blood lead levels

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Ross Smith posted this 05 July 2022

Just for kicks the next time I have some blood work done, I'm gonna request that I be tested for lead. I've been doing this sine the mid '70s. Has anyone else been tested?

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RicinYakima posted this 05 July 2022

Ever six months from 1994 through 2014, when working haz-mat. I was doing a lot of casting in those years, no fan just open door to shop. I did get a hit for antimony in about 2001 so I put a fan in the window for dust control. Never had an issue with the hundreds of pounds of WW reduction, ingot making or bullet casting. 

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alphabrass posted this 05 July 2022

I had my blood tested 2 years ago.  I have been exposed to lead for at least 5 decades.  Plumbing (before lead solder was outlawed), electrical soldering, bullet casting, lead reclaiming, leaded gasoline, gun cleaning, reloading, and exposure to the lead residue from lead based primary explosives.  My result came out at 2 micrograms per deciliter.  The detection limit is 1, and the World Health Organization recommends an exposure limit of 10.  Most of my exposure was in well ventilated areas and I was careful to wash my hands after exposure.

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Boschloper posted this 06 July 2022

I am exposed to lead at work and with casting and shooting. My blood lead is tested at work at least once a year, sometimes twice. The OSHA standard is 40 mystical units, I have never been over 13, and my last test I was 5.  Get tested. Wash your hands with soap after you touch lead. If you shoot on an indoor range, make sure the ventilation is being maintained. 

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Buttersdad posted this 06 July 2022

I haven't been tested for lead in the past. I have a blood test coming up and the plan is to ask for it to be tested for lead exposure. I always avoid any food while handling cast bullets and cleaning cases. I always wash my hands twice after anything handling lead or dirty cases. When I cast I always cast outside in the backyard. We also had a notice recently from the state that our house is old enough that we may have or have had lead in our pipes. So it's time to get the tests started.

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 07 July 2022

I have it tested every 10 years or so - never been anything significant.  (I guess I don't lick my fingers after casting/loading bullets)

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Qc Pistolero posted this 08 July 2022

I've been casting since the early '70s;sometimes in an enclosed space without any ventilation(when I was young and foolish).Not that I recommend doing it(actually very bad for your health)but my tests showed no lead accumulation in my blood.But I must say that I've always casted at quite a low temp(try to keep it below 800*F)so that there won't be any lead evaporation.I stay way away from 900*F.

Now for the bad part:while casting at 710*F won't evaporate lead,you often smell stuff and sometimes see smoke.I dunno what it is but I sure don't want that smoke in my lungs.That's why I now have a powerfull fan exhausting fumes.

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RicinYakima posted this 09 July 2022

For years I fluxed with old cigar butts. That gave a good aroma to the casting area and was cheap. 

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LarryW posted this 09 July 2022

Find, smelt, cast, load, shoot, repeat. Been doing that since 1965

Blood work every year, sometimes more? Always good. 

Use common sense & good practices. Wash your hands & don't eat it, you'll be fine.

 

 

 

A day late & a dollar short, story of my life ???

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Glaciers posted this 10 July 2022

Started casting in the mid 70’s.  Worked in a small battery manufacturing facility for 11 years until about 4 years ago.  The manufacture of batteries had stopped before I started but all the old equipment and crates of lead plates were still there along with all the dust.  But we still handled thousands of batteries new and recycling of scrap batteries as well.
Always had good ventilation when casting but the battery shop was a concern to me.  Got a blood test specifically for metals before I retired and it came out clean.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 11 July 2022

.. on our indoor 50 yard range we shot thousands of 22rf yearly ... you would think some lead would be in the air ... blood tested every 6 months, no raised lead.  

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Lee Guthrie posted this 12 July 2022

I have "smelted" a huge amount of COWW and blended hundreds of pounds of various alloys, plus casting.  Once upon a time I cast bullets in a small corner room in the basement with a converted range exhaust fan over the pot and ducted out of the window.  Made it a point to not drink, not eat, and not smoke while doing this.

A couple years ago I got concerned after hearing horror stories.  Since I have regular blood tests, I had testing for all heavy metals.  Zip.  Nada.  

Lead dust is bad.  Putting things in your mouth while casting and alloying is bad.  If you avoid those you will OK, assuming that you don't chew on woodwork in houses built before 1970.

LEE 

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mashburn posted this 14 July 2022

I had myself tested for lead about 12 years ago and found no problem. However, I do have heavy metal poisoning from an all- metal hip joint that I have been wearing around inside of me. I guess the moral to this story is that we people who have spent our lifetime playing with lead aren't in as much danger as we are put in under modern medicine.

Mashburn

David a. Cogburn

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max503 posted this 5 weeks ago

My latest test, last week, showed my level a 4.8 units, with 5 being the safe limit.  I have been testing between 5 and 10 units, which is higher than what "they" want.

I attribute the reduction to my use of powder coated bullets.  That, and one of my ranges closed.  It was in the basement of a decrepit building and it had bad ventilation.  Just one big exhaust fan by the backstop.  You still had smoke on the firing line.

Since using PC'd bullets there is much less smoke from my guns.  I really notice the smoke now whenever I shoot conventionally lubed bullets.

I read somewhere it is not unusual for people to test around 2.5 units, and it takes a long time for lead to clear out of your body.  So I see my recent reduction as a very good sign.  

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Qc Pistolero posted this 4 weeks ago

like my doctor told me about lead poisoning:''if you do it in a safe way,the only lead poisoning you must be afraid of is if the lead is coming towards you at 850fps''!

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Bradley posted this 4 weeks ago

Just for kicks the next time I have some blood work done, I'm gonna request that I be tested for lead. I've been doing this sine the mid '70s. Has anyone else been tested?

 

I get a lead test at the beginning of every shooting season (usually march 1st) and at the end (normally november).  What clearly happens, fortunately, is that the body gets rid of lead a lot faster than it absorbs it. The highest mine has ever gotten was 35.9.  Fortunately a three month winter break is enough to always bring this back down to a reasonable level.

Also shooting, rather than bullet casting, is the major contributor.  Seems a bit strange but it is still true.

I wrote an article about this years ago but could not find a publisher.

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fc60 posted this 4 weeks ago

Greetings,

My doctor uses a 24 hour urine collection system to test for Lead. You supply a small sample and they test it somehow and report back with about twenty different elements.

She also submits the test with a number only, not my name.

Long ago, I was tested for Lead and I got a letter from the State Labor and Industries wanting to know why?

One that was interesting, aside from an elevated Lead, was Cesium.

Also, one test showed elevated Barium. It took several letters to Federal to find out that they use Barium Styphnate in 22lr priming compound. I was shooting in a less than well ventilated Indoor range.

 

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max503 posted this 3 weeks ago

As stated earlier, my levels went to normal after the local indoor range closed down.  I went there a lot and the ventilation system was bad.

When I get my test results online from the doc there is always a note that those results are being sent to the local Public Health Department.  I've never heard from them, however.  

I've never told my doc I cast boolits.  I tell her I make fishing weights and I recycle lead for $$$.

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Eutectic posted this 2 weeks ago

The CDC reduced the acceptable level to 5 ug/dL with no reason except most people are under 5 ug/dL. The OSHA limit for lead foundry workers is 40 ug/dL. This is based on clinical problems showing up about 50-60 ug/dL. I was over 10 ug/dL from a lot of winter indoor shooting. Freaked out my doctor "that is TWICE the CDC limit". Like the CDC has a perfect record of following the facts.

Private labs run lead levels and report the results to you.

 

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