Lead dust?
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Thread: Lead dust?

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    Lead dust?

    Iím hoping the GTT community can help ease my concerns.

    I recently purchased a reclaimed door trim set from a local architectural salvage company to make into a mirror. I brought the door casing into my basement shop that is walled off from the rest of 5he shop. I chipped off the peeling pain5 with a putty knife and heat gun at times, as well sanded more stubborn pieces with course grit paper by hand. I then proceeded to break the pieces down with my chop saw, metering the ends for glue up. Afterwards I picked up the paint chips and dust, etc with a broom, dust pan and handheld shopvac. After completing the project, it dawned on me that I should have tested the pieces for lead paint beforehand. Sure enough, the test kit from Amazon tested positive for lead.

    I have small children that on occasion, like to help dad with projects and Iím concerned about residual lead dust. How clean is clean and should I be worried? My kids were not in the shop during or after this latest project, but should I be worried about them working with me in there in the future?

    I appreciate the feedback. Thanks
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    Big Cat, My answer is "No, you have nothing to be concerned about...unless your children like to lick the floor." I would vacuum again, wait a day and then wet mop/sponge the floor. Your vacuum will filter out most of the dust, but probably not all. Wet mopping/sponging will pick the remainder of it up.

    Another fact that may put you at ease is there is lead present in many things...even your drinking water! The EPA and other institutions have determined and posted limits of how much lead you can be exposed to. These limits are also based on exposure time. Unless you took air samples while you were sanding, then again while vacuuming, and one more dry sample of the remaining dust on the floor, you'll have no idea as to the lead that YOU were exposed to! Add the time factor, and you're probably 110% safe.

    What you have been exposed to can't be changed, it's done and over with! For your children when they "help Dad" in the future, wet mop will take care of that. If you're still really, REALLY concerned, repaint the floor...but I wouldn't go that route. I hope this puts you at ease, Bob
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    I wouldnít worry about it too much. Itís best to limit exposure to lead. Avoid creating Dustyís much as possible. But itís been around for years and the older folks survived just fine.

    At work we test for it before welding, grinding or even drilling old steel. Specialist are brought in when we find lead paint. All they do is remove it with needle guns with a hepa vacuum attached. The guy doing the removal work will have a rerespiator and protective suit. The funny thing is everyone else nearby, even his helpers just continue on as normal with any protective gear. Itís not like when the asbestos removers show up. The room they are in gets sealed off and no one that isnít part of the clean up is allowed in.
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    Lead is bad for kids (can cause developmental issues), and I have had concerns since I reload, but really, unless its ingested or inhaled, its not an issue.
    It can be absorbed through the skin, but you need to handle significant amounts for that to be an issue, and not wash afterwords.
    My girls used to help me reload shotgun shells, but always washed up well afterwords. No issues with them.

    I wouldnt worry. Clean it up as best you can, and be done with it.

    Im sure many of us helped our Grandfathers doing similar things before we knew this was a problem, and most of us are fine, with the exceptions like myself not likely to be due to lead paint...
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    The work you did is very minimum and nothing to worry about. In many of the old neighborhoods people used to scrape and repaint their homes allowing all the chips to fall to the ground. Those chips are still in areas where children play all the time. They just don't eat them.. I had to take a lead abatement class after I had purchased a 4 family. We were told that all those big beautiful homes in Newport RI are loaded with lead paint. Lead made the paint more durable. In many cases the painters working on the mansions would add extra lead to the paint to make the paint better!!

    Looking back it may not have been the best thing to do...
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    Thanks guys. I appreciate all your comments and they certainly make me feel better. Iíve been meaning to give the shop a real thorough cleaning and this gives me a good reason to do it. Also been eyeing a Bosch HEPA dust extractor for some time and sounds like itís the right tool for the job.
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    Multiple Entry Points for lead

    Lead can also be absorbed through the skin, just like many other chemicals.

    The NRA's safety training for their instructors (which is teaching content for students) says to wash your hands in cold water and soap after you've been handling ammunition or shooting. Warm water opens pores in your skin, so your initial wash should be with cold water. Then, when your hands are really clean and cold, you can switch to warm water.

    Lead can be vaporized when a firearm is discharged. (Copper jackets on the bullets minimize this.) If you use an indoor shooting range, inquire about their air cleaning system. I knew a guy who worked at an indoor range and had to leave the job after only 6 months due to elevated levels of lead in his body. This was due to breathing the vaporized lead. Fortunately, his employer (the range) tested for this. I prefer outdoor ranges. We usually have some breeze, so you're less likely to be breathing it.

    Every recent training course I've been to that covered gun cleaning advised using neoprene gloves at all times during the cleaning process. Your hands will more easily absorb the lead if it's in solvent (and you'll absorb the solvent, too). Don't use latex gloves. Even the environmentally safe solvents will dissolve them in seconds.

    I've been tested for heavy metals in my body and learned that I have very high levels of lead. I suspect that the lead ammunition is a small part of that. Much of my life, I've been drinking water out of systems with lead based solder on copper pipes. I think the code changed on this about 1980, but that only affected new construction. I was talking to one of the maintenance guys at a large electronics plant where I worked and he told me to always let the water run for about 15 seconds before getting a drink out the the water fountain. (This advice was after I'd already worked in this plant for 20 years.) They'd done some testing. He also told me that they couldn't discharge "clean" water into the sewage system without treating it to remove lead. Just within the plant, clean water traveled through enough copper piping (with lead solder joints) that it would pick up enough lead to exceed EPA requirements on discharge. Of course, all the electronics circuit boards were soldered with lead based solders until 15-20 years ago. You should use precautions anytime you handle an older circuit board as well.
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