Got my Lead Level tested. [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Colorado4Wheel
10-05-2011, 16:24
Level was between normal limits. It was on the high side of normal. I was really worried because I made some mistakes at the beginning with some elevated lead temps and I know that is dangerous. So good news on that front.

janice6
10-05-2011, 16:50
An old friend of mine got tested and found he was at extremely high levels. He worked at an aviation engine rebuilding company and airplanes use/used leaded gas. When he was cleaning heads he was exposed to lead particulates as dust.

BE CAREFUL IN WHATEVER YOU DO REGARDING LEAD, GUYS.

ron59
10-05-2011, 16:54
Level was between normal limits. It was on the high side of normal.

Glad to hear it, Steve. Next exam I have I'm going to get mine checked as well. I try to be careful washing my hands and stuff, not sure about the dangers of how much I shoot at the indoor range....

sellersm
10-05-2011, 16:56
okay, holding back all the comments about 'being normal'... :supergrin:

If they're a bit high, look at it this way: you'd be your own radiation shield!

fredj338
10-05-2011, 17:01
I cast & shoot nothing but lead bullets in most of my guns. My last years levels were wll below normal. Shooting indoors is the fastest way to high lead levels other than maybe smoking & eating while handling lead. Cast in a well vented area, no issues. You can't get the lead hot enough to vaporize (above 1100deg). Clean your casting are w/ a damp rag every now & then to remove any lead dust from the sprue opening & little issue. Now not everyone's body accepts outside contaminants the same, so caution is always the better choice.

Colorado4Wheel
10-05-2011, 17:03
High Normal. Thats good right?

Colorado4Wheel
10-05-2011, 17:05
I cast & shoot nothing but lead bullets in most of my guns. My last years levels were wll below normal. Shooting indoors is the fastest way to high lead levels other than maybe smoking & eating while handling lead. Cast in a well vented area, no issues. You can't get teh elad hot enough to vaporize (above 1100deg). Clean your casting are w/ a damp rag every now & then to remove any lead dust from the sprue opening & little issue. Now not everyone's body accepts outside contaminants the same, so caution is always the better choice.

I know I made some mistakes exposing myself to lead dust in the past. I plan to be much more careful in the future.

Uncle Don
10-05-2011, 18:11
Shooting indoors is the fastest way to high lead levels other than maybe smoking & eating while handling lead. Cast in a well vented area, no issues. You can't get teh elad hot enough to vaporize (above 1100deg). Clean your casting are w/ a damp rag every now & then to remove any lead dust from the sprue opening & little issue.

Actually, with a little bit of precaution, that isn't the case. My job puts me behind seven shooters for two hours per day, four days a week. As a normal part of my checkup, I get a lead check annually. "Normal" is different based on age, but for me, the high teens is perfectly acceptable. My Doctor knows what I do (wants to take the course now!) and watches that number carefully.

Ours is an indoor range and this is my tenth year. I make sure the ventilation system is changed often and we use "D-Lead" soap in the bathroom. The rule is that everyone "d-leads" before they leave the area. We also require full length pants, shoes (no flip flops or anything close to that) and full shirts as opposed to muscle shirts.

I don't cast much anymore, but as long as you don't expose yourself to the dross and wash your hands and wipe things down when you're done, you are actually exposed to less toxic lead than when you tumble brass. It's those primers which contain lead styphanite (sp) that gives us fits.

ChrisJn
10-05-2011, 18:28
If I can add words of advice to anyone who shoots on indoor ranges.
Back in the late '60's maybe early '70's all the London indoor police ranges had to be closed down because all the firearms instructors were found to have extremely elevated lead count in their blood. This was due to very bad ventilation in the old underground cellar type ranges that we were using at the time. A fortune was spent in upgrading the ventilation in these ranges and there was a mad scramble to find property where outdoor ranges could be built and for a while it meant busing police out of London to distant military ranges for training and qualification.
Be warned. If you use indoor ranges it well worth having your blood tested.
If it is high find somewhere else to shoot!

