Health hazard at the range

Discussion in 'Range Report' started by 2ndAmendmentFreedom, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    Hey everyone,
    I've noticed something these past few weeks when going to the range and it can't be a coincidence. After a few minutes spent at the range (indoors), I get a sweet taste in my mouth. What comes to mind is lead exposure. Reading online, some are saying that it's caused by the powder burning, others are blaming it on the lead itself.

    Two questions:
    -What is it that I'm tasting?
    -What masks do you guys recommend? (has to be reusable and affordable)? I value my health and I couldn't care less about people laughing at me at the range, they won't be paying for my medical bills if I get sick.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Vincine

    Vincine New Member

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    Just some questions:

    Is it an indoor range or an outdoor range. Possible ventilation issue.

    Only happens a/t range? Any other ranges nearby? Does it make a difference?

    Happens with any ammo?

    How often do you shoot? Possible increasing sensitivity to ammunition by-products.

    Have you changed any medication recently?
     

  3. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    Thanks for your reply.
    I'm not on any medication. It's an indoor range and I get the sweet taste before I even fire my gun. I shoot the same kind of ammunition all the time though. I shoot mostly once a week, sometimes I'll go 9 days without shooting. I don't feel sick when I'm there but I don't want to wait until I'm sick to do something. The ventilation based on my judgement is poor but I don't really have a choice because the next closest range is twice the distance... If I brought it up to the range's attention, all I would get is a whistle blower reputation and nothing would really be done which is why I'm interesting in getting a mask.
    Thanks!
     
  4. willfully armed

    willfully armed New Member

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    Its a ventilation issue.

    Schedule an appointment at your doctors to have a blood lead level check.

    Headaches? Memory loss? Difficulty urinating?
     
  5. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    I've had a little headache but it could be due to the crazy traffic on the way back, no memory loss (as far as I know lol), no problems urinating.
     
  6. Vincine

    Vincine New Member

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    You need to isolate your variables one by one. Is it the range, the smoke & powder, the noise, or an interaction between other environmental factors?

    Find someplace outside you can shoot. Even if it’s just a couple of times. If it occurs outside, it’s not the range. It’s you. If it doesn’t, it’s the range. If it also occurs at the other range, it’s being at indoor ranges. If it doesn't, it's definitively your local range. Maybe the floor cleaner or something.

    Do you shoot at the same time when you shoot? What happens if you change the time you when shoot?

    What happens if you visit the range without intending to shoot? Do you still get the taste in your mouth?

    Isolate your variables. Gabish?
     
  7. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    I don't see sound causing a taste in my mouth :), also the ear protection I use works very well. I've gone to the range anywhere from 12PM to 7PM after eating, before eating. It sounds like you're trying to associate the act of shooting with stress causing the taste; while it's a smart theory I REALLY doubt that's the case. Living in Chicago, I'd have to drive like 3 hours to find an outdoor range which is just not feasible. Also I just looked up a review of the range online and some people are saying there's a very strong smell of lead (indeed there is) and that it's in overall dirty. I am not trying to answer my own question but it's also why I'm asking if there's any masks people recommend? I don't want to look like I'm stepping into Fukushima either.
     
  8. vincent

    vincent New Member

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    I know the sweet taste you're talking about, very annoying and nothing you can to to get rid of it besides wait it out. I had it just the other day after cleaning the bathroom with some toxic spray stuff...:mad:

    Aside from getting a full blown respirator, the only thing I can recommend is hit Home Deopt or Lowe's and grab some of their dust masks. It's not going to keep everything out but it's better than nothing. I believe they make several kinds now. I used them in the field when I was drilling and they do make quite a bit of difference. That lead is serious stuff, don't take any chances. Make sure they have the nose "thingy" so you can adjust the fit...sorry about the technical terms...:D
     
  9. Vincine

    Vincine New Member

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    I appreciate your skepticism of other causes. I was just being thorough. I wasn’t suggesting you make a practice of going to the other range and/or shoot outside, just enough to determine if it was your range absolutely, or not. It sounds like it probably is poor ventilation. You might consider a lead test.

