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Lead level in the blood
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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sniper
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:24 am    Post subject: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

Some time ago, I read an opinion on one of the forums regarding the advisability of having my lead level checked. I appreciated the advice.

Well, that sounded like a good thing to me, because I have been reloading /casting bullets for a significant part of my adult life, and I was raised in the "bad ole days", when you bit split shot sinkers to crimp them them on your fishing line, carried unboxed, lead .22 ammo in a handy pocket, and drank from the garden hose. Shocked My dad was painter, and I played with his red and white lead stuff, in addition to painting houses when I got older. I figured it might be good information to have, just in case.

If I understand correctly, "normal" level is like ~17, and mine was ...you ready for this?...a 1! Very Happy Hmmmm... my blood was probably more contaminated by the many truckloads of chicken...ahhhhh...manure I strained for a local nursery as a teenager.

That was welcome news, but it got me thinking... with all I did growing up, which was against modern "wisdom", I wonder if the lead "problem" may be overstated? Of course, it might explain some of my dad's bizarre behavior as he got older.

BUT! all is not lost! My Doc says it's perfectly O.K. to handload those NASTY lead bullets, IF I wash my hands before I suck my thumb! Laughing
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chambered221
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:38 am    Post subject: Re: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

Shooting pistols at a indoor range on a regular basis has forced me to get a better understanding of the issue.
A issue that will probably be debated for a long time to come.

Anyone that cast, reloads, and shoots lead bullets should have a blood test done every so often just to be on the safe side.

If you shoot indoors the amount I have…….. Get it checked !!! Even if your not the one shooting the lead.

I have 4 friends that were all well over 100.
A few others +40.
The common denominator, the club we shot at.
Of course the owner denies that theirs a issue at all.

The one friend who also helped with clean up duty spent a month in the hospital due to the issue.
Him and another friend received chelation therapy. ( pronounced kee-la-shen )
The other 2 had testing once a month for 6-8 months.

Through out our experience we learned that everyone is affected differently.
As a adult your less likely to have issues. ( kids are still growing and developing )
Lead will actually become dormant in your bones. (maybe this is why I weigh what I do, it couldn’t be the ice cream and cookies !!! )
Lowering your lead count can be as easy as drinking orange juice.
Most of use agreed that the gases and lead dust produced in the firing process was the culprit not the handling of lead itself.
( Poor ventilation and cleaning methods being the primary cause. )

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

A buddy here was concerned about lead exposure from handloading so he discussed it with his doctor. As I recall the doctor said that, unless he was chewing on the bullets while loading them he was OK, just wash his hands good afterward.

As for indoor ranges, I can see more cause for concern. However, the few indoor ranges where I've shot drew fresh air in at the shooters' positions and exhausted it at the backstop.

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1895ss
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

Pumpkinslinger wrote:
A buddy here was concerned about lead exposure from handloading so he discussed it with his doctor. As I recall the doctor said that, unless he was chewing on the bullets while loading them he was OK, just wash his hands good afterward.

My Doc has told me the same thing.

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popgun
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 10:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

When I worked for the Police Department I shot at the indoor range every week. Some officer somewhere started a suit against his department regarding indoor range lead levels. I along with several of my fellow officers took blood tests over several months to see if our lead levels were above the accepted maximum. All of us were below that max including the range officers who worked at the inside range and fired every workday.
I and several others even cast bullets, fishing weights, and weighted fishing jigs that I used when I guided at a local impoundment. This was a good deal of casting for me. I still have my blood lead levels checked and I still float in the green area.
Everyone who casts should have a concern about lead levels but it is nothing to get freaked out about unless you do it everyday for a living.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:54 am    Post subject: Re: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

Didn’t mean to sound so down on indoor ranges the way it was taken !!!

My only point was to warn others of the dangers of not having proper ventilation.

We all knew the ventilation wasn’t the greatest but, we did not know how much risk we were taken.

If you frequent indoor ranges it’s in your best interest to establish proof on your own that your not in any danger.
The easiest way to do that is through blood testing.

One last note, clean up should be done with a hepa vac and wet mop.
Not a push broom !!! NoNo

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wncchester
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

"...with all I did growing up, which was against modern "wisdom", I wonder if the lead "problem" may be overstated?"

Massively over stated.

So are the gut churning fears of lead from game animals, mercury, radon gas, asbestoes, ozone layer, global warming, cell phone use, high voltage power lines, second hand smoke - and, to a high degree, 1st hand smoke - ,red meat, clorine in pools and floride in drinking water, etc, etc.

So why do we hear so many of those scary things? Well, "scientists" live off federal research grants. To get the grants, they need to keep the Chicken Littles of the liberal world (is that redundant?) in a constant state of fear of the goblins in the dark. It's the only way they can get lots of fed money to "study" all the obscure hazards they can dream up. Non-demanding, non-productive "research" in a nice, quite air conditioned university lab beats working for a living, right?
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stovepipe
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:32 am    Post subject: Re: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

wncchester wrote:
"...with all I did growing up, which was against modern "wisdom", I wonder if the lead "problem" may be overstated?"

Massively over stated.

So are the gut churning fears of lead from game animals, mercury, radon gas, asbestoes, ozone layer, global warming, cell phone use, high voltage power lines, second hand smoke - and, to a high degree, 1st hand smoke - ,red meat, clorine in pools and floride in drinking water, etc, etc.

