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High Lead levels in Shooters

Discussion in 'Bluegrass Glockers' started by 45gunner, Aug 14, 2008.


  1. 45gunner

    45gunner
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    Some of you may be aware of the potential for high lead levels in your blood due to indoor shooting. I am going through that right now.

    Indoor shooting in moderation is ok but please make sure there is always adequate ventalation otherwise just leave. Don't shoot indoors with lead or around other people that shoot lead.

    I'm sure this is no revelation to people shooting for years but for me it's an awakening.

    After talking to some people and doing some research on the web it appears that taking in extra Vitamin C is a way to address the problem. > 1000 mg per day.

    See.
    http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/f-w99/newresearch.html

    Please consult your doctor first.
     

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  2. Gary G23

    Gary G23
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    I used to shoot every Monday night in Springfield TN but quit because of this very reason.
     

  3. heavyfire7537

    heavyfire7537
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    tacshooterKy

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    Does bluegrass have adequate ventilation?
     
  4. ciwsguy

    ciwsguy
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    I quit shooting at Bluegrass Indoor years ago because of the awful headaches I got after about 30 min of exposure. I attributed this to breathing gunsmoke. Only Bluegrass can provide the answer to your question about ventilation in their range today.

    Not to bolster the competition between indoor ranges for business, but I have experienced no shooting related headaches after shooting at OpenRange in Crestwood. Then again, I haven't been shooting at Bluegrass for years, so it could be different today. I have never had my blood checked for lead levels as I don't shoot indoor frequently. Last went about 3 months ago, so I'm sure my trigger finger is rusty.
     
  5. AutomotiveTech

    AutomotiveTech
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    I was told that if you are at an indoor range and you do not feel a strong breeze at your back the ventilation is not adequate.
     
  6. ciwsguy

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    I don't sense a "strong" breeze at openrange - but when you shoot you can see the gunsmoke moving away from you. It's more of a subtle breeze from the backside.
     
  7. Bladerunner747

    Bladerunner747
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    There is a chelator you can take so that your body is able to excrete the lead. It comes in pill form. DMSA. DiMercapto Succinic acid. It works!
    You can have a hair sample expectrographic test to detect the lead level in your body.
    If you have little ones at home you can tract the lead from the range into your house carpets. When they crawl around, play on the floor, they get contaminated. The young ones get affected the most, lead interferes with their developing brain.
    I have a pair of boots for pistol range use only.
     
  8. 45gunner

    45gunner
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    If the Vitiamin C doesn't work I will try it.
    I have already tried a Chealator called "Metal Magic". It did not do anything.
     
  9. Bladerunner747

    Bladerunner747
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    There area lot of those remedies out there that are bogus. For lead use DMSA. It works.
     
  10. AutomotiveTech

    AutomotiveTech
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    45gunner - I am assuming you had a blood test that revealed high lead levels, what did your doctor say to do?
     
  11. 45gunner

    45gunner
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    The doctor office said to stay away from the source of lead. Indoor ranges.
    I belive the standard procedure is to measure the lead level for three consective month. If it drops below 55, mine is at 63, then somthing has to be done.

    I have stayed away from indoor ranges and had my level checked for twice. The level is still 63. :dunno:

    I just talked to another shooter with the same problem that had taken vitiamin c and after doing some research on the web that indicates that it would help I thought I would try it for a month.

    For some reason I have not been able to talk to my doctor about the problem despite the fact I have tried many times.

    I am trying to stay away from the hard core chealators. Seems there is lots of side affects.
     
  12. Keoking

    Keoking
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    I shot at a very dirty indoor range 2x/week for over a year. Stumbled across a thread like this on GT, and did the research. This range had none of the qualities of a good indoor range (almost no ventilation, dry brooms used to clean, no wet washing of anything).

    The doctor I went to see turned out to be a recreational shooter, and he took a big interest in my lead test. He ended up talking to the leading expert on lead poisoning in Texas.

    I think I came in at 45 or so. Doc told me to stop shooting there forever, and find an outdoor range. My level wasn't high enough to hurt an adult, but it had to be nipped in the bud.
     
  13. Bladerunner747

    Bladerunner747
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    You will also show a high content of Antimony (A hardening agent) that is a by-product of gun powder.
    DMSA has no side effect other than you will have to take vitamins to replace some of the good stuff that it chelates along with the bad. a Minor inconvenience.
    You need to see a doctor who is trained in dosage and application. I am not a doctor, of course. I know because for a shooter, your situation is not unfamiliar to me.
    The FBI had to replace carpets in some of their buildings because of the lead problem. Reported in the media. Just use an old pair of boots just for shooting and keep it in the garage, out of the way.
    Good luck!
     
  14. CJStudent

    CJStudent
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    I also got a headache rather badly from Bluegrass, so for that (and other) reasons, I don't shoot there anymore. I ended up doing most of my shooting at Knob Creek now.
     
  15. 45gunner

    45gunner
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    I will be shooting at Knob Creek and Silver Creek from now on.
     
  16. CJStudent

    CJStudent
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    As a matter of fact, I think I'll be at Knob Creek sometime this week, prolly Wednesday. :supergrin:
     
  17. openrange

    openrange
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    .45 Gunner I'm so sorry to hear about your lead levels. Lead takes years to get down to a relatively safe level after it takes roost and can cause many health maladies as I'm sure you are aware of. This is not to be taken lightly by others.