Colorado4Wheel
10-05-2011, 18:39
Our local indoor range has HORRIBLE ventilation. I used to shoot there a good amount but it's been 3 years at least. I shoot outdoors exclusively now.

ChrisJn
10-05-2011, 18:47
...I shoot outdoors exclusively now.

Good move!

Hoser
10-05-2011, 18:48
I get mine checked every 6 months.

Still in the normal range, but like you the high side of it.

WiskyT
10-05-2011, 19:17
Call the doc and see if they can get you the actual number. Truly normal would be zero. That said, anything under 20 is basically a non-issue. I had mine checked a couple of years ago and it was 7. I just had it checked and it came back "normal", I didn't bother to track down the number since I figure if they don't seem concerend about it, I'm not going to get worried over it.

Colorado4Wheel
10-05-2011, 19:33
16/17, I forget exactly.

jdavionic
10-05-2011, 19:34
16/17, I forget exactly.

See what happens with too much lead exposure :supergrin:

n2extrm
10-05-2011, 20:02
Steve glad it is in the normal range, even high normal is better then just too high.

I think the indoor shooting is a bigger issue then casting properly. Not that I know much about casting. I just look at the exposure risks, not much lead vapor in casting. Shooting well I think it's a bit higher.

I have a few friends that all had very high levels, they all shot indoors slot and had no other exposures, did not cast or reload. Just shooting in poorly vented indoor ranges.

Personally I have all but given up on the indoor ranges, except maybe on a rare occasion. They all seem to have terrible ventilation around here.

ChrisJn
10-05-2011, 20:16
Perhaps my earlier statement needs a little clarification.
Let me re-iterate. It was the instructors, NOT the trainees/qualifiers, who had the high lead content. The instructors were in the ranges 4-6 hours a day five days a week. Once the ventilation was sorted and the instructors rotated between indoor and outdoor ranges I believe the problem went away.
So, if you are using indoor ranges a lot (don't know what would constitute "a lot") just be careful and have a blood test run.
Be safe out there.

ncglock19
10-05-2011, 20:24
Guys-

I was always taught that the eye protection was not (and could not) stop bullets, but was to help deflect ricochets and keep lead dust out of your eyes.

I washed hands and face with cold water (hot water opens the pores) as prescribed by my instructors.

Just wondering if any of you might have thought about wearing one of the painters masks to keep from breathing in lead dust while indoors.

nc19

fredj338
10-05-2011, 21:33
Actually, with a little bit of precaution, that isn't the case. My job puts me behind seven shooters for two hours per day, four days a week. As a normal part of my checkup, I get a lead check annually. "Normal" is different based on age, but for me, the high teens is perfectly acceptable. My Doctor knows what I do (wants to take the course now!) and watches that number carefully.

Ours is an indoor range and this is my tenth year. I make sure the ventilation system is changed often and we use "D-Lead" soap in the bathroom. The rule is that everyone "d-leads" before they leave the area. We also require full length pants, shoes (no flip flops or anything close to that) and full shirts as opposed to muscle shirts.

I don't cast much anymore, but as long as you don't expose yourself to the dross and wash your hands and wipe things down when you're done, you are actually exposed to less toxic lead than when you tumble brass. It's those primers which contain lead styphanite (sp) that gives us fits.
I will maintane that working an indoor range is worse than doing anything else shooting wise. You are exposed to lead priming styphinates. I know a SAPD officer, 10yrs as RO, had to take a med retirement due to high lead levels, 200X normal. Now can you do things to lesson the affects, sure. Wash your hands & face often. Limit your direct exsposure to airborn lead dust from actual firings, but you are still @ high risk. Now as I noted, not everyone takes to outside contaminants the same, so you may just be lucky. I don't like to rely on lucky. Start wearing at least a N95 dust mask if not a respirator. We like you DOn, like to have you around for along while.:wavey:

G36_Me
10-05-2011, 21:42
I shoot a ton at my indoor range. About a year ago I asked the Dr. to check it and they said I had to go to a lab to get it done... so I never did. I'm going to have it checked but have to go to the hospital lab. Hopefully, I won't have anything to report back.

steve4102
10-06-2011, 06:19
What are the health issues associated with high lead levels in adults?

