Lead particle removal on hands

Posted by mwsa1945 @mwsa1945, Feb 18 4:30pm

I’m a recreational shooter and have read conflicting information on whether to wash hands with a lead removal product in cold water because it closes the pores or it doesn’t matter since the pores are always open. I have read that washing the hands in hot water removes the skin oils and makes the skin more permeable to lead particles. Does anyone have any insight or references for this. Lead residue is mostly from lead containing primers and the gunshot residue smoke particle size is about 5 micro meters, 50 times larger than nanoparticles. Thanks for any insight.,

Hi, @mwsa1945 – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I've moved your post to the Skin Health group, where there are more people familiar with topics like skin exposures.

Since you are a recreational shooter, it seems wise that you are looking into lead exposure and particle removal for your hands. I'm wondering if perhaps some of the Connect members who've talked about exposure to chemicals, fumes and other substances, as well as some of our members who are familiar with shooting or military may have some thoughts for you. Please meet @maxaz1@gingerw @johnbishop @johnjames @fourof5zs @veteranspouseinpain.

Hoping some of these members will have something to share about what you said regarding conflicting information on whether to wash hands with a lead removal product in cold water after shooting because it closes the pores, or that it doesn’t matter since the pores are always open.

What hand washing practice have you been going with so far, then, @mwsa1945?

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Hello @mwsa1945, I would like to add my welcome to Connect along with @lisalucier and other members. I enjoyed recreational shooting when I was younger and fresh out of the Navy. To be honest, the thought of lead poisoning never entered my mind. I grew up in the era before the health hazard of lead based paints was discovered. After reading your post and doing some research, I believe there is a significant health hazard for recreational shooters and law enforcement, military and other government employees that regularly use firearms. Here are some of the more significant articles I found. The overall theme was to wash your hands, face and exposed skin with cool, soapy water.

National Institutes of Health Apr 2017 – Lead exposure at firing ranges—a review
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5379568/

Interesting take by an ex-CIA officer – Jan 2013 — How to Avoid Lead Poisoning After Shooting
https://www.usacarry.com/how-to-avoid-lead-poisoning-after-shootin/

Handwipe method for removing lead from skin. – CDC (2011)
https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nioshtic-2/20040187.html

Hope this helps!

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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@lisalucier

Hi, @mwsa1945 – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I've moved your post to the Skin Health group, where there are more people familiar with topics like skin exposures.

Since you are a recreational shooter, it seems wise that you are looking into lead exposure and particle removal for your hands. I'm wondering if perhaps some of the Connect members who've talked about exposure to chemicals, fumes and other substances, as well as some of our members who are familiar with shooting or military may have some thoughts for you. Please meet @maxaz1@gingerw @johnbishop @johnjames @fourof5zs @veteranspouseinpain.

Hoping some of these members will have something to share about what you said regarding conflicting information on whether to wash hands with a lead removal product in cold water after shooting because it closes the pores, or that it doesn’t matter since the pores are always open.

What hand washing practice have you been going with so far, then, @mwsa1945?

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Thanks for your help. OSHA and CDC consider Lead removal “decontamination” and not washing. I believe NIOSH patented a product and under a royalty free arrangement, Hygenall produces and sells the liquid and Hand wipes.They do not have a laundry detergent. For Lead contaminated clothing I change and bag my range garments. The recommendation is to wash the clothes separately and dry using a dryer cloth because it separates the fibers and makes any residual Lead removal easier. The washer should go through a rinse cycle before a normal cycle for family clothes. I read John’s postings and spoke to other health care professionals and agree with John’s takeaway. Wash hands and arms in cool water with Hygenall. I’m still in research mode and will share other precautions (eg wear shooting gloves) and shower immediately after returning home and before touching any family member or furniture. There are sufficient Lead Free (bullet and primer) ammunitions available (except 22LR caliber) to use those at a slight up charge in cost. I’ll add to this site or would you recommend another site for further information.

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