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Lead Poisoning

sfettysfetty Member Posts: 349 ✭✭✭
edited November 2002 in General Discussion
A few weeks ago I posted that I had my blood checked for lead and the results were significantly high. During the winter months, I shoot indoors along with a couple of my shooting buddies. We shoot jacketed bullets and the ventilation is good at this range. The bullet trap at the backstop is water. We shoot about 200-300 rounds each per week. Prior to my blood analysis, we were sweeping the floor very gently to enable us to pick up our brass more easily. Since my blood analysis, we have been hosing the floor with water and sqeegeeing it to the water trough at the backstop. I have been wearing a dust mask during this process.

I just had my blood checked again this week and the results were a little higher than the previous time. I was very disappointed. I don't want to give up shooting, but that may have to be an option.

We only shoot indoors during the Winter months. However, my research into this problem has shown me that it is also a problem with shooters that shoot outdoors also. I believe that there are a lot more shooters out there with this potentially deadly condition and aren't aware of it because they haven't gotten their blood checked for lead content.

I reload because it is far more economical than factory ammo. I am going to use Rainier bullets because they are advertised as being lead-safe. However, that doesn't address the problem of lead in the primers. I have only seen Winclean ammo that uses lead-free primers in their manufacture. David Nunn advised me about Winclean ammo by Winchester. I am going to give it a try. At least while shooting indoors. I'll shoot my reloads using Rainier bullets outside.

I am going to do everything within my power, short of not shooting to get this lead in my blood down to an acceptable level. If none of these precautions work, I'll have to give up a sport that I trully love.

That brings me to my 2 final requests for all of you shooters out there.

1.) Please get your blood checked for lead NOW!!!!!!

2.) If you are a believer in prayer, please pray that I will be able to get this lead out of my system and continue enjoying shooting.


Thanks, Stan

Watch your front sight.

Comments

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    sfettysfetty Member Posts: 349 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    All the squirrels around my place keep dying of lead poisoning... Let me tell you it reacts fast in their system, one minute they are fine, then [xx(].

    In other unrelated news I stopped buying dog treats around the same time I purchased my 10/22, for some reason when the dog sees the rifle she starts slobbering, and goes nuts when I shoot it.....
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    sfettysfetty Member Posts: 349 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Just got my blood work back from my annual physical. Asked the doc to look for lead just for fun. Found out that my lead levels where just under toxic levels. I cast and reload about 6000 lead bullets for my 45ACP per year and I guess my precautions where not good enough. Doc says to stop using lead for about a year. This will increase my shooting costs by $700 a year. This just sucks
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    sfettysfetty Member Posts: 349 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Saw the doc today to schedule a blood screen. I do it more often than most, because of some things like triglycerides, liver enzymes and a couple others that tend to jump up sometimes. I asked him if as long as we're at it, can you order a screen for heavy metals, like lead, mercury and cadmium. He said sure.
    I just think that with all the casting and lead handling I've done, it might be a good idea. Plus, all the mercury I played with as a kid and a mouth full of amalgam fillings. When I think about how much casting I did in a little back room with no real ventilation, I gotta wonder WHAT was I thinking? Oh, yea, young and invincible. [xx(] Just curious, anyone ever been checked?
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    sfettysfetty Member Posts: 349 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Any avid shooters out there ever been checked for high lead levels in their blood?

    I just had my yearly physical and decided to have my blood checked for lead since I shoot every week. It came back pretty high. I shoot jacketed bullets and most of the time I shoot outdoors. However, during the Winter months I shoot at an indoor range. The range that I shoot at during the Winter is well ventilated.

    I go back to the Dr. in 6 weeks to have it rechecked. The jacketed bullets I shoot are 147gr.FMJ 9mm with the base of the bullet not jacketed. I shoot around 2000 rds per month.

    If any of you are shooting several hundred rounds per month,you might consider having your blood checked for lead.

    I'm gonna try wearing a mask while shooting indoors and shooting fully jacketed bullets and limit my indoor shooting to the very very cold days and bite the proverbial bullet and shoot outdoors more often this winter. My last option is to give up shooting. I pray I won't have to do that.
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    IconoclastIconoclast Member Posts: 10,515 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    sfetty, make sure the indoor range is properly ventilated!! That could be a big part of the problem. If you load your own and are just target shooting, there are many totally incapsulated projectiles available. I have a friend who used to cast all his own bullets and shoots as least as much as you do. He had the same problem and arrested the lead level by going to the fully jacketed bullets . . . but the range where he shoots is state of the art in ventilation. Good luck!
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    robsgunsrobsguns Member Posts: 4,581 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    In my humble opinion, I think its not your bullets, its all the bullets being shot indoors at your range. I believe it to be the lead dust being created by all the bullets hitting the indoor back stop from all the lanes, I could be wrong. I suggest letting the management of the lanes know about this, so that they might remedy the situation through better filtration and exhaust systems, or at least warn patrons of the potential for lead particles being ingested, for people that spend as much time at the range as you do. They may be thankful for you alerting them, as some people may seek legal reparations against them if they were diagnosed as such. Hopefully is doesnt scare them too much if you tell them about this, it'd suck to not be able to use lead bullets at your range. I appreciate your posting this, I'd never seriously considered lead a threat at the indoor ranges, unless it was being shot my way.