ChrisJn
10-06-2011, 06:52
What are the health issues associated with high lead levels in adults?

Adults exposed to lead can experience anemia, nervous system dysfunction, kidney problems, hypertension, decreased fertility, and increased level of miscarriages. Plus increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
If you Google "high lead levels in blood" you will find pages of information.

Colorado4Wheel
10-06-2011, 07:15
What are the health issues associated with high lead levels in adults?

Nothing until it's already really really bad.

jmorris
10-06-2011, 07:50
I have mine checked every year but have to remind the Doc. Back when my level was high I shot an indoor match once a week, I quit shooting indoors and levels dropped to normal.

Beanie-Bean
10-06-2011, 08:21
C4W,

I hope that you will be OK. I appreciate you bringing this topic up, and will be sure to ask the doc during the annual physical to test for lead levels, too.

I didn't really shoot too much indoors, because I really don't like all the smoky, firecracker-smelling atmosphere.

The other thing that turned me off to indoor ranges was a guy in the next stall with his .44 Magnum 6" plinking gun he had. I thought I had a concussion when he fired the first round!

So the takeaway from this is to get regular check-ups, and shoot/cast outdoors if possible. Oh yeah...and to try to drink more water.

PCJim
10-06-2011, 15:24
High Normal. Thats good right?


High. NORML.

You folks in Colorado.....

misunderestimated
10-06-2011, 15:31
I have not read all of the reply's (as I am still at work) but I wanted to get in on this topic. I am an indoor shooter,I compete in a indoor combat league that I run thru 144 rounds of winchester white box ammo every Wednesday night and not to mention my practice and shooting with the kids on Friday night

I just recently had to have a physical for a pre surgery and did not want to mention the lead testing

For you indoor shooters how much do you have to shoot to have a concern

Also what is d lead and where can I get it

WiskyT
10-06-2011, 15:37
A lead test is easy, and you don't need to go to a lab. All you need to do is get an annual physical with blood work for cholesterol etc. Tell the Doc that you want your lead levels checked. They will probably aks why so they know how to code it for insurance purposes. Just tell them you shoot alot and you want to make sure it's okay. A week later when they tell you your cholesterol is too high, they will tell you your lead levels are okay.

PCJim
10-06-2011, 15:45
A lead test is easy, and you don't need to go to a lab. All you need to do is get an annual physical with blood work for cholesterol etc. Tell the Doc that you want your lead levels checked. They will probably aks why so they know how to code it for insurance purposes. Just tell them you shoot alot and you want to make sure it's okay. A week later when they tell you your cholesterol is too high, they will tell you your lead levels are okay.

Wisky nailed it. I did the same at my physical last year. Doc knows that I shoot and reload, and I think he wanted to get an idea himself of how it may effect the shooter. Anyway, I'm "normal" for the lead. He didn't comment on the psychological aspect of being "normal" though. :whistling:

Colorado4Wheel
10-06-2011, 17:18
It's a separate bottle when they draw the blood. Besides that it's just a normal part of your work up if you ask for it.

Zombie Steve
10-06-2011, 18:27
Tested 5 at my last physical, but that was a couple years ago.

I turn 40 next year and will get tested again for lead when I go to see Dr. Jellyfinger. :shocked:

relayman
10-06-2011, 18:34
I'll put a different spin on it . My daughter in law has an antique printing press that uses the old lead typeset . It's a hobby of hers . She recently had a miscarriage and it got me to thinking about her lead levels . Also , she has a lot of old antique furniture in their home and she has refinished a lot of it . I know some it had lead paint on it . I mentioned the lead test but she didn't take me seriously . I guess I'll mention it to her Mom and work it from that angle .

Colorado4Wheel
10-06-2011, 18:58
Lead is most dangerous to developing brain cells and bodies.