    About lead & firing ranges:
    http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/dc/OH/shooting.html

    A lead inhalation mask:
    http://www.library-dust.com/3m_8233.htm
     
  10. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    Thank you so much, buying a bag for me and my dad. Trust me I wish I could "troubleshoot" a little more but my options are severely restricted where I am. I'm pretty sure that whatever is causing my symptoms is airborne, it could be lead, powder, whatever cleaners they use; regardless I think a mask will do the trick. I will post back and update this thread when I try it out :)
     
  11. Vincine

    Vincine New Member

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    There may be other masks you should look at. I just linked the first one that Google offered.
    Here’s another: http://library-dust.com/moldex_2730.htm
     
  12. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    2nd A spitout the Life Saver.:D Our local indoor pistol range is well vented and they allow Black Powder firearms. The range has an air monitor. The range venting and dust controls are always checked. Lead dust fills the air in poorly vented ranges. And yes it will cause a sweet taste and a mild burning in the nose and eyes. I have 2 friends they are avid cowboy shooters. Both of them just found out they have very high lead levels.:(
     
  13. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    Actually once I got the "N100" keyword I found the mask you originally linked on another website that had cheaper shipping. It was the most highly rated and some people were saying they bought it precisely for indoor shooting. I'd like to get a blood check but it's pretty expensive and there's nothing I can really do about it if my levels are indeed elevated, I just have to wait it out and not go shooting until my mask arrives.

    At least I didn't get burning in my nose and my eyes but I'm definitely going to be careful. And yeah people are in there shooting all day, they have shooting classes and based on the smell, the air is barely recycled. Apparently lead is eliminated slowly in urine, bowels and exercise (tomorrow is my workout day and I'll be drinking plenty of water :) )
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2012
  14. Durangokid

    Durangokid New Member

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    It is not that easy. Lead poison is a very seriouse disease. In fact once a Doctor defines the illness he must report it to your State Health Dept. The State makes sure that you get treatment.:eek:
     
  15. dog2000tj

    dog2000tj New Member

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    make an anonymous call to the Health Dept ;)
     
  16. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    I'd rather not have my name on any State health list ;) Next thing you know for my own health I won't be allowed to own guns, you never know what the government can come up with for people's safety. I don't spend a lot of time at the range though, considering .45ACP is pretty expensive I shoot between 100 and 150 rounds about every week and it goes down fairly quickly with my 4x 8rd magazines.
     
  17. PanBaccha

    PanBaccha New Member

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    I assumed you talked to the proprietor of the indoor range? If so, what was his reply?
     
  18. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    Under different circumstances I would but I know they won't do anything about it, there's no cheap/easy fix. Once in a while you'll see a customer wearing a mask so that's an implicit way of letting them know. The range fee is $10 so they'll tell me that for the price I can't complain lol.
     
  19. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    If a primer is not a corrosive, or one of the new NT primers, it is based on lead. Usually lead azide or lead styphanate. Lead CAN cause a sweet taste (that's why kids eat paint chips, and the Romans aged wine in lead lined containers)

    If you have facial hair other than a mustache shorter than corners of mouth, do not expect any standard respirator to work. Be sure to wash exposed skin after shooting, before eating, smoking, drnking or applying makeup (Chapstick is makeup) Do not expect a 99 cent dust mask to stop airborne lead.

    Quick and dirty non scientific ventilation check- Next time you go to range. take a very small amount of baby powder with you. While at the line, put a pencil eraser sized amount of powder is one hand, clap hands, LOOK at where airborne powder goes- away from you, to you, or just hangs there.

    We use that technique in underground mines to check airflow- clap gloves, look at where dust moves.
     
  20. 2ndAmendmentFreedom

    2ndAmendmentFreedom New Member

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    Thanks a lot for all the info C3, regarding where the powder goes, which one would be a sign of elevated amount of lead? Hangs there & to you?