NewB Question on lead exposure - MP-Pistol Forum

NewB Question on lead exposure

This is a discussion on NewB Question on lead exposure within the MP Reference forums, part of the Smith & Wesson MP Forum category; Hello, Sorry for the newb question but I have been hearing a lot of mixed concerns lately regarding lead exposure from shooting. I have heard ...


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Old October 2nd, 2010, 08:43 PM   #1
 
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Hello,



Sorry for the newb question but I have been hearing a lot of mixed concerns lately regarding lead exposure from shooting. I have heard everything from washing hands after shooting and cleaning your gun(s) to using well-ventilated indoor ranges. My question to you is who actually washes their hands after handling ammo or the gun itself?(even just at home not at the range) I just don't see myself washing my hands everytime I touch my gun, or mags....



Also, does anyone actually bring a change of clothes to the range?



Thanks for your insight!
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 01:21 AM   #2
 
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Luckily I only shoot outdoors in competition, so no issues with poorly-ventilated ranges. That said, I certainly do wash my hands after shooting, as they are usually quite dirty from lead residue picking up other people's brass, mainly. I do wash my hands before dry firing at home, but that is so not to get greasy hands on the gun, rather than any lead concerns. Ammo, I don't see any concerns with.



Although I have noticed sometimes after a pistol or rifle comp which might have had 20+ participants, on the way home I can still smell gunpowder! so yeah that probably isn't the best
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 02:28 AM   #3
 
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After 50 years of shooting and reloading my blood lead levels are almost nonexsistant. Wash hands, don't eat or smoke while shooting or relaoding, well ventilated indoor range and any other reasonalbe precaution. Your best bet is to have lead levels checked in you anual physical. It will give you a baseline and you will be able to know instead of guess and worrry.

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Old October 3rd, 2010, 07:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrier' post='273796' date='Oct 3 2010, 05:28 AM
After 50 years of shooting and reloading my blood lead levels are almost nonexsistent. Wash hands, don't eat or smoke while shooting or reloading, well ventilated indoor range and any other reasonable precaution.


I do the same but don't really worry about getting loaded up with lead in my blood. It's a fact that it can be dangerous to an individual in high levels. But the cynical side of me says that the concern is played up to a ridiculous level with the end result of getting the use of lead banned for ammunition.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:35 AM   #5
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Have your Doc do a blood test and check for lead, use that as a baseline and then proceed accordingly.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 08:56 AM   #6
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I think most of the lead fears you read about are just concocted by the news media, especially the ones about animals eating other animals that were shot with lead bullets and thereby get poisoned to death. Any lead that they do happen to eat will just pass through and wind up in a pile of poop. I have been shooting close to 55 years....the only thing that scares me about lead is having one come my way out of the barrel of a gun. But then I also played with mercury and black powder as a kid............
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Old October 4th, 2010, 08:27 PM   #7
 
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I wash my hands after shooting, before leaving the range. I wash my hands(paying attention to fingernail area) and arms to elbows with luke warm water, but more on the colder side(if that makes sense). After I wash my hands, I wash my face, including ears and wet down my hair. Then I re-wash my hands. When I get outside range, just before getting into truck, I scape the bottom of my sneakers onto the pavement a few times.



At home, I remove all clothes in the bathroom and put them into a plastic garbage bag. I take a luke warm shower. I put range clothes, including sneakers into the washing machine, with no other laundry.



That's about it.



I do where examination gloves while cleaning firearms. When done cleaning, I wash my hands.



To tell the truth, I never thought about bringing a change of clothes to the range. I may start doing that. I do have a bit of OCD
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Old October 5th, 2010, 02:05 AM   #8
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LOL, Terrier. Good one



I wonder if my local firing ranges would allow pizza and Marlboro Lights in downrange lanes. If so, it will be a real party Can I bring a 6-pack too?
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Old October 5th, 2010, 02:38 AM   #9
 
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I have been accused of having a NEGATIVE OCD factor. Here all of my precautions and the real reason.



