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About a week ago I finally bought the lead furnace I've been eyeing for a while and it arrived just a few days ago. I've wanted to cast my own boolits for a while seeing as how half my shooting these days is .38 and .45-70 cowboy loads. In the time before my cookpot showed up I got to thinking about the extra lead exposure it would provide and since I'm kinda nuts as it is, I wondered if my lead levels were already high.

I decided that before I became a boolit caster I'd get my levels checked and if they were too high for safety I'd sell the furnace and be more careful when loading. Admittedly, I've never been very cautious and thinking back I can recall too many times I've eaten while loading or right after without a handwashing. I talked to my doctor and she agreed that I probably had already done some damage.

She took some of my blood and a day later I got a copy of the lab sheet. Although I'm technically in the safe range, I've got about as much lead in me as a guy can get without getting sick. Their safe range is a scaled measure of 0-4.9, anything 5 or above is lead poisoning and requires immediate chelation therapy. I was somewhere in the 4's.

Just thought I share this as a reminder to be safe when you're loading and clean up good when you're done. The worst thing about lead is that you'll have no idea when it's building up in you until you develop symptoms. Once you do, the damage is usually done. I've only been loading for maybe five or six years, so I can only imagine the exposure to some of these guys that been doing it for decades. Anyone else ever had bloodwork done?
 

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I have never been tested but lead is something I think about after I saw images of xrayed animal carcasses showing the lead fragments in the animal. Later I saw another study of the amount of lead in butchered game meat and corresponding higher lead levels in the blood of hunting families, probably related to consuming lead fragments left over after the shot. So now I only shoot non-lead ammo at game. I save the lead bullets for the range. I should probably get tested as you did just to know.
 

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I am a firearms instructor and have to be tested for lead exposure every year.
Thankfully, most of the ranges I work on are outdoors and I have never had a blood test with an elevated lead result.
 

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My lead comes from decades of biting lead fishing sinkers.

-DallanC
Yeah, me too.

Plus:
Making decoy weights and downrigger cannonball fish. Old plumbing with lead pipes. Lead solder, lead paint, pouring and shaping lead babbit bearings at work. Everything at work was bad; lead, carbontetrachloride cutting fluids, Benzene, Cadmium, Mercury meters, Agent Orange weed spray, welding chrome and galvanized, H2S gas...everything was asbestos.

Good grief, now I feel terrible.

.
 

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It's very easy to get rid of the lead I your body. Look up edta. The military uses it to get rid of lead and heavy metal contamination. It has an interesting side effect. It removes plaque from your blood vessels as well. It's very safe and is used as a food additive. I took it about 10 years ago to clean out my arteries. About time to do it again I suppose
 
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