    SSgt Ryan E. Roberts, USMC
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    rpo242rpo242 Member Posts: 570 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you have ever breathed smoke after the shot, you are breathing lead. Lead styphnate is used in the priming mixture. Good ventalation is a must when shooting.

    You can,t miss fast enough.
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    nunnnunn Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 36,037 ******
    edited November -1
    You can minimize your exposure by using lead-free ammo when shooting indoors. Win-Clean is one example and it is not real expensive.

    SIG pistol armorer/FFL Dealer/Full time Peace Officer, Moderator of General Discussion Board on Gunbroker. Visit www.gunbroker.com, the best gun auction site on the Net! Email davidnunn@texoma.net
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    sfettysfetty Member Posts: 349 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I'll consider the Winclean ammo. The indoor range that I shoot at has a water trough at the bottom of the backstop. When the rounds hit the backstop, they go into the water at the base of the backstop. This dramatically reduces lead in the air.

    I shoot with 2 other fellas each week. We shoot after hours at the local indoor gun range. We all shoot fmj ammo. We all reload.

    One of the culprits for the lead may be on the floor. Before we start shooting, we sweep the floor so it is easier to pick up our brass. Also the bullets that we use are from Star Ammunition and are jacketed except for the bases of the bullet. The lead is exposed on that area of the bullet. I am looking at a fully jacketed bullet to replace the ones I am now using. I will also start wetting the floor down a little before we shoot and use a squeegie instead of a broom to eliminate dust in the air. I will also start using a dust mask at least while we are cleaning the floor.

    As I said earlier, I am going to try and limit my indoor shooting this Winter and try to shoot more outside at my local outdoor range.

    I really appreciate the advice and hopefully my post will alert other shooters to get their lead levels checked, especially if they shoot a considerable amount. I will certainly look into the WinClean ammo too Mr. Nunn.

    I will also keep this forum posted on my situation and hopefully I can get this resolved without having to give up a sport that I really enjoy. Please pray for me.
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    REBJrREBJr Member Posts: 1,210 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It was serious enough to kill Scott and his men looking for the northwest passage/ north pole/ whatever.
    In light of your discovery I will have mine checked too, am up for renewal of DOT physical anyway ( I don't use my CDL anymore, but you can always fall back on it)
    Thanks for the tip -Ralph

    It was never supposed to be like this.
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    competentonecompetentone Member Posts: 4,698 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Sfetty,

    Have you considered that the lead content in your blood could be completely unrelated to your shooting.

    What year was your house build? If older, has it been tested for lead? Does your house have vinyle mini blinds manufactured prior to about 1993? (a number of those throw off lead dust).

    Also, before you consider giving up your sport, how high is "pretty high"? There are "ranges" as saftey standards, and then there are "toxicity" levels--what is your doctor comparing your level to?

    "Higher" lead levels in the blood normally are not that dangerous for adults--assuming you're not anywhere near toxity levels--it's young children who are really at risk by "slight" lead exposure.

    At the same time, a properly vented indoor range should not be exposing you to lead risks--infact if vented properly it should give you less exposure than shooting outdoors in calm wind conditions.
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    nunnnunn Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 36,037 ******
    edited November -1
    AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

    Never, ever sweep the floor!

    There are brass pickup devices to use if you don't want to bend over.

    I got a safety bulletin from the Texas DPS on the subject. They recommend to never sweep the range, even outdoor ones. My range is outdoors. We use "Up Your Brass" pickup tools, and when the range needs cleaning, I get the Fire Department to come hose it off.

    "Up Your Brass" is out of business. They made a device similar to a pecan harvester and it worked well. I wish someone else would make such a device, as ours are getting worn.

    SIG pistol armorer/FFL Dealer/Full time Peace Officer, Moderator of General Discussion Board on Gunbroker. Visit www.gunbroker.com, the best gun auction site on the Net! Email davidnunn@texoma.net
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