Wear exam gloves when reloading lead bullets: my hands stay clean and I hate petting the dogs with dirty hands.

Wash my clothes when they are dirty: not at any firearms/shooting related reason.

Wash my shoes: when I step in one of the dogs BOMBS in the yard or spill something on them.

Clean my hands at the range: I use Handi Wipes as my range does not have running water.



Thats about it. There is a deffinate negative part of the internet. Too much hype about little things. Example: If you break a compact flourescent bulb, you must have haz-mat do a compete decontamination of your entire county because of the mercury. Use old guys used to play with mercury in science and chemistry classes. Most of us are still alive, most of us are in pretty good shape for the shape we are in, and only a few of us have kids with extra body parts or parts in the wrong place. (we don't generally talk too much about them through).



Jake, I understand OCD, but spend more time shooting and reloading and less time worrying. We participate in the best sport in the world. ENJOY it.



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Old October 6th, 2010, 01:29 AM   #10
 
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I had this conversation with my doctor after reading a thread in another forum, and I think this was brought up in this forum. My doctor said he didn't thinks it was much of a concern as long I took the normal precautions after shooting and reloading, but he said he would do a lead test at my next yearly, just so we knew.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 04:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake809' post='274071' date='Oct 4 2010, 09:27 PM
I do have a bit of OCD
Ya think?
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Old October 6th, 2010, 05:20 AM   #12
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My fingers get grimy after handing Moly Coated bullets, and brass, and dirty brass, etc... I wash them after reloading, and don't eat during...



I get dusty/dirty/sweaty as he__ shooting USPSA matches, so I wash up/shower afterward...



I shoot outside 99% of the time...



There's a few hundred things in my life I worry about MORE than lead, and I don't smoke.



Jeff
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Old October 6th, 2010, 06:06 AM   #13
 
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My wife says I have nocd but I'd still rather err on the side of caution. I avoid eating or drinking while at the range and wash my hands and face afterwards.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 09:46 AM   #14
 
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i wash my hands after shooting at the range, after cleaning my guns, and after i handle ammo. other than that, i think one would get more lead exposure from writing with a pencil. most of the ammo i shoot is jacketed, so direct exposure is pretty limited i would think.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 10:56 AM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nexy' post='274260' date='Oct 6 2010, 05:46 PM
i wash my hands after shooting at the range, after cleaning my guns, and after i handle ammo. other than that, i think one would get more lead exposure from writing with a pencil. most of the ammo i shoot is jacketed, so direct exposure is pretty limited i would think.
I have taken this from a Firearms Instructor Training Maual of a Federal Agency that I personally respect

and admire for many reasons. I went through the Firearms Instructors Training Course at the U.S.

Secret Service Academy, Beltsville, Md.



"FIREARMS AND EXPOSURE TO LEAD."

"The exposure to lead on the firing line occurs as soon as the shooter pulls the trigger and the hammer

falls. This action causes the primer of the cartridge in the chamber to explode, which ignites the main

powder charge. At this point a breathable cloud of lead particles is expelled into the air, with lead

dust spraying the shooters hands. Lead particles also shear off as the bullet travels through the

barrel. When the bullet exits the barrel, a second cloud of contaminates in the form of muzzel blasts

bursts into the air. Then as the bullet strikes the impact area, another contaminated cloud rises.

When inhaled, lead particles go directly into the lungs and are quickly absorbed into the blood-

stream. The blood then transfers the lead to the soft body tissues and bone. Heat from smoking,

sweating, or physical activity accelerates this process.

Lead can also settle on the skin and hair and eventually be absorbed through the pores of the skin.

If lead particles reach the mouth, they can be ingested into the digestive system."

Handling food, cigarettes, etc., with unscrubbed hands transfers the lead directly to the mouth.

So, wash your hands, shower later. Lead is toxic and hazardous, avoid health issues.
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