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Lead levels in your blood


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Three years ago I was competing enough that I had lead added to my annual physical - first test was 11 - Dr says 0-9 is optimal - 11 is no cause for concern. I waited 3 years to get it tested again and now it is 17 - now the recommendation is limit exposure. In those three years I switched from mostly jacketed to mostly lead - lately uncoated lead. I do not shoot indoors but, of course I reload - I shoot well over 1000 rounds a month.

I bet some of you are dealing with this - what are you doing to limit exposure and not increase your costs?

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  • 2 months later...

Maybe try Rainier lead safe bullets. Just a thought for you? Thanks.

Rainiers are definately better than lead or moly bullets, but since they are manufactured in a facility that uses lead to make the finished product, I still always wear gloves or wash my hands with a lead-removing soap after a loading session. I found a great source for nitrile gloves. My local childrens hospital sells them for $5 a box & no shipping since they are so close.

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Shooting can be nasty when you think about the junk we inhale. Even if it's not lead- it's smoke from lube, green bullets, black bullets, etc. If it's not fresh air it's good to keep it out of your lungs when you can.

For me, since I've had very high lead levels (due primarily to indoor shooting) I avoid as much "smoke" as I can. People can say that lead in bullets isn't a problem because the lead doesn't vaporize or atomize or whatever. I say BS to that. I try to keep lead away from me to the extent possible. I use plated bullets so I'm pretty sure I don't have any exposure when reloading and mostly from only primers when shooting outdoors.

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Shooting can be nasty when you think about the junk we inhale. Even if it's not lead- it's smoke from lube, green bullets, black bullets, etc. If it's not fresh air it's good to keep it out of your lungs when you can.

For me, since I've had very high lead levels (due primarily to indoor shooting) I avoid as much "smoke" as I can. People can say that lead in bullets isn't a problem because the lead doesn't vaporize or atomize or whatever. I say BS to that. I try to keep lead away from me to the extent possible. I use plated bullets so I'm pretty sure I don't have any exposure when reloading and mostly from only primers when shooting outdoors.

So do those people think the lead from primers vaporized into a hot gas are way safer than lead in a bullet?

The key is no indoor shooting and equally obsessive hygiene while shooting and reloading. I cant count the amount of people I see picking up brass and shucking peanuts on the same stage, eating chips from a bag is another favorite to watch.. Gives me the creeps. They probably take the brass home and clean it while smoking and reload while drinking all done without a hand cleaning

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I cant count the amount of people I see picking up brass and shucking peanuts on the same stage, eating chips from a bag is another favorite to watch.. Gives me the creeps. They probably take the brass home and clean it while smoking and reload while drinking all done without a hand cleaning

All you left out is sex, wanna go for the clean sweep?

:D

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It's true. When I see people eating nuts, chips, or beef jerky with their bare hands on the range, it makes me think "why not just lick your fingers", cause your hands are covered in lead dust and powder residue (which by the way, had just been ignited with a primer containing lead compounds).

So the only things I eat on the range have to come from some kind of bag or plastic wrapper, or possibly a banana, since it has it's own wrapper. But apples and other fruit are out, and I never touch the food with my hands at all costs. The same goes for reloading, but I generally wear nitrile gloves then, and I STILL wash my hands afterwards.

One last thing to think about .... If you're not washing you're hands after shooting out on the range, what does the steering wheel in your car have on it now? How bout your car keys? Cell phone? Yup .... They all have been contaminated with lead now, and when you drive to work the next day, or talk on your cell phone later that night you have re-contaminated yourself without even thinking about shooting!

I keep a bottle of D-Lead wipes in my range bag and use them to occasionally wipe off my cell phone and steering wheel, in addition to wiping off my hands.

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It's true. When I see people eating nuts, chips, or beef jerky with their bare hands on the range, it makes me think "why not just lick your fingers", cause your hands are covered in lead dust and powder residue (which by the way, had just been ignited with a primer containing lead compounds).

So the only things I eat on the range have to come from some kind of bag or plastic wrapper, or possibly a banana, since it has it's own wrapper. But apples and other fruit are out, and I never touch the food with my hands at all costs. The same goes for reloading, but I generally wear nitrile gloves then, and I STILL wash my hands afterwards.

One last thing to think about .... If you're not washing you're hands after shooting out on the range, what does the steering wheel in your car have on it now? How bout your car keys? Cell phone? Yup .... They all have been contaminated with lead now, and when you drive to work the next day, or talk on your cell phone later that night you have re-contaminated yourself without even thinking about shooting!

