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Old 08-25-2021, 01:23 PM
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Does anyone use the cream-style hand coatings? I can't wear gloves, especially when reloading calibers like 380 and 9 mm. It's probably not a good idea to get the lead residue, etc on your skin. My hands can get pretty filthy at times when working around ammo. I'm also a boolit caster, so there's that avenue of exposure, too. As I get older I find myself being more cautious about health matters. Been thinking of getting some of this stuff and I was wondering how well it works, of if you know of something else that works.
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Old 08-25-2021, 01:34 PM
Mike, SC Hunter Mike, SC Hunter is offline
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Been casting/loading/shooting for 50 years........Never a glove/lotion have I worn.
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Old 08-25-2021, 01:53 PM
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Wash your hands when you finish handling lead. It works well.
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Old 08-25-2021, 02:05 PM
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I think the idea is very sound but I'd recommend a more serious product like SBS 46 protective cream. I also recommend D-lead soap for after. I don't doubt there are other soaps just as effective but this one is sold specifically for the purpose and just isn't that expensive. I've also heard you should wash first with cold water to decrease absorption.
Then there's the old guy I know who smokes and eats while reloading and has done so for decades! Nice guy, but he has some health problems and I'm *really* glad he's not my neighbor!

Casting is way more dangerous than handling nice non-oxidized bullets. Excellent ventilation is an absolute necessity.

All that said, for children under 10 even the *slightest* amount of lead can be really damaging, but for older folks it seems that ~90% of us tolerate lead better than one might expect and only ~10% have serious health effects. Of course you don't know if you are in that sensitive group until it's too late...
A taste of the research is here but a lot of it comes from the old typesetters who would heat their lunch over the lead pots and while some would go on fine for decades, some would die off quite quickly.
Genetic susceptibility to lead poisoning.

I've been tested repeatedly and always high but that is likely a result of paint dust exposure.

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Does anyone use the cream-style hand coatings? I can't wear gloves, especially when reloading calibers like 380 and 9 mm. It's probably not a good idea to get the lead residue, etc on your skin. My hands can get pretty filthy at times when working around ammo. I'm also a boolit caster, so there's that avenue of exposure, too. As I get older I find myself being more cautious about health matters. Been thinking of getting some of this stuff and I was wondering how well it works, of if you know of something else that works.
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Last edited by teletech; 08-25-2021 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 08-25-2021, 03:00 PM
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Don't smoke or eat when reloading, and always wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Within the past few years a buddy and i, both reloaders for 50+ years, got our lead levels checked just for the sake of curiosity. Results -- our lead levels were lower than the average person's level. My physician says the majority of shooting-related elevated levels come from shooting in poorly-ventilated indoor ranges. Lead styphynate primers put out a cloud of easily-inhaled micro-particles.
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Old 08-25-2021, 03:31 PM
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If you're so afraid of it that you're thinking this way you should probably take up another hobby.
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Old 08-25-2021, 03:39 PM
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Probably obvious anyhow: While casting & reloading, don't touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
As others have said, don't eat during that time & when finished, wash your hands thoroughly with a lot of hot water & soap.
I've also had a lead test & after 40 years, have no excessive lead in my body.
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Old 08-25-2021, 04:53 PM
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If you're so afraid of it that you're thinking this way you should probably take up another hobby.
I'm thinking if you're NOT concerned - you may consider another hobby.
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Old 08-25-2021, 05:01 PM
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Does anyone use the cream-style hand coatings? I can't wear gloves, especially when reloading calibers like 380 and 9 mm. It's probably not a good idea to get the lead residue, etc on your skin. My hands can get pretty filthy at times when working around ammo. I'm also a boolit caster, so there's that avenue of exposure, too. As I get older I find myself being more cautious about health matters. Been thinking of getting some of this stuff and I was wondering how well it works, of if you know of something else that works.
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You say that you can't wear gloves while reloading. Presuming you are speaking of rubber gloves, may I ask why?

