Allen Cain <allencain@...>
The following is my experience in the use of lead and should not be
considered as more than my opinion.
A few years ago, I was responsible for running an automotive battery
manufacturing plant producing over 30,000 LEAD plate batteries per day. We
worked with lead oxide, melted and cast lead plates, and assembled them into
As stated, lead is only a problem if you INGEST it. As long as we kept the
dust out of the air so that it was not INGESTED by breathing and our
employees did not place their hands in their mouth or eyes to INGEST the
lead, we had no problems and we did take blood samples on a regular basis to
insure that we stayed below 50% of the OSHA limits.
We also took precautions to keep food and cigarettes out of the work area
and required employees to wash their hands before eating to avoid INGESTING
the lead on their food.
The bottom line is that it can be handled safely if you just avoid getting
it into your mouth, eyes, open wounds, and of course breathing it. To
breath it you have to generate dust (grinding, filing, sanding, sawing,
etc.) and to generate fumes you would have to be melting it.
So, use it to your advantage with simple precautions.
Oh yes, when we did have a problem, it was because someone was violating the
rules over an extended period of time and, when we discovered this through
the blood tests, we could bring it back down to normal levels by working
with the employee to identify and correct the behaviors that allowed
INGESTION of lead.
I was exposed to more lead in a day than anyone will be in a lifetime in our
hobby. I was tested and never got closer than 10% of the OSHA limits.
Handling and using lead can be very safe if you just use simple precautions
to NOT INGEST it.
Of course, everyone gets to choose what they consider safe based on their
comfort level and their personal hygiene habits which could make the use of