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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is so much data on this topic that it would be wrong to just jump in with a chunk of it. So, briefly: there is lead in 99% of the primers used to make bullets go bang! Upon firing, lead is aspirated into the air, where it can enter the body. The highest concentrations of this can be found within a 3 foot radius of the firearm firing. Lead is a nasty heavy metal that once in your body goes to bad places and is difficult to get out.

So ... have you considered lead exposure whenever you have shot?
Do you take any steps to mitigate your lead exposure?
What are they?
Does it drive your choices in ammo?


More discussion as folks jump in.

( P.S., Pb-Lead is being used by the anti-gun forces in this country to shut down indoor shooting ranges and limit children's exposure to firearms. This post is NOT a Trojan Horse. I'm trying to get a sense in the community of lead awareness and discover common steps for dealing with it. )
 

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I ran a lead health program for a brass company. Lead is one of the main metals in brass along with copper and zinc. Each employee in certain jobs were monitored for lead exposure both in the air where they worked and in their body (by doing regular blood tests).

When I started there I found a large range of results, some very high and some well below danger levels, doing the same job and wearing the same PPE. It almost all came down to personal hygiene.

Once we got everyone on board with washing their hands before they ate, or drank anything, before a cigarette break. Anytime they raised their hand to their mouth for any reason. The lead levels in the blood went down.

To be fair, we had air handling systems in place to move fumes into air cleaners, we also made these employees wear respirators during certain tasks. But these guys were exposed to lead 8 hours a day 5-7 days a week.

Lead enters your body more readily via eating or drinking it then by breathing it in.

If you are concerned about lead, wash up after you are done shooting, and before you eat, drink, smoke... anything.
 

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If my memory is still working properly, I think that primer manufacturers have phased lead (styphnate) out of their products, just as they once removed mercury (fulminate) from it.

Am I wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I ran a lead health program for a brass company. Lead is one of the main metals in brass along with copper and zinc. Each employee in certain jobs were monitored for lead exposure both in the air where they worked and in their body (by doing regular blood tests).

When I started there I found a large range of results, some very high and some well below danger levels, doing the same job and wearing the same PPE. It almost all came down to personal hygiene.

Once we got everyone on board with washing their hands before they ate, or drank anything, before a cigarette break. Anytime they raised their hand to their mouth for any reason. The lead levels in the blood went down.

To be fair, we had air handling systems in place to move fumes into air cleaners, we also made these employees wear respirators during certain tasks. But these guys were exposed to lead 8 hours a day 5-7 days a week.

Lead enters your body more readily via eating or drinking it then by breathing it in.

If you are concerned about lead, wash up after you are done shooting, and before you eat, drink, smoke... anything.
Yes, eating/drinking around lead is a big no-no. Thank you for pointing it out. I'm glad you mentioned you know about blood tests.

About breathing exposure: though the Lead does not enter the bloodstream and the rest of the body as readily through the lungs, isn't it also true that once in the lungs, it is actually harder to get it out? Don't the fumes cause ephesima (sp?) and higher risk of lung cancer? Do/did your employees get regular chest X-Rays to track the medal in their lungs? (Or is my research wrong about Lead tending to settle and stay in the human lung?)

Thanks for your time and for responding.
Again, I'm not debating here, simply trying to learn all I can given my own lung history.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If my memory is still working properly, I think that primer manufacturers have phased lead (styphnate) out of their products, just as they once removed mercury (fulminate) from it.

Am I wrong?
As someone who just in the last 6 months renewed their concealed carry license, and (though a gun owner for more than 25 years), in some sense reinserted myself in the gun active lifestyle, I can't speak to much history. What I do know is that there are 3 or 4 ammo options out there that go out of their way saying they are 100% lead free. (I've found "Syntech" to be one that I use - { not making an ad here } ). The research about this I've done makes if very clear that the common off the shelf bullet will aspirate lead when fired. In addition, the fact that there are still non-FMJ bare lead projectiles makes me think the industry has not tried to phase out lead from their inventory. (There is an interesting FMJ hazard with lead as well -- it really is a bit of a rabbit hole.)

