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Solder sniffers beware,,, lead = bad

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Dave Moore, Mar 7, 2007.

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  1. Dave Moore

    Dave Moore Guest

    Damn, for almost a week I have been forgetting to
    post about my recent experience. So, since
    I finally remembered;

    Not long ago I started noticing that when I would
    play the guitar I was missing a lot of the strings.
    Also I was doing weird stuff like bumping into
    the edges of doorways on occasion,
    instead of gracefully passing through them.
    Sometimes when standing still, it would feel like
    my feet were sliding apart in this kinda weird
    almost spinning sensation. Sometimes numbness
    in the hands.

    Anyway, finally, it dawned on me that perhaps
    30 years involved in electronics with a good
    20 of them heavily involved in prototyping guitar
    amp designs, might have taken it's toll. So I did some
    research online and discovered that indeed my symptoms
    just might well be those of lead poisoning.

    To make a long story short, for the last couple
    of months I've been munching mass quantities
    of Cilantro, about 1 bunch/day.
    Also I've been supplementing with selenium.

    Both supposedly have chelating agents in them that
    can help rid the body of metals.
    Anyway, after about 2 month's of this, I am noticing
    my coordination has improved immensely
    when playing the guitar, and no more
    weird numbness or spinning sensations as of late.

    I suppose this is all a bit anecdotal, but thought I'd relay
    my experience anyway FWIW.

    I also read about how lead poisoning was what
    made the Hat makers go mad and is where the
    expression "Mad Hatter" came from.

    This struck me a bit funny since my wife
    and I have an animal shelter for cats. I'm
    thinking about changing my screen name to
    "The Mad Catter" :)

    BTW, also I have a lot of dental fillings
    starting to break lose, so I have to wonder
    if some of the metal toxicity might also be
    a result of mercury from crumbling amalgum.

    At any rate, whatever the cause, heaping servings
    of Cilantro and a supplement of selenium seem
    to be keeping it in check.
    I plan to look into Chlorella which also is
    purported to have chelating properties.
  2. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Thats widely believed to be due to mercury,
    not lead, as mercury-based compounds were
    used in the manufacture of felt hats in the
    18th and 19th century.
    poisoning causes dimentia and sympotoms of general
    illness such as abdominal pain whereas mercury
    can cause more severe psychotic symptoms such
    as hallucinations.

  3. Rob

    Rob Guest

    Dave, If you really think that your lead level may be that high,
    consider getting a blood test. They can also evaluate other heavy
    metals. If the symptoms are that noticeable, it's best to resolve
    that one way or the other, right?
    If you really have high lead content, you'll probably get to take some
    strong chelating agents made with mercaptans. It will be great.
    (Known to clear an entire building due to the odor)
    That would be mercury, but that would make for a great cocktail.
    After denying possible problems for years, many dentists are now
    discontinuing use of mercury for some reason.
    Hadn't heard that one.
  4. Guest

    sensible thing would be get a blood lead test, as you may be barking
    up the wrong tree otherwise. Or meowing.

    Is there genuine evidence for the chelating effects of the things you

    Re nutritional supplements, lead does some of its harm by competing in
    the body with iron, calcium and zinc. Thus some of the effects can be
    reduced by increasing levels of these minerals to the upper end of
    what is healthy. In so doing one must also raise levels of the
    minerals iron, calcium and zinc compete with, to prevent deficiencies.

    Vitamin C is also a weak lead chelator. See wikipedia's lead poisoning

    But all this is only useful if you actually do have a lead problem.
    You need to find out, vague guesses arent much good.

  5. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Alcohol !

    Were you in the habit of licking your fingers while soldering ? Or chewing the
    solder ?

    If not forget lead.

  6. Arfa Daily

    Arfa Daily Guest

    Lead as a metal does not fume at soldering temperatures, such that it can be
    ingested in that way. The fumes and vapour that you see when soldering, are
    from the flux contained in the solder, burning away. There is some evidence
    that prolongued exposure to the rosin based fluxes used to date, can cause
    respiratory tract ailments such as industrial asthma, and may in extreme
    circumstances be carcinogenic. The fluxes that are now being used with the
    new-fangled lead-free solder that has been forced on us in Europe as a
    result of new legislation, are quite acidic, and very aggressive compared to
    the previous rosin compounds, so bench ventilation is now rather more
    important than it was.

    It may be possible to suffer a degree of lead poisoning from continuous
    handling of the basic metal, although it is a fairly inert material that is
    not generally associated with absorption through the skin, unlike beryllium
    for instance which is used elsewhere in electronics. Some commentators have
    also refuted that there is any free lead toxicity issue with solder, as it
    is a stable alloy with tin, and chemically locked in. Even over 30 years of
    handling the stuff daily ( as indeed I have myself ), it is unlikely that
    you would have ingested as much lead as you would have from the exhausts of
    gasoline powered vehicles in say a year, prior to the switchover to unleaded
    some years back. Once you have metal deposits in your body, I understand
    that it is very difficult to drive them out, which is why this kind of
    toxicity is cumulative.