If you are having a skin reaction, the consider a different compound for the glove. Many people have latex allergies (even mild ones) that they are unaware of so using a nitrile-based glove is better. I've also seen reactions to the talc or cornstarch powders they use to coat the gloves with. You can get them uncoated as needed.

If it's because you don't have the dexterity, fine movement or tactile feeling you would like while wearing gloves then try either a different brand, a different thickness, or even a tighter size (for better feel).

Years ago we trial tested several different "liquid glove" lotions for use in EMS so I can speak with expertise in that specific arena. Needless to say there was not a single one that even made it as high as "Marginally Acceptable", but patient care is a horse of another color compared to reloading, which I have no knowledge of whatsoever.

Good luck!
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Old 08-25-2021, 09:47 PM
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Wash your hands when you finish handling lead. It works well.
Ivory or Dove for you East coast guys..........

Out west we use Lava !!

Last edited by Nevada Ed; 09-07-2021 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 08-25-2021, 10:07 PM
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I can think of a more important reason for not smoking while reloading! And it's not the lead poisoning potential.

I'm into my 3rd decade of reloading, and (knocking on wood) I have never worn gloves either. I do wear safety glasses, most of the time, and wash up afterwards.

I think of the lead hazards when there's smoke being created from melted lead, and provide plenty of ventilation. Just considered never sticking my fingers in my mouth a sufficient safety measure. Rubber gloves make my hands sweat.
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Old 08-25-2021, 10:22 PM
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Does anyone use the cream-style hand coatings? I can't wear gloves, especially when reloading calibers like 380 and 9 mm. It's probably not a good idea to get the lead residue, etc on your skin. My hands can get pretty filthy at times when working around ammo. I'm also a boolit caster, so there's that avenue of exposure, too. As I get older I find myself being more cautious about health matters. Been thinking of getting some of this stuff and I was wondering how well it works, of if you know of something else that works.
The one advantage of aging is that "long term health consequences" become less consequential ...

Why not get your blood lead level checked and decide if you need extra precautions?
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Old 08-25-2021, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike, SC Hunter View Post
Been casting/loading/shooting for 50 years........Never a glove/lotion have I worn.
Casting for 50 years without gloves? Damn! Hands of steel?
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Old 08-25-2021, 10:37 PM
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Did you notice how only one person actually answered your question?
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Old 08-25-2021, 11:08 PM
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Does anyone use the cream-style hand coatings? I can't wear gloves, especially when reloading calibers like 380 and 9 mm. It's probably not a good idea to get the lead residue, etc on your skin. My hands can get pretty filthy at times when working around ammo. I'm also a boolit caster, so there's that avenue of exposure, too. As I get older I find myself being more cautious about health matters. Been thinking of getting some of this stuff and I was wondering how well it works, of if you know of something else that works.
Protective Hand Coating - Walmart.com - Walmart.com
I've used that and similar products for doing greasy dirty automotive work. It works great for protecting your skin from grease & oil. Cleanup afterwards is really easy - compared what a pain it is to clean up if you're not using something like that. I presume it would work equally well to protect your skin from lead exposure.

I understand the thing about gloves. If they are thick enough to work, I can't work in the darned things. I end up pulling one (or both) off to do tasks requiring fine dexterity.

If they aren't thick enough they just tear and then they are pointless. Basically gloves are a non-starter for me. But the invisible glove stuff gives results that are about as good as actual physical gloves.
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Old 08-26-2021, 08:03 AM
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I started working as a Mercedes-Benz mechanic in 1970 and used DuPont Pro-Tek from day one. At the end of the day my hands were always clean. It seems immune to solvents other than water and is an excellent barrier cream. I used it until we started using latex gloves in the early 80's. My dentist used to say that my hands were cleaner than his. The only drawback I found to Pro-Tek is that it seals so well you tend to sweat just a tad more because your hands can't perspire through the barrier.

