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DWARREN123

Lead Levels in Blood

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If you reload a lot and/or shoot indoors do yourself a favor and get your serum lead levels (lead levels in blood) checked.

My have gone up drastically in the last year, doing things now to bring it back down.

Take care.

Edited by DWARREN123
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I'm going to throw in my two cents as a safety professional.

Best practices when handling lead:

- wear disposable gloves

- use ventilation, an exhaust hood is ideal, but the idea is to get dust or fumes away from you.  Beware that using makeshift equipment such as a fan is going to blow lead dust all over your work area. 

- wear long sleeves and long pants, take them off and wash them when you are done handling lead.

- don't eat, drink, or smoke while handling lead, or in areas where lead is handled.  

- a respirator is a good idea, but you don't want to buy one off of the shelf and start using it without the proper knowledge and precautions.  You need to be fit tested before wearing a respirator.  A fit test ensures that the respirator makes a good seal on your face.  IIRC some medical clinics, such as Concentra offer this service.  You also need to get a medical evaluation to make sure that your heart and lungs can take the added stress of a respirator.  Also, store your respirator in a gallon size zip lock bag when you are not using it, use the correct filters, and change filters at a regular interval. 

This is a very brief summary of protecting yourself from lead dust.  Avoiding contaminants is complex.  Just wanted to put this out there to 1) inform and 2) possibly prevent someone from an overexposure because they thought they were protecting themselves, but their method wasn't effective.  Not only do you need to use engineering controls and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) they need to be used properly.

Edited by 10-Ring
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57 minutes ago, DWARREN123 said:

No casting just mostly indoor shooting and reloading.

The indoor range shooting is the main suspect!

Lead Vapor is the bad stuff. Unless you get lead very hot it wont turn to vapor when casting. Older primers used lead in them, newer primers do not have lead and shorter shelf life.

So yes, range shooting, well indoor range shooting can be an issue.

 

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Myself and one friend use to shoot indoors a lot at an old range.  Both of us had elevated levels that went down once our  indoor time decreased.

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One thing I remembered about my dad. He had a 30" shop fan blowing from behind him while casting. If we were indoor or outdoor shooting that fan was behind us.

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Range ventilation can be one of the first things that goes when finances start turning south at a shop. Scrubbers are really expensive to maintain - so those schedules often get stretch - sometimes a lot.

Think of the ranges you've been to where they can either condition the air or clean the air.  I've talked to workers in a couple of shops lately who've had to quit working the range because their lead levels had spiked.

If you can run your finger down a surface in the range and it comes back black - the air probably isn't being scrubbed appropriately.

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We have always thought it took exposure over long times to impact our health. What we are seeing right now with vaping; shows that’s not the case.

I sure am lucky (and amazed) I made it to adulthood.

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I do remember in the military, the range folks who were there daily routinely had their lead levels tested.  Those of us who only fired 4-6 times a year did not.

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