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Thread: Melting lead, dangers?

  1. #1 Melting lead, dangers? 
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    Hi folks,

    I'm no chemist I'm afraid, so please do treat me in pure lamans terms haha.

    My question; I want to melt some scrap lead to mould into fishing weights. I have been told just recently that the fumes from melting lead are very toxic and can cause brain damage. How concerned need I be in an outdoor environment, what kind of fumes are produced?

    I have been told it can pretty easily be melted in a metal ladel over a simple gas burner or blowtorch.


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  3. #2  
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    The fumes produced are vaporized lead. Don't heat the lead any hotter than it needs to be. Here is a web site with some precautions.

    http://www.kansasangler.com/makeit.html

    Be careful. I know a fellow who make his own lead shot for trapshooting. He got a little bit careless handling the lead, eating and smoking without washing his hands and things like that. He ended up with a pretty serious case of elevated lead levels. He first noticed a problem when his white hair started turning dark!

    I wouldn't fool around with it myself. To me, it's not worth the risk.


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  4. #3  
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    Ouch! Hmmm yea maybe a couple of quid in the shop is better. Cheers!
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  5. #4  
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    When i was a kid, my dad (he was a printer) use to pay me pocket money for melting down lead type, pouring it into molds and making lead ingots. It didn't do me any harm, apart from the dribbling, and twitching, and rocking, and talking to myself. Other then that its fine.

    If you're worried about it, take Harold's advice and don't bother. If it was me and i was only going to do it a couple of times, outdoors, i would.
    Eat Dolphin, save the Tuna!!!!
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  6. #5  
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    With the simple precautions of adequate ventilation and hand-washing, this task ought not be dangerous at all. People have been melting lead for ages for shot, fishing weights, printer's type, soldering, and so on without ill effects, except for the most foolhardy of the lot.

    Review the link that Harold gave you about the simple precautions. Then you may proceed with confidence.

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  7. #6  
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    Haha! Hey I already talk to myself, that's fine.

    Well yea I read the link that Harold sent, good stuff, scarey about a bit of moisture getting in there tho, but as you say it's all pretty basic common sense and precautions.

    I might give it a go.

    Does the mould have to be warm for best results? I imagine pouring molten metal onto something cold would be really silly.

    Thanks folks
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