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Old 09-19-2016, 04:28 PM
Pork Rind Pork Rind is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Santa Barbara
Posts: 2,217
Originally Posted by David Simmons View Post
I'm a firm believer in industrial safety but I don't think it's necessary to go overboard.

Thousands of printers and Linotype operators handled tons of lead in type-metal (lead, tin and antimony) and breathed the fumes from the melted metal for many, many years. I would be interested in seeing life expectancy data showing that they suffered great harm. Ingested lead, such as in lead based paint, can be injurious to small children who tend to eat everything they touch. However adults aren't growing and rapidly developing bone and such and their brains are fully developed and in fact are usually on a downhill curve.

Reasonable precautions: Don't eat it. Don't handle it all day and then lick your fingers, or drink the water you wash your hands in.
Up until about 2 years ago, I had a Linotype and a companion Ludlow Typograph and used, er, screwed around with 'em almost every day. I got my blood tested yearly and never had any lead presence. Metallic lead is just not skin soluble, and you'd only have dangerous fumes if you ran the crucible insanely hot. The casting process would stop working properly long before you hit that spot.

Sorry for the hijack. In the spirit of the thread, I'll note that my darts are 80% tungsten, 20% dunno. Find a set at a thrift store and there's a cheap source of dense metal.