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QUESTION: Can making fishing sinkers by melting down scrap lead at home be regarded as a safe hobby? 10/03/12 Queensland, Australia

Hello,

My son has picked up the hobby of making fishing sinkers by melting down scrap lead, he tells me its safe what he's doing. I would just like some reassurance, he said the first couple of times he melted the lead down he felt tired a few hours after each time, I got a lead test done for him and it was normal, he has bought a lead respirator now and does not feel tired after anymore. Our house is on stilts, so its quite high off the ground, he melts the lead outside, could the fumes possibly blow up and into the house; affecting the rest of the family? I have also read somewhere that lead does not let off toxic fumes when keeping it below 1700 degrees (the boiling point) is this true?

Thank you,

Jodie.

ANSWER: Mar 31 2012 Dear Jody,

Dear Jodie,

Can making fishing sinkers by melting down scrap lead at home be regarded as a safe hobby? The answer is no.

Pure lead melts at 327 C and more fumes are created the higher the temperature. What test was normal for your son? If he had a blood lead test (which he definitely should), normal would be less than 2 micrograms per decilitre. Yes, the rest of the family could easily be inhaling the fumes so everyone should have a blood lead test. Anything higher than 2 g/dL (0.1 mol/L) is having an unacceptable health impact, in my considered opinion. I'll send you our info pack on it.

Kind regards

Yours Sincerely

Elizabeth O'Brien

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