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From: (Don Wilkins)
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.metalworking
Subject: Re: Salvaging Lead
Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998 12:28:48 GMT

On 13 Aug 1998 19:18:11 -0700, Bob Ranck wrote:

>In article <>, Simon says...
>>GMasterman wrote:
>>>I'm thinking, mabe a big bonfire around the batteries to burn off the
>>>plastic and combine the lead in the ashes for retreival later.

Could be a formula for creating a superfund site. If you do decide to
do this you should visit a facility which salvages batteries first. It
will change your mind.

>Let me add,
>Toxicity is known. And that is not all the problem. Back, in the dark ages
>(before OSHA, EPA, and alphabet soup), I did what you are considering, on a
>fairly regular basis. Salvaged about a ton of it out of our indoor shooting
>range, melted it in a 25 lb plumbers' pot in the back yard.
>Did the battery thing, too, a source of nearly pure lead (for
>black-powedr roundballs), Putting a couple charcoal briquettes on the
>lead as it melted seemed to yield more of the lead that would have
>otherwise become oxides. Fluxed it and poured off. Fine, so far.

It probably wouldn't make any difference for black powder ammo but
that lead probably wasn't as pure as you thought. Battery posts and
grids usually are made with antimonial lead which contains 7 to 12%
antimony along with some copper, tin, and arsenic.

>Until once, I put into the pot, on top of 10 lb of melted stuff, a set of
>grids out of a battery that were not ABSO-DAMNED-LUTELY DRY! Turned my
>whole face silver, removed eyebrows and lashes, caused the hair-line to
>receede another inch overnight. Plastered that 10 lb. all over the back
>yard. Face was just pink and sensitive for a week, like a really NASTY
>sunburn. Third degree, up the sleeves, however. And at that, I consider
>myself fortunate.
>Burns are the hazard to self. The hazard to others, however inadvertent
>and seemingly small, should also be considered in the aggregate.

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