I've read all the old posts on shooting reclaimed shot and was wondering if it was worth the health risks.none of the 750 pounds i bought last fall looks like new shot, all of it is varying degrees of white. so is it safe to handle/ shoot?
Reclaimed shot could easily result in more lead dust that could be a problem, but our society might also exaggerate some pollution problems. Many of us chewed on pencils with lead based paint and put a lot of lead in our gasoline tanks. I can even remember eating quail with some lead shot in the meat.
The toxic effects of lead carbonate (that white stuff) are pretty well documented. Lead Carbonate is particularily dangerous because it is a small crystal and prone to dusting which means it can enter your blood stream through your lungs. Once in your blood stream it takes decades to pass lead so the toxic effects are essentially cummulative for life.
I know this through my profession but don't take my word on it, google 'lead carbonate toxicity' and read the papers written about recent studies as well as those from the 1920's. What you will glean from this is that you are dealing with a toxin that is more dangerous than tetra ethyl lead or lead oxide. (gas and pencils) Lead carbonate has killed many animals and several people.
If you really want to be safe about using this shot, wash and tumble to remove the carbonate coating then dry and recoat with graphite. Use the propper PPE when you do this and wash up everything (including yourself) that contacts the lead carbonate.
John Browning- The information you suggested we read about Pitcher OK is woefully incomplete. It left out that in 1961, during a High School Football game, a safety from the Pitcher team broke my nose when all I was trying to do is catch a pass. He felt bad about the event and the next week he introduced me to a very nice girl from Pitcher. This happened when the lead mines were going full blast. Let me assure you that not all of the affects from the lead mines were bad.
Pat,I am glad it worked out for you, but I am sure if you have been back there lately, you know what I'm talking about. I was pointing out the effects of lead, when it is taken for granted. Today, Pitcher is a Super Fund site, they graveled their driveways with the tailings and childeren that played in them have lots of mental problems. John
thanks for the posts guys, i was just concerned that the carbonate coating would make the lead even more dangerous to handle and shoot. i think i 'll wait until summer and process the shot outside instead of in my basement. i have to wash it really good anyway because it has lots of dust in it.
Working outside is a good idea if you keep the lead down wind. I like using a vacuum cleaner with a special air purifying bag to do the final cleaning. Then put the lead in a powder jug with a teaspoon of powdered graphite and shake well before using. HMB
Well I don't know about swallowing lead. When my daughter was about 5yrs old she swallowed a 22 unfired shell. We took her to the doctor and he done an exray. He said she will pass the shell in a day or two and it will not bother her at all. Well that was 40 yrs ago. Dang I hope she don't get sick from it.
50 years ago I worked in the Bunker hill lead mine in Idaho and sure hope it doesn't affect me later in life. Come to think of it I flinched the other day, do you suppose that lead dust is catching up to me? ken
You will want to graphite the lead anyway, for it prevents the bunching up of the pellets, ruining your patterns. I use 1/2 oz to 3/4 ounce per 33 pounds and that works just fine. You might also be insterested to know I've been muzzleloading casting everything from roof lead to pure corrigibal(testing lead 999999.06%) for the past 15 years and the other day I included a lead test in my physical.
I came out normal. (just don't the wife, she thinks I'm a crazy trapshooter)
I practice some very common sense rules like 1) don't eat or drink while working with lead. Wear old clothes and change and wash hands and face afterwards. And have good cross ventilation when melting the stuff.