I keep a bottle of D-Lead wipes in my range bag and use them to occasionally wipe off my cell phone and steering wheel, in addition to wiping off my hands.

good point

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Swanson's is a dietary supplement supply company in Fargo ND. Been in business for a LONG time. Easy to find on the internet. Once you are on the catalog list they show up regularly. Best quality to price you'll find. Nice folks too!! Check out Metal Shield. It is very efficient at scavenging heavy metals from your digestive system which is one of the primary entry paths. That will reduce blood levels. There are discussions of the science behind this available from Swanson. No Hocus Pocus...actually works.

I do not work for Swanson and have no financial interest in the business. I do have a habit of recommending businesses that treat me well and give good measure tho!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Swanson's is a dietary supplement supply company in Fargo ND. Been in business for a LONG time. Easy to find on the internet. Once you are on the catalog list they show up regularly. Best quality to price you'll find. Nice folks too!! Check out Metal Shield. It is very efficient at scavenging heavy metals from your digestive system which is one of the primary entry paths. That will reduce blood levels. There are discussions of the science behind this available from Swanson. No Hocus Pocus...actually works.

I do not work for Swanson and have no financial interest in the business. I do have a habit of recommending businesses that treat me well and give good measure tho!

Good stuff!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I come across a lot of odd things affecting patient test results at work. Also my wife works at a large family medicine clinic that does lead testing for the many battery factories in our area. I flux, cast and size large amounts of lead bullets. I also handle lead daily at work usually wearing nitrile gloves but do not melt or cast any at work. Nine years ago my wife became concerned about my and our young son's lead levels because we were casting and shooting so much. During the same time period my son was shooting 10 meter Air Rifle indoors every day. After having our blood drawn frequently over a two year period she finally gave up except for annual checkups. Our lead levels were always at a very minimal level. The main policy I try to follow is always tumble brass, flux, cast size and reload in a very large room or shop. I have a feeling and this is just a feeling that most lead exposure to reloaders comes from tumbling brass in small, closed reloading rooms with not much air exchange instead of the actual shooting. There is a lot of lead residue left on that fired brass and the cleaning process gets it into the air.

Edited by atomicbrh
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There is a lot of lead residue left on that fired brass and the cleaning process gets it into the air.

Yep... and once it's in the air and you breathe it- it's all over everything. I always do that outside. Sifting brass and tumbling is always outside. All the other reloading stuff is done indoors... but I don't think there is much airborne lead at that point.... and I don't lick my fingers. ;)

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"I keep a bottle of D-Lead wipes in my range bag and use them to occasionally wipe off my cell phone and steering wheel, in addition to wiping off my hands."

Where do you get D-Lead wipes?

I had trouble with the D-wipes in the pop up can drying out so I went to the individual wrapped and the plastic bottle of D=lead hand soap. I keep the soap and a bottle of water in my truck and wash up. There are several types of soap so choose what you need. You can buy direct from Escha-Tech at their web site

https://www.esca-tech.com/ProductDetail.php?category=1100&productnum=WT

One thing no one mentions with cleansing heavy metals from your body...... Make sure you have your Iron levels tested also.

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I had trouble with the D-wipes in the pop up can drying out so I went to the individual wrapped

Mine dried out as well. The individual packets are the way to go. I think they come in fairly large quantities so a group buy works well.

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  • 2 months later...

I have had lead poisoning for 2 years. It started (I think) with bullet casting and not paying attention to hygiene. YES I used to smoke, drink, eat and pick up brass simultaniously as if it didn't effect anything, boy was I wrong. First time I got tested was in 2011, my number was 30. So I started to wear a respirator mask when casting bullets, and focus more on personal hygiene. That didn't help one bit. Now, 2 years later I have finally found the source of my contamination - my shooting range. I know what you're thinking: "Everbody knows indoor shooting is bad", so do I..... this is an outdoor range. The problem is that the back stop and side beams are 30 feet high and very rich on vegetation plus the wind is always right in your face.... and after a 300 round session I could taste the lead when i got home! I now shoot with a small half-face 3M mask with the appropiate filters. I can no longer taste the lead when shooting.

I have been monitoring my level of exposure for the last 2 years. In 2012 my number was 70 which is too high. I even had to go through chelation therapy. Since then it has been a little up and down. In Denmark it's very cold and windy in winter, so during that period my level is lower than in the summer.

I have had VERY good results with eating a fresh water algea called chlorella which chelates lead from you system. Along with cilantro tincture which is good for mobilizing accumulated lead, I have been able to cut my exposure in half.

You should also be aware that exposure to lead is still an issue when shooting FMJ's - lead bullets are not the only culprit. Priming compound consists of lead styphnate with is a very toxic form of lead. The black/grey residue left on brass after firing contains a lot of lead styphnate. I too wear nitrile gloves when loading, cleaning and picking up brass. I also use wet tissues that I have in my car.

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