    One thing I would disagree with is the advice from your doctor "no shooting at indoor ranges". A hygienic range will not expose you to unsafe levels. For example we Hepa Vacuum (a $4000 vacuum specifically for hygienic environments) our ranges daily, wipe down the tables, mop behind the firing line, use sticky mats when going downrange, provide hand wipes for all our customers after shooting and have a world class air handling system. We pick up all the brass for the customers and push the brass with a squeege not a broom or a mop which picks up any traces of chemicals and lead and throws it into the air. The customer is not subjected to unsafe levels of lead at Openrange.

    Feeling a stiff breeze is not proof of a good air system, it is how well the system moves the air. I've seen ranges which uses a chicken coop fan to move air! At Openrange we have 55 feet per minute at the firing line provided by a wall of air, not diffusers or fans in the ceiling that just stir the air up. The idea of the plenum wall of air is that a whole wall of air walks down the range minimizing the eddies and currents from a diffuser style. If you look at our wall (looks like a big peg board) the air comes through all the holes. This is a hygienic system that works and was designed in accordance to NRA, US Navy and Health experts. Anything less is suspect.

    We have done smoke tests to verify the direction the air moves around and away from the shooter. The smoke moves quickly away from the shooter with no currents or eddies. A typical range (I've seen smoke test photos) with diffusers can actually swirl the smoke right back into the shooters face.

    To make things even better, all our air comes in fresh from outdoors. None is recirculated back into the building so there is no possibility of contamination. I would dare say we have more money in our air handling system than most ranges have in their whole facility.

    We have proof of the hygiene of our system in that I requested OSHA to come out and test our facility. We passed and was told that we were the cleanest firing range they had ever seen. Our Chief RSO (who spends more time on the range than any shooter!) was tested wearing a device around his neck to measure lead and contaminates. The levels were well below in the safe range. Both he and I went for blood lead level tests and both passed with flying colors. This was after 2 years of constant service at Openrange. So I speak with confidence and proof that our range works.

    Ask your favorite indoor range if they've done even a fraction of the above. If they haven't, why not? Isn't your health worth it? I would dare say many of our indoor ranges would be shut down by OSHA if they went in and did lead swabs around the facility as they did at Openrange.

    As an expert in safety and air movement, I have spent hundreds of hours performing due dilligence in designing Openrange to be the best it can be. Many have visited Openrange to copy our design for their new facilities (Louisville Metro is the most recent). Lead is a huge threat to you and your families health (you can pass the lead off to your family when you sit with lead laden clothes on furniture) and rest assured we do everything possible to provide you a hygienic and fun experience.

    Again I'm very sorry to hear about your experience yet hopefully this will shed some light on the issue before other get seriously ill and may call those to action who have had used similar locations as 45 Gunner.

    Barry
     
  18. 45gunner

    45gunner
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    He actually said remove myself from the source of the problem.

    I don't believe most people, myself included, know the difference in the ranges until you just explained it.

    I have shot at your range many times. Really like it.
    In the cold months ahead you will probably find me shooting there from time to time.
     
  19. openrange

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    Of course listen to the doc. Just know we've gone overboard so this wouldn't happen to any of our customers or staff and if there was a place for you with your levels it would be here. If you tell us you're coming in we can also wipe down and mop your station just before you shoot to eliminate any potential even if it is remote.

    It is also interesting to note that when the OSHA swabbed our place they found traces of lead on our rental guns which we had no idea that would happen. We have since promoted a regimen of wiping down our rental guns after every rental. So wipe off your guns then wash your hands every time you handle them as there is most likely lead there.

    The Navy has some good reports on lead that you can google.

    Get that crap out of your system anyway you can that is safe.

    Barry
     
  20. 45gunner

    45gunner
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    When I first had my lead level checked I had not experience any problems that I thought was related to lead posioning. I just had the doctor check my lead level as a precautionary measure. I attributed most of my problems from the fact that Im over 50, out of shape, and moody because of my age :)

    Some info on lead posioning taken from info I got from the doctors.

    A couple of things I have learned that death due to high lead level is uncommon but may cause

    1. Pain numbness or tingling of the extremities.
    2. Muscular weakness.
    3. Headache
    4. Abdominal pain.
    5. Memory loss
    6. Mood disorders
    7. Reduced sperm count.


    I'm really having a hard time pinning down what caused my specific high lead level problem. I do many things that other shooter may not.

    1. I practice quite a bit more than others. Last year I probably shot at least 5 times a week. Probably shot about 30k rounds. Lead and Jacketed bullets

    2. I shoot and reload with lead quite a bit. I do wash my hands. I don't always wear gloves when reloading lead. I always wear gloves now.

    3. I have been shooting indoors for about three years and in ranges that probably have marginal ventalation system.

    4. I help setup/take down and run, score and R.O. most all of those matches for two years. So I am probably exposed to at least three to four times more that most shooters. R.Oing exposes the R.O. to the lead that other people shoot as well as their own. People that shoot indoors like I do but do not help score or R.O. a lot probably do not have the same problems. I have probably attended more indoors matches on a consistant basis as anyone that shoots.

    5. The matches are held out in the middle of the range where I don't think there is adequate ventalation.

    6. The ventalation that is there just circulates air inside the range and does not move the contaminated air out of the building. If Openrange has a good system then I recommend using it. Can we have matches there? Does Open range allow matches in the middle of the bays? Does air circulate in the middle of the bays there ?

    I'm not a doctor I just know that it's dangerous and other people should be aware of the problems one can have. Please have your lead level checked.

    For now I am just going to avoid shooting with lead or if I do shoot with lead make sure I shoot it outdoors and will not shoot anymore with people that shoot inside with lead.

    I am getting ready to take a pill call Chemlet to remove the lead from my system.