WiskyT
10-06-2011, 19:37
I'll put a different spin on it . My daughter in law has an antique printing press that uses the old lead typeset . It's a hobby of hers . She recently had a miscarriage and it got me to thinking about her lead levels . Also , she has a lot of old antique furniture in their home and she has refinished a lot of it . I know some it had lead paint on it . I mentioned the lead test but she didn't take me seriously . I guess I'll mention it to her Mom and work it from that angle .

Women have miscarriages all the time and not from lead or anything environmental. In fact, I'd go so far to say that MOST women have a miscarriage at some point. It's just not the type of thing they talk about with people other than their spouse etc.

nastytrigger
10-06-2011, 19:52
Women have miscarriages all the time and not from lead or anything environmental. In fact, I'd go so far to say that MOST women have a miscarriage at some point. It's just not the type of thing they talk about with people other than their spouse etc.

I work at a funeral home. Miscarriages happen a lot more than most people think.

BuckyP
10-06-2011, 19:59
For years I spent much time at indoor ranges and lead levels were a non issue. Just recently I clocked in at 21. It's time to take this seriously. I've cut WAY back on the indoor shooting. Just a hunch, but perhaps age plays a factor in your "resistance"?

WiskyT
10-06-2011, 21:09
For years I spent much time at indoor ranges and lead levels were a non issue. Just recently I clocked in at 21. It's time to take this seriously. I've cut WAY back on the indoor shooting. Just a hunch, but perhaps age plays a factor in your "resistance"?

I'd wait till next year and get it checked again. 21 is only one more than 20 which is considered normal. Tests aren't that precise. You could get it checked tomorrow and it might be 18. If you google around and read up about allowable levels in the workplace, even the osha goons don't recommend any action until you start getting around 30 or higher depending on the state.

I would think about what you might be doing differently in the meantime.

TKM
10-06-2011, 21:18
What are the health issues associated with high lead levels in adults?

I was diagnosed with high blood pressure about two years ago. Taking medication and knocked off the drinking.

So what do I do with all of my extra time and money not spent in a bar?

Casting and reloading seriously, hundreds of pounds a year. It relaxes me. Blood pressure not getting a lot better and it seems that I'm dealing with every a-hole on the planet on a daily basis. Then my colon starts doing tricks.

Lead poisoning starts with hbp, then extreme irritability and finally something really cool called lead colic.:steamed::steamed::steamed:

I've been treated for the wrong damn thing for the last couple of years.:dunno:

I've been going through dmsa chelation therapy for the last couple of months and feel a lot better.

BuckyP
10-07-2011, 04:35
I'd wait till next year and get it checked again. 21 is only one more than 20 which is considered normal. Tests aren't that precise. You could get it checked tomorrow and it might be 18. If you google around and read up about allowable levels in the workplace, even the osha goons don't recommend any action until you start getting around 30 or higher depending on the state.

I would think about what you might be doing differently in the meantime.

Interesting. I'm due to have it checked again soon. I know I said "just recently", but heck it's been almost 6 months already. Where does the time go?? :fred:

Admittedly, the report said the limit for someone with exposure is 40, so I guess I have some leeway.

Adjuster
10-07-2011, 04:52
This thread reminded me of grade school when we would pour a puddle of mercury on the table and swish it around with our hands to watch the cool fluid motion. Then in junior high we would get rolls of that aluminum something or other tape and light it on fire and watch it burn white hot at 1000s of degrees cooking our corneas. Then in high school the monthly smell of formaldehyde all through the hallways when some biology kid would drop a pickled frog or something. Those were the days. Heck here in my area last summer or so they shut down an entire neighborhood when some kid got ahold of a small amount of mercury and was playing with it in his driveway. EPA and and the whole shebang involved.

Colorado4Wheel
10-07-2011, 05:39
Interesting. I'm due to have it checked again soon. I know I said "just recently", but heck it's been almost 6 months already. Where does the time go?? :fred:

Admittedly, the report said the limit for someone with exposure is 40, so I guess I have some leeway.


Go Give Blood. Great way to reduce your lead level.