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Danger of fumes when melting lead

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
The latest (Oct 2003)issue of "Seaworthy" - a Boat U.S. magazine printed a letter from a reader that stated that heating lead to molding temps (jig heads) is extreamly hazardous, even outdoors. Inhalation of even small amounts of lead vapor can cause significant toxic reactions (children & pregnant women). He goes on to say that professionals recommend that "intense ventilation" be used, which means a high-volume blower, as well as a respirator and skin and eye protection, even when outdoods.
post #2 of 19
Check to see if there is a respirator specifically for lead fumes.
post #3 of 19
I guess that explains the condition of my memory And all this time I thought it was due to those high school years.
post #4 of 19
I guess that explains the condition of my memory And all this time I thought it was due to those high school years.
post #5 of 19
I guess that goes to show you about Sudsy's memory!
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by HL:
The latest (Oct 2003)issue of "Seaworthy" - a Boat U.S. magazine printed a letter from a reader that stated that heating lead to molding temps (jig heads) is extreamly hazardous, even outdoors. Inhalation of even small amounts of lead vapor can cause significant toxic reactions (children & pregnant women). He goes on to say that professionals recommend that "intense ventilation" be used, which means a high-volume blower, as well as a respirator and skin and eye protection, even when outdoods.
My father was a typesetter for over thirty years and regularly melted down lead pieces from linotype produced articles. When he finally got his own shop, it was a daily occurrence and frequently I was the one pouring the molten lead into the "pigs" which would then be suspended over a melting pot on the linotype machine itself. Neither of us (nor to the best of my knowledge, none of his co-workers) ever suffered from lead poisoning, nor any other maladies from "inhaling lead fumes". Sounds like typical over-reaction to a possible hazard.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally posted by acrylic painter:
Sounds like typical over-reaction to a possible hazard. [/QB]
Consider yourself lucky. The dangers of lead exposure are well known, not a product of over reaction. Ingesting lead (paint chips) is very bad, inhaling the crap is much worse - gets it straight into the blood stream. If you are going to melt lead do it outside if possible or be in a well ventilated area. Don't mess around with that stuff.
post #8 of 19
I guess that explains the condition of my memory And all this time I thought it was due to those high school years.
post #9 of 19
A lot of the old timers from tackle shops and from the tackle business poured industrial sized molds with hundreds of sinkers at a time. They did this with little or no ventilation and no protective masks or respirators. Most of em' lived to be Pretty old guys and some of em' are still around. Did you know your not supposed to eat bass either?
post #10 of 19
Exposure to lead is most acute to infants and children as it can cause neurological problems during development.
post #11 of 19
i was under the impreesion that lead doesn't vaporize at the tempertures that we use to melt lead in jig making.even still don't take chances.there is not too muck in this world that isn't dangerous to are health.
post #12 of 19
The other problem is that the lead we use is 'dirty'. There is other crap in there. Wheel weights are the worst.
post #13 of 19
Guys,

It is agreed that lead when it enters you body is universally bad. However, melting lead should not create lead fumes. Lead melts at 621 degrees Fahrenheit and boils at 3182 degrees Fahrenheit. There is no reason to ever heat lead up to the boiling point to pour sinkers.

Your most likely route of entry will be through ingestion (swallowing) or inhalation of inorganic lead particles or through transdermal (through your skin) absorption of organic alkyl lead.

Your respiratory tract provides the most effective route of absorption because it only depends on the size of lead particles and the metabolic activity of the body. Airborne lead particles that are less than 0.5-1 microns in diameter generally are completely absorbed. Gastrointestinal absorption of lead is less effective and depends on a number of factors, eg, the presence of food in the stomach, the concentration of lead ingested and your general nutritional health


What dose this mean?

It means that you are most likely to put lead into your body when to have some lead dust on your hands and put it in your mouth (eating, smoking, chapstick, nose picking, etc.). Remember lead dust is lead and does not enjoy being airborne.

There are respirators that can protect you if worn correctly. However, wearing a respirator has risks associated with the increased burden it places on your cardio vascular system. The best protection is to not be exposed at all. Ventilation is primary, and should always be employed.

These filters are called HEPA and are effective against metal fumes and particulates down to 0.3 microns.

IMO the most important thing to understand is that you can take every precaution to protect your self, but still bring the lead dust into your home. Dust that is on your clothing or skin can be transmitted to children, spouses and pets that never came close to the pouring.

Just remember that good housekeeping, personal hygiene and common sense in most cases will keep you and your family safe if you choose to pour lead.
post #14 of 19
Fred,

I have completely changed my opinion of you. that was well written, articulate, and down right intellegent. you are a smarty pants.

nice post..

BC
post #15 of 19
Drat!

My cover is blown.

From here I guess the only place to go is to don a mullet and lay low.
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