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· Registered
1,085 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was at the Dr for something else and had him test for lead in my system the other day. He called and all is well.

I just wondered after 30 + years of casting.

Casting is safe if you use the recommended precautions.

· Banned
71 Posts
Everyone who either casts bullets or shoots on an indoor range should get their blood-lead tested annually.

I have done so for the last 25 years. The only time I ever had an elevated blood lead was when I rebuilt a small 2-cycle engine for a chain saw and washed parts in leaded gasoline and didn't wear gloves. It went through the roof and required short-term medical attention.

I cast bullets routinely, but avoid indoor ranges, as few have adequate ventilation. My casting area has a fume hood with forced air ventilation, as you would have in a chemistry lab or commercial kitchen, I wear disposable latex gloves, do not eat, drink or smoke while casting, discard gloves and wash thoroughly during breaks before taking any refreshment.

About once annually a few buddies and I when melt down large quantities of scrap for reducing to ingots, maybe a ton or so. We do so outdoors, wearing long sleeved coveralls, a hard hat, full face mask, lab apron and a P100 respirator.

The precautions seem extreme, but have paid for themselves in safety and peace of mind. A few years ago while rendering scrap from a large regional police range, a live 9mm round found its way into a shovelful of scrap being added to a plumber's pot containing 100 pounds of molten lead. A buddy's son home on break from college was helping us and complained about having to wear all of this protective gear when it's hot outside (this was summer) and this was a hot nasty job.

About then the round went "BANG!" and the entire load of molten alloy cascaded into the air and came down like a hot 10 ft. high and 20 ft. diameter silvery waterfall, covering Tim's pickup truck, the driveway, etc. No one was hurt, but it was quite obvious that if we hadn't taken suitable precautions several people could have been seriously injured.

I calmly said, "That's why, now peel that stuff up and put it back into the pot, we don't want to waste any. And dammit, pay attention to what you scoop up before you just pour it in next time!"
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