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Old 11-30-2010, 07:37 AM   #1
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Lead Levels & Indoor Ranges

Friends, After more than a decade of weekly trips to an indoor range, I recently had a BLL blood test run. I wasn't surprised to find that my blood lead level is according to my internist "slightly high," 0-19 normal, mine 24. He suggested that I not do any indoor shooting for two months and then have the test run again.



Have any of you experienced this problem? If so, what has your physician advised on the matter? Medical Web sites offer differing opinions as to what constitutes a danger in regard to lead levels. Thanks-- c
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:23 AM   #2
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Lead Levels & Indoor Ranges

Do you also reload and/or cast your own bullets? Both activities are also giving you exposure to increased lead levels. Wearing gloves can help there.



As to the indoor ranges, there are several types of filter masks that can abate the problem somewhat. Some folks go further and use "footies" over their shoes.



And of course handwashing after shooting, casting, and reloading are helpful.



I don't in any way wish to come off as a medical or health professional here. My thumbnail sketch understanding about elevated lead levels is that while it is quite bad for children because it damage their 'growth cell process', if you will. That factor isn't present in adults.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:27 PM   #3
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Lead Levels & Indoor Ranges

Before becoming redundant and retaared, my previous condition of servitude was as an inspector/civil investigator with the state environmental agency. We often received "lead" complaints and from time to time we did conduct tests. But, it was the general consensus that indoor ranges posed a minimal threat unless you worked in lead abatement cleaning up at the end of the range. There was some inhalation possible as much of the lead is dust at that point.



As part of my employment the agency did medical monitoring for all sorts of methylethyldeath stuff and I never had a hit for anything to include lead. I would reload lead bullets but I did not cast.



My chemists told me that lead is not a threat unless it is either dynamically injected (you get shot) or it enters the water column and you eat/drink it. The lead abatement industry is a direct result of the ingestion of lead chips from paint in slums. The government then responded by ordering the removal of all lead based paint similar to the asbestos problem. The general guidance was that unless the lead was exposed to an acid/base that would allow it to enter the water in solution, you were fair good to go.



Candidly, I dislike the few poorly maintained indoor ranges in my area. They are dark and dirty and filled with poor gun handling. But I doubt I would be there long enough to get an measurable rise in pb levels (a bit of science there - 'D's both semesters in CH101 & 102). I would think your casting to be ok provided it was in a well ventilated area and you did not eat or drink while you were out there. Lead smelting does pose some risks and is carefully monitored.
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:58 PM   #4
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Lead Levels & Indoor Ranges

Thanks fellows for the responses. My reloading ended ten years ago when a hurricane roared in and dropped a tree through the roof of my reloading room.



Doctors that I've questioned about this lead/indoor shooting problem seem to feel that it's nothing to be overly concerned about. Yet I'm curious to see how a two-month hiatus from the range affects the BLL number. If it drops into the 10-15 range I'll resume my weekly target shooting, while making sure that the blood lead level test is part of my regular checkups.

--c
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:49 PM   #5
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Light Colonel -- thank you for a definitive input on this topic. I am lucky in the indoor range I use. Good lighting and, most important, excellent air movement downrange from the firing stations and thence out of the building, to mingle with the pollutants eminating from nearby Interstate Five.



Cordially, Jack
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:46 PM   #6
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Commander - just another bit of useless stuff I have been learned over the years. At my stage in life, a sirloin poses more threat. It has been said that I cannot get any dumber. I know some folks in the CA Health Department and they are on the job. Probably be the diesel fumes that kill me.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:29 AM   #7
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Lead Levels & Indoor Ranges

well I'm not trying to be glib here not by any means.

but at this point in my life lead exposure from an indoor range is the least of my problems.



over thirty years in the construction industry, and many more treating my body like an amusement park instead of a temple have given me more pause for concern.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:07 AM   #8
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Lead Levels & Indoor Ranges

If you flood your body with calcium (like a supplement) before you are exposed to lead, it will greatly diminish your bodies uptake of lead, as the human body does not chemically distinguish between the two. That is to say, it "thinks" lead is calcium.

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Old 12-01-2010, 02:59 PM   #9
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Speak with your MD. There is a keylation process that can reduce lead levels in the blood. I hope that is how that is spelled. I got 'D's both semesters in CH101 and 102. Grateful for that too.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:07 AM   #10
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I'm more concerned with lead exposure on the job than in my down time.
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