Blood Lead Level Tests

YippeeKiYoRed

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On the advice of a friend had a Blood Lead Level (BLL) test done. Results show I have slightly elevated levels but no immediate concern. I think this is one of the overlooked aspects of firearm ownership. If you shoot or reload on a regular basis might want to talk to your Primary Care Physician about getting a BLL test. They just need to take a little blood and you can always couple it with any other blood lab work you might need done. As for me - will start making sure to wash my hands after shooting or reloading and before eating or drinking. No more drinks or snacks anywhere near the firing line. When shooting indoors I'll make sure the exhaust system is running. Probably get retested in 6-months or a year.
 
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Its not just the ammo. Old machinery may have lead compounds in their paint, coatings, plumbing, or materials. Same for fishing weights, wheel weights... house/building plumbing...edit. apparently some lubricants and greases have lead... some very old (1960s or older?) Cars/vehicles used to use lead filler for weld seams on bodywork.. customs from that era often had lead solder/filler.
 

gmerkt

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I think it is a lot more of a consideration for those who are casting bullets. But a concern at all levels of activity with guns.

I've been shooting for over 55 years, reloading for 40 years, used to cast bullets, I got had my level checked and was within normal limits so I don't think about it much now.

Many years ago, one of the guys at work was casting lead downrigger balls for fishing. He was breaking up lead acid batteries as a source of lead. He started feeling ill all the time, went to the doctor and the level of lead in his blood was quite high.
 

arakboss

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On the advice of a friend had a Blood Lead Level (BLL) test done. Results show I have slightly elevated levels but no immediate concern. I think this is one of the overlooked aspects of firearm ownership. If you shoot or reload on a regular basis might want to talk to your Primary Care Physician about getting a BLL test. They just need to take a little blood and you can always couple it with any other blood lab work you might need done. As for me - will start making sure to wash my hands after shooting or reloading and before eating or drinking. No more drinks or snacks anywhere near the firing line. When shooting indoors I'll make sure the exhaust system is running. Probably get retested in 6-months or a year.
What is the treatment if you had high levels?
 
You should see what the guys doing radiators have to go through, had a friend have to get tested and he couldn't do radiators anymore. The levels they say are bad nowadays is California standards and nowhere near rational, like the rest of the new standards. The ones who come up with the standards continue to move the goalpost to justify their jobs.
 
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What is the treatment if you had high levels?
Usually removal of (from) the source.

On the advice of a friend had a Blood Lead Level (BLL) test done. Results show I have slightly elevated levels but no immediate concern. I think this is one of the overlooked aspects of firearm ownership.
How old is your house? If your house has lead pipes I would guess it's far more likely your exposure came from there than an occasional trip to the range. But my house has lead pipes and there's nothing wrong with me. Oh, wait...
 

OldBroad44

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Check for lead contamination in soil of any garden beds near a very old house or other structure before growing food in there. Old houses with lead paint could have lead paint flake off and contaminate soil near structure. Then maybe even decades after lead paint has all been removed, someone builds garden beds near structure and grows vegetables in them.
 
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Unscientific observation: humans with the same exposure to lead may respond/absorb/retain lead very differently. Some don't do well.
Look up chelation therapy if lead blood levels are affecting your health.
 
Good advice. I've been having my levels tested for a while and mine are slightly above normal but nowhere near a concern. My bride's levels are higher. Just have it added to the tests during my annual physical. We both average shooting or teaching 2x or more a week and handle recently fired guns pretty regularly. I'm also the gun cleaner and reloader in the house.

We have D-Lead soap and their more aggressive hand cleaner in the laundry room along with lead removing hand wipes in the reloading / cleaning area. Have not started casting lead yet (soon I hope), and I called 3M to confirm which filter was needed for my mask. They were helpful.
 

joken

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On the advice of a friend had a Blood Lead Level (BLL) test done. Results show I have slightly elevated levels but no immediate concern. I think this is one of the overlooked aspects of firearm ownership. If you shoot or reload on a regular basis might want to talk to your Primary Care Physician about getting a BLL test. They just need to take a little blood and you can always couple it with any other blood lab work you might need done. As for me - will start making sure to wash my hands after shooting or reloading and before eating or drinking. No more drinks or snacks anywhere near the firing line. When shooting indoors I'll make sure the exhaust system is running. Probably get retested in 6-months or a year.
One of my best friends and hunting buddy nearly died from lead poisoning back in the 70's. He was a Deschutes County Deputy Sheriff. He told me about laying on their bed, naked and feeling like he was on fire with his wife trying to cool him off. He went to many doctors who couldn't diagnose the problem and was finally fired because the doctor the state hired to evaluate him determined that he was malingering. He finally ended up going to a Naturopathic Doctor in Salem who saved his life. He shot a lot and cast as well. No one in law enforcement would hire him after that even after scoring higher than anyone had ever scored on their exam in one city. He won't get near a lead pot today, although he still shoots a lot. Be careful, the threat is real.
 
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I shoot with shooting gloves and clean my guns with nitrile gloves. Some of those cleaners (like CLP) aren't very good for you either.

All kinds of stuff is absorbed through the skin. I remember this from when I was a smoker. Most of the nicotine is absorbed through the fingers.
 

Horatius

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If You live in the exhaust stream of any FAB you are breathing toxins. They are chemical plants with proprietary formulas making knowing what to test for impossible, without naming a certain company in Washinton county. I worked in construction and helped wire several of their fabs, old ones have layers of undisturbed dust on the roofs. not a cobweb or bird droppings. no bugs. That is the truth, and I could find zero coworkers who could remember different. for casting lead do it outside or have a great exhaust hood.
 
was doing a lot of cast lead loading & practice in the 90s. Got my own lead level checked twice just to confirm. My own blood lead level was WNL. But I did start washing hands more often & avoiding handling food without clean fingers.
 

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