    There has been some suggestion that in ye olden tymes, people were
    lead-poisoned by drinking wine and cider from mugs made of pewter
    (traditionally, another tin / lead alloy of the ratio of about 4 :1, but can
    have other components also). The acidity of the drink supposedly broke down
    the alloy, and dissolved the lead, giving it a nice route into the body.

    Many people now seem to suffer "short-term memory loss". People everywhere
    joke about it. One of the games console makers have even brought out a
    memory training game that they have been advertising on tv over here using
    the TV presenter from "Millionaire". I know people who have never worked
    with solder in their lives, or any form of lead come to that, who claim that
    they can be thinking of something that they have to say, and by the time
    they come to say it, it's gone ... Sound familiar ? This is reaching
    epidemic proportions over here, so what's the cause ? Crap that they're
    putting in the food ? The water ? Genetically modded oils that they are
    cooking stuff in ? Much more worrying, I think, than lead from solder ...

  7. It is normal at age 110, do not worry.
    On a more serious way, I too have been soldering for say
    50 years, and yes, my postings... ;-) but anyways I
    can still stand still in the dark with my eyes closed as long as I want.

    Stay clear of the marijana though:

  8. Meat Plow

    Meat Plow Guest

    I would have thought that this would have happened much sooner than 30
  9. N Cook

    N Cook Guest

    The modern version is phthalate poisoning from leaching out of plastic
    packaging and bottles. I have an industrial chemist friend in the food
    industry , seriously concerned about this. I am coming to agree with him.
    When I was young you never saw youngsters with bottles (glass or plastic)
    hanging out of their mouths all the time. Anyone would think the function of
    these ubiquitous bottles of water was psychological, like baby's dummies.
  10. CompUser

    CompUser Guest

    Everybody loves to give advice, but this is
    pretty easy...and serious, if it is lead. Get to
    a doc and get the blood test. Easy call on
    that...and get real treatment, if it is lead.
    Otherwise, it may just be too much fun from the
    Sixties, catching up with ya...and general aging.
  11. MassiveProng

    MassiveProng Guest

    That's just stupid. For a definitive control, go to your doctor and
    tell him you need a heavy metals screening. Check for lead, mercury,
    and cadmium.

    You'll likely find very little. Metallic form lead is not
    dangerous, and the lead alloyed in solder even less so. Cadmium has
    been out of use in dangerous form for a long many years now... decades

    So I did some
    You can hurt yourself by taking too much of many vitamins. E and
    selenium are just a couple. You should take no more than that found
    in a normal multivitamin.
    Better off merely getting a blood screening to find out if any of
    your actions are even warranted at all.
    Hahahaha... ever heard of placebo response?

    How about psychosomatic illness?
  12. Indeed. Even in areas where lead pipes are used for water there's little
    evidence of lead getting in the body. Lead compounds are a different
  13. Steve Noll

    Steve Noll Guest

    Not likely lead.
    I work in the electronics manufacturing industry and have been
    soldering with lead-based solder since I was a kid. Not taking any
    precautions either. I got curious and got a lead test about a year
    ago. It found nothing. You must really have to eat the stuff for it
    to be absorbed.

    Steve Noll | The Used Hi Tech Equipment Dealer Directory:
    | Peltier Information Directory:
  14. PeterD

    PeterD Guest

    Mercury poisoning, not lead poisoning...
  15. RonSonic

    RonSonic Guest

    So have you considered just getting a test done? There are real systems for
    Dx-ing and treating that sort of thing that don't involve guessing and eating
    odd weeds.

    I believe it was mercury that got the hatmakers.

    Are we to blame lead for some of the blithering rage, inchoate hatreds and
    shrieking, unending verbal spewage that we are subjected to around here.

    They say it was the lead that caused house painters to become the drunks that
    they historically were. Is this refuted by the fact that so many painters are
    still drunks even though the lead is gone. Does it explain more of the drinking
    habits of some of our players around here.

    Get the fillings replaced with composite while you're at it. There's enough
    idiocy here already.


    Effect pedal demo's up at
  16. J.P.

    J.P. Guest

  17. J.P.

    J.P. Guest

    Do not forget the possibility of virus damage that has not been
    discovered yet..J.P.
  18. Bob Urz

    Bob Urz Guest

    I remember in the good ole days when i was a kid and we used to shine up
    coins with mercury............

    Still alive. Maybe not smarter though....... ;)

  19. TT_Man

    TT_Man Guest

    Mercury in teeth fillings is a known problem ..........
  20. Rosin has Zinc Chloride in it... I've been poisoned with
    zinc before (welding) and you need to drink milk for
    the chelating calcium in it. Bad sick headache... not sure
    of prolonged low-level exposure, but fume hoods are nice.
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