One option:

Federal Syntech.jpg


A larger issue here is ventilation in indoor ranges. That's something anti-gun liberals are using as a wedge in. How often are the filters in ranges changed? What is their efficiency? Who oversees the filter maintenance? How often is air quality checked? To what standard is the "quality" compared? If a range resides inside a larger retail outlet (paging Outdoor Man), how often is the air quality through the store checked? (Customers shoot in the range, then walk the residue through the store.) Aspiration happens even in outdoor ranges (try not to be ever downwind of a shooter, even yourself.), but the indoor situation is something someone needs to get a grip on before whichHilary does.

Thanks for responding.
 

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Yes, eating/drinking around lead is a big no-no. Thank you for pointing it out. I'm glad you mentioned you know about blood tests.

About breathing exposure: though the Lead does not enter the bloodstream and the rest of the body as readily through the lungs, isn't it also true that once in the lungs, it is actually harder to get it out? Don't the fumes cause ephesima (sp?) and higher risk of lung cancer? Do/did your employees get regular chest X-Rays to track the medal in their lungs? (Or is my research wrong about Lead tending to settle and stay in the human lung?)

Thanks for your time and for responding.
Again, I'm not debating here, simply trying to learn all I can given my own lung history.
The amount of lead you will breath in from shooting at a proper indoor range is probably less then you would have breathed in standing on a street corner in the 1960s.

The concern is poor air handling systems and the employee's exposure at ranges. You or I are going to be there 1 hour, maybe twice a week. The employee is there all day every day.

For the average shooter your biggest risk of exposure is ingestion. Shoot jacketed ammo and wash up before you eat.

If you are concerned buy a mask for metal fumes and wear it when you shoot. Don't use a basic dust mask, make sure it is for metal fumes.
 

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As someone who just in the last 6 months renewed their concealed carry license, and (though a gun owner for more than 25 years), in some sense reinserted myself in the gun active lifestyle, I can't speak to much history. What I do know is that there are 3 or 4 ammo options out there that go out of their way saying they are 100% lead free. (I've found "Syntech" to be one that I use - { not making an ad here } ). The research about this I've done makes if very clear that the common off the shelf bullet will aspirate lead when fired. In addition, the fact that there are still non-FMJ bare lead projectiles makes me think the industry has not tried to phase out lead from their inventory. (There is an interesting FMJ hazard with lead as well -- it really is a bit of a rabbit hole.)

One option:

View attachment 17178

A larger issue here is ventilation in indoor ranges. That's something anti-gun liberals are using as a wedge in. How often are the filters in ranges changed? What is their efficiency? Who oversees the filter maintenance? How often is air quality checked? To what standard is the "quality" compared? If a range resides inside a larger retail outlet (paging Outdoor Man), how often is the air quality through the store checked? (Customers shoot in the range, then walk the residue through the store.) Aspiration happens even in outdoor ranges (try not to be ever downwind of a shooter, even yourself.), but the indoor situation is something someone needs to get a grip on before whichHilary does.

Thanks for responding.
The government is already all over this. OSHA has a regulation and enforcement for lead exposure to employees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The government is already all over this. OSHA has a regulation and enforcement for lead exposure to employees.
Perhaps ... but at 2 different ranges, the employees I've stealthily spoken to had no concept of monthly monitoring, nor the many ways one is exposed to lead on ranges. So the OSHA inspections must either be not very widespread or done without knowledge of key employees.

But ... YMMV.
.
 

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Some manufacturers are phasing in lead-free primers, but I don't know if or when they'll completely replace lead styphnate primers, or with what compound. I just know that I prefer the current lead-based ammo. I also don't know what the latest research is showing up, but maybe some promising results are on the horizon.
 

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Are you stating that lead products are no longer used in ammunition? Or is your statement here a summary of the current research being done by munitions manufacturers?
Read the report to which joepeat has linked us.
 
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