Poison on the range: Lead exposure

This is a discussion on Poison on the range: Lead exposure within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Also I would recommed washing your hands before going to the bathroom at the range and again when you are done using the bathroom....

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Thread: Poison on the range: Lead exposure

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    Also I would recommed washing your hands before going to the bathroom at the range and again when you are done using the bathroom.

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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    I guess sticking my finger in a bottle of mercury and showing my friends that it came out dry, then shopping for shoes with my folks and putting my feet in an x-ray machine in the shoe store should have killed me. Then we went home and ate the rabbit or squirrel my dad shot, but we were careful to spit out the lead pellets lest we break a tooth. I feel pretty good, for a dead man.
    Maybe I better lay down.
    I laugh when I hear they want to ban salt.
    Weight loss.
    I thought lead was heavy?
    Hopyard likes this.

  4. #18
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    there is a guy who was in charge of (probably) the biggest MDC range, who worked damn near everyday got tested after working there for many years. Before that he designed shooting ranges for the military. His levels were high enough that he had to stay off the ranges for 2-3 months to let his lead drop to acceptable levels. I don't think it's all that big a problem for 99% recreational shooters. Like has been said, wash hands after shooting, don't eat or drink on the line, and you'll be fine. Pregnant women and kids under six probably shouldn't be at the range - at least not for long or very often; they're bodies don't process the lead as well as adult males.

  5. #19
    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    i had my lead tested this year...


    i started shooting when i was 10, did indoor small bore competition when i was 12, and then high power in high school... started loading around 20, lots of lead and jacked... im 37 now.. still load, still shoot... when loading and cleaning, i dont ware gloves, but wash after...


    so i thought it might be fun to get my lead tested...



    Component
    Lead
    Your Value
    2.6
    Standard Range
    0.0-11.0 ug/dL

    not bad...

  6. #20
    Senior Member Array DoctorBob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ring View Post
    i had my lead tested this year...


    Component
    Lead
    Your Value
    2.6
    Standard Range
    0.0-11.0 ug/dL

    not bad...
    The best level is 0.0 but it is unlikely that toxic effects will start to occur until you get to about 7.5 mcg/dL.
    0-11 is not "normal" but rather below outright toxic. If I had a 2.6 level, I would be VERY careful to avoid exposure and think about limiting exposure - even to the point of using lead free ammo on the range.

    It's a probability thing, not a certainty. E.g. 99% of people will show symptoms above 11, thirty three percent will show symptoms at 7.5, etc. Just like CAT scans; 2% of cancers will result from CAT scan exposure but we can't say which person will be the one to get it.

  7. #21
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    I worked at an indoor gun range for almost a year. When I started working there they told me that they exact everyone to get their lead levels tested every year and anyone over a 6 needed to be taken off of range duty until that level comes down but they assured me that even the instructors who spent days on end in the range never came back with those levels as long as the ventilation system stopped working (which we checked daily and changed filters when needed). They said everyone who worked in the gun department always had elevated lead levels of around 2-3 but that was to be expected working with guns every day and being in a range daily (we rotated range duty). We had special lead removing soap in both the male and female bathroom and we tried to be careful but I admit there was a LOT of eating going on at work.

    Chips, brownies, donuts... you name it. And no, we didn't always wash our hands before eating. In fact, there was a lot of dipping into the chips with hands coated in GSR and Hoppes #9. Also, anyone on range duty was supposed to clean the rental guns and some of us would sit there for hours cleaning gun after gun after gun without putting on gloves or masks with a bag of chips and soda by our side.

    The only time we were REQUIRED to wear a mask was when doing cleaning duty on the range which required at least 45 minutes of sweeping up the unburnt powder down range and vacuuming the range. Lots of lead got into the air then.

    Even after all of that we all had pretty normal lead levels. Again, they were slightly elevated because of all that exposure but well within normal.

    I think you would have to be doing A TON of shooting in an unventilated area and pretty much NEVER washing in order to get to the levels that one would need to worry about.

  8. #22
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    A small point to be sure, but use cold water when washing hands and face (especially those of us with facial hair) after shooting. Lead salts are far less soluble in cold water than in warm.
    Smitty
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  9. #23
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    Calcium supplements (or just making sure you get enough calcium in your diet) will prevent the take up of Lead by your body.

    Also, wouldn't you want to use warm/hot water to wash off lead salts? They will go into solution, then be rinsed down the drain. They won't migrate through your skin.

  10. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoFan View Post
    Calcium supplements (or just making sure you get enough calcium in your diet) will prevent the take up of Lead by your body.

    Also, wouldn't you want to use warm/hot water to wash off lead salts? They will go into solution, then be rinsed down the drain. They won't migrate through your skin.
    When you dilute the lead salts you end up spreading them more, thus a greater likelihood of hand-to-mouth or other mechanisms for ingestion. If you scrubbed like a surgeon, it wouldn't make a difference. Not quite the same thing, but think of rinsing detergents with warm vs. cold water... the detergent hangs around longer if you rinse with warm water due to increased solubility.
    Smitty
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  11. #25
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    Also warm water will open up the pores on your skin, so cool water is preferred to help eliminate lead entering that way.

  12. #26
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    Thanks for the info, doc!

    I started wearing gloves when I clean my handguns and my friends think I'm nuts...but a LOT of that is not liking to get my hands dirty or smelling like Hoppes #9.
    Babyhulk
    NRA Life Member since 2010

  13. #27
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    Excellent post for reminding everyone about self-clean up at the range. Lead poisoning is something to think about.
    Thanks for the post.
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  14. #28
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    A slightly different point of view on the dangers of lead in a shooting environment. I do not know if any of you have seen the articles or if they have been posted on this forum but a congresswoman from AZ, in questioning General Petraeus a few months ago, wanted to know what our military was doing about the environmental consequences of our military actions in Afghan. I assume that she expected our troops to ignore their safety and worry about remedial actions, as if they do not have enough to worry about. I found her line of questioning to be the height of idiocy and disconnect with the real world and told her so in an email that questioned her on whether she was born that way or had a bang in the head in recent years.

  15. #29
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Remember young children are far more sensitive to lead exposure then us cooky adults. Some good info above.
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

  16. #30
    New Member Array bassoneer's Avatar
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    I try to take some simple common sense steps to minimize the issue of lead poisoning. I try to use jacketed rounds when possible to keep it out of the air, off my hands, and out of my gun. Mostly I don't like the gun getting so dirty because then it takes longer to clean it and I get it all over me. My usual shooting range has "Lava" soap in dispensers at the sinks and I clean up very well after shooting. Wipe down the guns too. And I don't leave my guns dirty...I clean them after each shooting, but I don't use gloves when cleaning anything. Also, a good HVAC system at the range is a benefit...blows the smoke and any lead down range and away from the shooters. Some day, 50 years from now, my grandkids will no doubt be wearing respirators when they go to the range, but for now, I take those few steps and don't worry about it. B

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