Lead poisoning from shooting

This is a discussion on Lead poisoning from shooting within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; My mom is freaked out about lead expose from me shooting cause I brought it up and she found some chicken little liberal environmentalist anti-gun ...

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Thread: Lead poisoning from shooting

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array BRTCP88's Avatar
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    Lead poisoning from shooting

    My mom is freaked out about lead expose from me shooting cause I brought it up and she found some chicken little liberal environmentalist anti-gun site that was screaming about the health and environmental dangers of lead from shooting.

    So what precautions do you suggest taking? I wash my hands every time I shoot, but the site was saying that if you wash your clothes with other clothes you can contaminate them. Should I take an extra shirt to the range and keep it separate from the rest of the laundry? If I go to an outdoor range will this reduce the risk?
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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array BRTCP88's Avatar
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    I forgot to ask, how often do you go to the range? I was planning on going every week once I get that security job I'm trying to get and shooting a 100 rounds each visit. So 400 round a month. Plus, I plan to get involved in competition shooting, so I'd be shooting more once I got into that. Maybe 800 rounds a month. Do y'all think this is too much?
    Ron Paul 2012

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    Member Array doctruptwn's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about it, Look at Jerry Mickeleck and guy's like that they probably shoot 2-3,000 a day.
    Kansas Concealed Carry Website

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    Wash your hands before eating or smoking.
    Folks casting bullets should work in a good, well ventilated area.

    The danger of Lead poisoning is greatly over-exaggerated for adults.

    Naturally...if you have kids at home or Wifey is pregnant take EXTRA precautions.

    The ingestion and inhalation dangers of Lead are real for growing children with developing brains.

    Metallic Lead residue cannot be absorbed through the skin - it is taken into the body only through ingestion or inhalation.

    Did you know that the Romans sprinkled powdered Lead on their food as a seasoning? They liked the sweet, metallic, taste that it imparted to food.

    This is a pretty honest and factual Lead Info page without the Green hype & hysteria.
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/002473.htm

    Just FYI
    I worked with Lead daily for years doing statuary.
    I melted it, cast it, polished it, plated it, sanded it, soldered it, filed it, in addition to weekly shooting & a couple of years after I quit that job & when my Tinnitus (ear ringing) was really bad I decided to have my Lead level checked (blood test) - just for the heckovit since I was grasping at any straw back then...and my Lead level was "0" or whatever "normal" was AKA not elevated.

  6. #5
    Member Array LeChuck's Avatar
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    I typically shoot about 1,200-1,600 rounds a month. This isn't even counting my .22's, the rounds are so cheap I don't even bother keeping track. I haven't noticed any illness's attributable to it. Admittedly I'm not that old, so I can't attest to the long term effects but I have been shooting to some degree for 13 years.

    Unless you're handling depleted uranium shells I think you'll be just fine.

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Wash your hands when your done shooting, or before you eat and you should be fine.

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    There are real, life-threatening hazards to lead exposure. Mas Ayoob recalls an anecdotal story about a cop who spent several lunchtimes each week harvesting spent brass from the police range. The guy got sick and died from acute lead poisoning in a pretty short time.

    As others suggest, just be smart about it. The biggest risk is ingestion and not contact exposure. So - wash your hands and face and any exposed skin after shooting. Use cold water because lead salts are more soluble in warm water. If you have facial hair, wash that, too. Do NOT handle food until after washing up! Yes, indoor ranges are "worse" than outdoor ranges because there is no way an indoor venue can match the dilution of lead particles that the great outdoors can.

    If Mom is into statistics, you can let her know that serious competitive shooters go through tens of thousands of rounds a year, and they are simply not dropping like flies from lead poisoning.
    Smitty
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    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    I shoot at an indoor range and this is my general after shoot schedule.

    Wipe hands off with lead removing wipes supplied by the range.

    Immediately wash hands at home.

    Remove clothes and shower

    Occasionally I may wash hands, eat, then shower. I just schedule my shooting so I come home and shower before work. If I was shooting outdoors I may not be as worried about my clothes.
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

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    VIP Member Array JAT40's Avatar
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    Lead poisoning from shooting beats lead poisoning from being shot, clean hands down any day.
    While people are saying "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, ... and they will not escape. 1Th 5:3

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Indoor ranges have ventilation systems,when I worked in a battery plant years ago we had to change into uniforms and wash hands,no cigarettes in plant area,heavy lead areas wore respirators,and we got blood checked every month
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRTCP88 View Post
    I forgot to ask, how often do you go to the range? I was planning on going every week once I get that security job I'm trying to get and shooting a 100 rounds each visit. So 400 round a month. Plus, I plan to get involved in competition shooting, so I'd be shooting more once I got into that. Maybe 800 rounds a month. Do y'all think this is too much?
    Adults don't have to worry too much unless you are pregnant or exposed every day to a fairly high amount of lead. Chronic lead poisoning takes a long time to build up in your body.

    Its not a good idea to bite the bullet as some may tell you to do.

    Do you think you have any brain damage? Do you have any damage to the nerves? Is red blood cell count normal? Is the digestive system normal? If your answer is no to all, you don't have lead poisoning.

    We were all exposed to lead every day before lead free gas.

    Acute lead poisoning can be a problem with young children. Acute poisoning can be caused by drinking water from plumbing systems with old lead pipe water lines, eating lead paint, walking in lead chips from pealing lead paint either inside or outside the house.

    OSHA has very strict requirements for the ventilation systems at indoor ranges.
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    Indoor ranges are more "hazardous" by nature--lot of lead in a confined space. The range should be well ventilated, drawing air from the shooting stations toward the targets (away from you!). I rarely use the local indoor range because of lack of adequate (any?) ventilation. The biggest danger comes when cleaning the range; it stirs up the lead residue. Cleaning is apparently not a concern at my local range!

    Outdoor ranges are better ventilated, as long as the wind is to your back!

    While the occasional trip to the range isn't particularly hazardous, long-term exposure (for employees, instructors, range officials, etc.) is a concern.

    Keep hands away from face during shooting. Wash hands afterwards. Change clothes. You should be fine.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
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  14. #13
    Senior Member Array Ring's Avatar
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    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...

  15. #14
    Senior Member Array The Fish's Avatar
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    Wash hands plus once a year,as part of normal blood tests,I get the Doc to list a lead level test on the lab Rx.
    Is covered by ins.
    " Keep On Packin' On The Bimah"

  16. #15
    Member Array HiFreq47's Avatar
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    I was shooting 750to 1000 rounds a week for about 3 years ... that was 3 to 4 trips to the range a week. That doesn't count the all-day outdoor outings me and a buddy would do a few times a year where we would blow through 1K or more rounds in a day.

    Aside from the cancer, partial blindness, oversized kidney stones, deforming growths, paranoia, anal leakage, and the large bottle of Viagra I now own .... I'm just fine.



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