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Old 08-26-2021, 09:08 AM
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More good answers here than I imagined.
I'm fishing for helpful ideas from you guys.
I find even nitrile gloves clumsy. Did use them last night while sizing several hundred 9mm's and did ok.
One indoor range I belong to is notoriously unhealthy. I was going twice per week and my blood levels went up to a 9 and the acceptable level is 5. Stopped going and 3 months later it was down to a 7. (The old acceptable level was 10, but the government lowered it to 5.) I was doing voluntary testing because it was free with my insurance. The average person walks around with about a 2.5 lead level. All these numbers are from what I remember from some online research.
I've never regretted watching out for myself and that's what I'm attempting to do here. Thank you.

Last edited by max503; 08-26-2021 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 08-26-2021, 09:13 AM
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I'm the household cook. It concerns me when I come upstairs from reloading and stick my mitts in the family's vittles. That's one reason I want clean hands.
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Old 08-26-2021, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
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More good answers here than I imagined.
I'm fishing for helpful ideas from you guys.
I find even nitrile gloves clumsy. Did use them last night while sizing several hundred 9mm's and did ok.
One indoor range I belong to is notoriously unhealthy. I was going twice per week and my blood levels went up to a 9 and the acceptable level is 5. Stopped going and 3 months later it was down to a 7. (The old acceptable level was 10, but the government lowered it to 5.) I was doing voluntary testing because it was free with my insurance. The average person walks around with about a 2.5 lead level. All these numbers are from what I remember from some online research.
I've never regretted watching out for myself and that's what I'm attempting to do here. Thank you.
If you find nitrile gloves to be clumsy then I can recommend that you either step down to a thinner material (perhaps 5 mil) or use a smaller size. A smaller size will be more challenging to put on but will provide better feel - which in my former life was great for finding a vein to start an IV. Many of the paramedics I taught that skill to over the years became more adept and successful at it when using tighter gloves. They should literally fit like a "second skin".

For better grip, make sure that what you are buying has textured fingertips instead of smooth. That makes a huge difference. The 5 mil nitrile gloves from Harbor Freight seem to do the job for me when I'm working in my shop.
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Old 08-26-2021, 11:54 AM
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Last year for the first 4 or 5 months I was loading and testing everyday. I would go shoot 50, tumble them, and reload them. I went everyday. I started having strange symptoms and worried about the lead. The dirty corn cob media and the spent primers I think are the worst culprits. I talked my doctor into a lead test. It was way below minimum. Then shortly after I found out the symptoms were from the lymphoma cancer I had. So the rest of the year was spent in chemo. So that much exposure didn't raise my level much at all if any. I have never been tested again. If a person loaded a lot and made their own bullets it might raise it a little. Each person is different on that.
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Old 08-26-2021, 02:09 PM
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There are many, many old wive's tales and dire warnings about lead poisoning from reloading and casting, most are just repeated so many times they become "fact". Fear can be crippling to the point of not participating or excessive PPDs. Some reloaders/casters would have you using a full Haz-Mat suit in a negative ventilation room with self contained breathing aparatus. Like many I have been reloading (bare handed) for over 40 years, casting sinkers and bullets for maybe 50 years, shooting at an old indoor range for maybe 10-12 years, and my annual blood tests show low/normal heavy metals. When I was working on construction equipment I occasuonally used the "protective hand cream" provided by the Dept., but never for reloadng (works well when painting). Today, after reloading/casting/shooting I wash my hands with Dawn (last blood/lead test was 2 years ago; normal levels)

K.I.S.S.! Common sense will keep you healthy, and Chicken Little lied...

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Old 08-27-2021, 12:24 PM
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Casting for 50 years without gloves? Damn! Hands of steel?
No, just common sense...
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Old 09-07-2021, 04:51 PM
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K.I.S.S.! Common sense will keep you healthy, and Chicken Little lied...
Common Sense may keep you healthy, but it's the Uncommon kind that makes the breakthrough (and also a lot of mistakes, so there is that...)