So why do we hear so many of those scary things? Well, "scientists" live off federal research grants. To get the grants, they need to keep the Chicken Littles of the liberal world (is that redundant?) in a constant state of fear of the goblins in the dark. It's the only way they can get lots of fed money to "study" all the obscure hazards they can dream up. Non-demanding, non-productive "research" in a nice, quite air conditioned university lab beats working for a living, right?

+1 and amen.

*

As kid's we'd hop the fence at the local police range and sift the sand for slugs. We'd take 'em home and melt 'em down with rubbing alcohol fed burners and make 'ingots'. Kids dad's would pay us for the lead. This went on for summer after summer.

Unless ya eat the stuff like candy? Meh, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I tUrNeD oUt oK. Nuts
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chambered221
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

stovepipe wrote:


I tUrNeD oUt oK. Nuts


I'm willing to bet this is a debatable statement !!! Shocked Shocked Shocked Laughing

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stovepipe
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

Even my freinds tell me I'm OK. They have a special 'sign language' they use... it's an index finger, pointed at their head, doing a circle around one ear. Then they roll thier eyes and give me a 'thumbs up'.

I thought that was nice of them, my own special sign-language.

Neat huh?

Laughing
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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

Yes, yes, very neat, now go sit down and read the wall paper. You are OK.

I would not include smoking in the list of over stated. It has now been two years since loosing my hunting buddy to a form of cancer that is 100% attributed to smoking, small cell bronchial carcinoma. Untreated it is 30 days from diagnosis to death. Since his death a boat captain, John, across the Bayou from my home has died of small cell lung cancer, he was a chain smoker. The week they buried John, his wife was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. Six months after John died, his wife died. She died of a form of cancer attributed to smoking having never smoked a cigarette in her life. Smoking can kill you and it can kill you in a particularly nasty fashion.

The problem is that you do not know until it is too late, whether you are one of the ones that are prone to contract cancer from smoking.

Yes I smoked for many years. One day in 1967 I decided to lay the butts down and have never gone back.
Best,
Ed

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wncchester
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:22 am    Post subject: Re: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

" It has now been two years since loosing my hunting buddy to a form of cancer that is 100% attributed to smoking, small cell bronchial carcinoma."

Sorry. I lost a great hunting/fishing partner and long time family friend to smoking cancer, a very slow and painful death. I quit, I and his family had long tried to get him to quit but he would not. He knew full well what he was doing long before he developed the cancer that killed him. I also know some who have smoked for 50 years with no known harm, so it seems those who are prone to it get hurt but the others don't.

Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying smoking nor any of the other poplular fear topics I listed are harmless. They are just vastly over-stated to get people's bowels in an uproar (flim at six) and allow more "research" and taxes and (liberals just wanting to help us) intrusive legislation.

I heard the big kids call their cigerattes "cancer sticks" and "coffin nails" back in the mid 40s. Everyone with any sense at all has long known the risks. But, in free society we should be free to chose which risks we are willing to take, including cigerettes, casting lead bullets, ownng firearms and working on live electrical circuits, all without the gov. getting in our faces!

So called "second hand smoke" effects are truly trivial unless the smoker and breather are enclosed in a tight chamber for very extended periods. It's surely no health hazard across apartment walls, etc.
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SwampFox
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

"So called "second hand smoke" effects are truly trivial unless the smoker and breather are enclosed in a tight chamber for very extended periods. It's surely no health hazard across apartment walls, etc."

Sorry but you are flat wrong. To me, it is actually painful as I have develped an alergy and am alergic to tobacco and to tobacco smoke. I get away when I can, but there are those of us who can not tolerate tobacco products or smoke at all.
Best,
Ed

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wncchester
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 2:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

"To me, it is actually painful as I have develped an alergy and am alergic to tobacco and to tobacco smoke. I get away when I can, but there are those of us who can not tolerate tobacco products or smoke at all."

Ed, I can understand that you feel strongly about it but let's note that you are NOT typical and it is unlikely that you would be trapped in smokey places with no escape. If/when that were true, such as on an airplane or buss, I'd agree to a "no smoking" rule without dissent.

I don't like the smoke either. I'm glad most restrauants have prohobited it. But I don't think the rule should be established by LAW, the fears are over rated. Any business owner has a right to run his business as he sees fit AND customers have a right to determine if we wish to do business with then. Denying this on a PC basis is part of what makes liberals so sure they should be ablt to deny us our rights to firearms; They don't want to be frightened by us!

Some people are highly sensitive to loud sounds, to a few it's even painful. So, I think they shouldn't attend rock concerts or set close to loud speakers. They have no right to attend any event they wish and then demand that the performers reduce the volume! I don't smoke anymore nor attend loud concerts either!

So, whose "rights" are more important, ours or others? And is it ever right for any group or individual to demand laws where only they can win, to the inconvience of many others? I understand there are entire small towns in California that forbid smoking within the city limits. That's just silly and it comes from over reaching petty tyrants in power!

We're a long way off excessove fear of lead and its exagerated hazards but it does relate to individual liberties. Cheers!
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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 4:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Lead level in the blood Reply with quote

Used to hold lead pellets in the mouth for the air rifles, its easier to spit one out than groping in the pocket - plus less chance to damage the pellets.

Now, I am doing electronics circuit board soldering almost everyday with 60/40 lead, then play with lead bullets and guns in spare times.

Humm.. wonder if I have to do blood lead level test..

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