'll give mention to the Wolf.
     
  18. joneseboy

    joneseboy Member

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    The units of measure is "Parts Per Million". And PPM 26 is starting to get up there. I use to work in a factory that make CRT glass "TV glass" and the funnel was 21% lead. Faces were 18%. My base line as a new hire was 2PPM which is normal and peak to 9PPM than dropped to 6PPM. Learned to wash my hands alot. The smokers tend to climb high. I'm glad I am in a different place now
     
  19. revbook

    revbook Member

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    Cast a lot of ingots a couple of years ago and shot indoors. Had my blood tested and found the level to be 24 (5 to 9 is normal). Was tested a month ago and level was 5. I had no symptoms but was glad I got tested. I will be taking precautions in the future.

    Don in PA
     
  20. Chango2

    Chango2 Active Member

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    Wife thinks I have very high lead levels in my ass. But I do think a blood check is a good idea. Better safe than sorry.
     
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