And technically, Chicken Little DIDN'T lie - he acted as he believed best with the data he had available to him that he was able to interpret with the education and experience he had obtained up to that time. Think about it, if the sky actually HAD been falling then he would have been hailed as a hero! I can't recall where I originally heard it, but in the Fire Department the phrase "If you want better results then get better training" comes to mind...
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Old 09-07-2021, 09:13 PM
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The ordinance team for Columbus PD cast and loaded about half a million rounds a year! The level of hand protection wasn't mandated and usually was only hand washing. In the 25 years that the blood level was checked only one man was continually high. He was a smoker and a nail biter!

Ivan
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:42 PM
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I do not use any type of cream or jell when working with reloading supplies or when actually doing the reloading. What I do do follows.

For most "dirty jobs" where I might experience some kind of contaminant I usually coat my hands with dish soap before I begin the job. A drop or two is all that is necessary for protection. Rub it all over like you were washing your hands until it dries. When done wash your hands in hot soapy water and everything will come off that might have transferred to your hands from the cases or bullets.
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Old 09-08-2021, 01:26 AM
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The most harmful properties of the heavy metals that folks in our gig get exposed to are absolutely the most dangerous to young and physically developing brains.

If we are to have discussions of how we should “protect” and “be aware”, item #1 should be that children are the most at risk and us old and aging guys -FAR- less so. It’s fantastic to include kids and grandkids, but they are the most at-risk.

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Awww, just precious. And it appears that you were NOT the chosen one, but your post was quite the addition to the conversation.

See the op’s post #17.
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Old 09-08-2021, 07:01 AM
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I do not wear any hand protection when reloading. I do wear heavy welders gloves, arm guards and safety glasses when casting bullets. I am very careful but lead pots drip overfilling moulds occasionally splashes so even being cautious minor burns can happen. I cast in open air so ventilation is not an issue.
I have been casting bullets almost 50 years and no signs of lead issues to date.
I do wash my hands thoroughly after reloading.
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Old 09-08-2021, 07:48 AM
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The older you are, the less time the lead will have to cause long-term problems, since you will not be around “ long term “.

It’s pretty hard absorb dangerous levels of lead from bullets and ingots as long as you avoid the white oxidation that can form on the surface of lead objects when they sit for a long time.

Last edited by smoothshooter; 09-08-2021 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:08 AM
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When I was young and worked on cars, I used a product called "Protect" a coating that you applied before you got oil and grease on your hands, and it didn't stick to you, you simply washed it off. Don't know if it is around anymore.
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Old 09-10-2021, 09:38 AM
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When it comes to industrial-type hazards you might say I've been a bit of a snowflake. Looking back over the years I am glad I stuck up for my beliefs in various situations. In particular I remember one co-worker singing that "Wimpy wimpy wimpy, hefty hefty hefty" jingle to me when I told him I wasn't going into a clay silo without a respirator. He put on two paper dust masks and went in there. Good way to get silicosis. Another time I told my supervisor I wasn't going to brush out the water jacket on a boiler because there was asbestos packing present.
I appreciate the tips, and believe I'll keep on looking out for my own well-being.

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Old 09-10-2021, 11:55 AM
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I'm with the cautious bullet casters who wear correct respirators and deploy vigorous ventilation. Lead is everywhere. Until 1974 our automobiles were spewing tetraethyl lead all over the highways. I did metallurgical assay work as a grad student to earn a few extra $$. My university had state of the art neutron activation analysis gear that would non-destructively generate spectra on any substance. We discovered that soil samples taken near any roadway had high levels of lead from decades of exhaust broadcast. Aviation gasoline still uses lead, but the quantities are miniscule compared to the motor gasoline pool through the years. We're all probably 5 I.Q. points lower than we should be.
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