Hey, I have lead in my blood
So, yesterday, I happened to be in the right place at the right time to get a free screening for lead in my blood. The booth had been set up mostly for testing at-risk children but when I told the nurse that I do shooting sports she offered to test me as well.
Turns out that I have a lead level of 5.7 micrograms per decileter. According to CDC guidelines you don't start to do anything about your lead level until 10 micrograms per decileter or more, so my level isn't considered dangerous per se, but most people who took the test without risk factors would have had only an undetectable level of lead.
The nurse suggested to me that when cleaning firearms I should wear gloves and a surgical mask to prevent inhalation of lead particles. I agreed with her given it would be easy and cheap to do that and it couldn't hurt.
I looked this stuff up afterwards on the CDC website and found that apparently cops often have occupational exposure to lead from handling ammunition. Also apparently someone manufactures wipes for your hands that remove lead.
So, I learned a lot about lead yesterday. I guess the moral of the story is that if you enjoy shooting sports that you should be aware of the level of lead in your bloodstream.:sniperdan