You are allowed to expose yourself to lead if you choose.  I think most of us 
have, including me on numerous occasions.  But after watching a friend's 
illness with lead poisoning from bead blasting aircraft cylinders IN a bead 
blasting cabinet, I don't work with lead anymore without adequate precautions.  
I would suggest you describe your operation to an Industrial Hygienist and ask 
for an opinion.  You might be surprised at what they say.

I can tell you from work that I am required to take about the same precautions 
when casting, melting or forming Lead as when doing equivalent work with 
Uranium.  Once you get a dose of lead poisoning, you end up doing Chelation 
Therapy for years to reduce the amount of the heavy metals in your system and 
get your head on straight again.  The point of the post isn't that you can't 
melt lead and get away with it.  The point is that lead is highly toxic and 
there are other ways to form your counterweights without exposing yourself to 
the potential of lead poisoning.  Lead poisoning sneaks up on you first as 
memory loss or lack of ability to concentrate.  It can be confused with 
symptoms of aging, so Drs don't typically test for lead poisoning unless you 
tell them you have had exposure.  Chelation therapy can help you to slowly 
recover.  But it's best not to put yourself into the position to need it.

If one feels that they must melt lead, try to do so with good ventilation and 
take precautions to minimize exposure.  What was an acceptable practice in the 
plans from 45 years ago has been demonstrated to be unnecessary, highly toxic, 
and a risk to your health.  So why do so if you don't need to?  

-Jeff Scott
Los Alamos, NM

Subject: Re: KR> Melting lead

I have melted lead many times on the stove and I think all my brain cells
remain intact. You're melting it, not boiling it, so the amount getting
into the air is insignificant. Obviously don't ever use the pot again for
food. A tin can sounds like a good idea.

Mike Taglieri

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