Mercury and Lead contamination

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by I_try, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. I_try

    I_try New Member

    Central Arkansas
    Was just wondering how much handling of lead does it actually take to be damaged by it. How many weights or jigs have lead in them and are their any ways to avoid it?

    also ive heard alot about mercury poisoning and so on. . . but have no idea why it happens or how to watch out for it. Ive just heard to not eat big fish
  2. Doyle

    Doyle New Member

    I am not a Doctor or Scientis, so don't pay too much attention to me. When I was a kid I had a lot of fun playing with mercury several times ... coating dimes... floating heavy things on it. I also used non-cland lead BB's in my BB gun during this time. The way I alway loaded my gun was to put the BB's in my mouth and blow them into the gun. Later in life I did a lot of shot gun shell loading.... sometimes my hands would be black from handling shot. Now I handle sinkers and sometime pour my own. If I hadn't done all this, would I be smart and rich?:lol:

  3. Coloman

    Coloman New Member

    Soddy Daisy, Tn
    It will not hurt you unless you get it into your blood stream. So if you don't eat it or get it into a open wound your safe.
  4. JMarrs328

    JMarrs328 New Member

    York/Harrisburg, PA
    For mercury it's different. The way we normally contract mercury is by eating fish that have become infected with it. Mercury is almost primarily released throught the burning of fossil fuels. For example, a coal powered power plant is usually one of the main mercury producers in any given area. Coal is loaded with mercury and other harmful substances, and this is why so much money is being spent on the research of better filtering systems on coal power plant smoke stacks. What happens is the coal is burned and the mercury goes in the air. It doesn't affect you while it's in the air because it is so spread out. Since Mercury (Hg) is heavier that Oxygen (O) the mercury will eventually settle on the ground. The next time it rains, sometimes weeks, a lot of that mercury washes into our water. Then the tiniest life forms eat the mercury as if it were specks of plant matter, thus infecting the micro organisms. Then the food chain begins, until you have the bass/catfish/pike/etc. eating the smaller fish, thus infecting them with mercury. So, every fish we eat, we also contract some mercury. The fish with the most mercury in their systems are usually predatory fish like bass/walleye/pike/catfish. Once mercury gets into your blood stream, it is, as of now, impossible to remove it. It just builds up in your system untill it reaches fatal levels.:eek:oooh:
  5. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    Murray Ky.
    This information comes from the EPA, Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and can also be released into the air through industrial pollution. Mercury falls from the air and can accumulate in streams and oceans and is turned into methylmercury in the water. It is this type of mercury that can be harmful to your unborn baby and young child. Fish absorb the methylmercury as they feed in these waters and so it builds up in them. It builds up more in some types of fish and shellfish than others, depending on what the fish eat, which is why the levels vary. Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury. For most people, the risk from mercury by eating fish and shellfish is not a health concern. Yet, some fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child's developing nervous system.
    Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.
    Eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury
    Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish
  6. Mr.T

    Mr.T Active Member

    Another thing to consider about lead and mercury poisoning is that it affects children much quicker and more severely than adults. Mercury is especially hard on the developing nervous system of children.

    So keep your kids away from your sinker making operations, don't let them play with mercury and limit the amount of locally-caught fish they eat. Same goes for women of child bearing age - anything in their system gets passed on to the little one if they get pregnant.

    Find out if there are any advisories against eating the fish in your local lakes or rivers -- your state game & fish department should be able to tell you.

    But as to the original question of how much it takes to hurt you, I don't know. Though I suspect you'll know when you've had too much, and that's a little bit late to find out.

    Best bet is to be deliberate and careful about your exposure to these things -- you don't have to lock yourself in the basement and hide from them (besides, that's where the radon gas is...) -- but by the same token, don't handle mercury or lead carelessly or just for the heck of it.
  7. olefin

    olefin New Member


    One would think us old farts would already been dead years ago! I did about the same thing you did as far as playing with mercury, casting lead bullets and sinkers. Loading pistol ammo and shotgun shells. (I still cast lead bullets and a few sinkers) When I was a kid, we would dig a hole in the ground for a mold to make lead swords to play with, then melt lead and pour in it. Also I worked in the Petrochemical Industry for 32 years... just about everything we made or used in the process was on EPA's hazardous material list. There was no EPA for most of my work years. One of the places I worked used 6 tank cars of Benzene a day making Styrene... and Benzene is that bad, bad stuff. Yep, it's a wonder I'm alive today.:lol:

    Almost forgot, when I was a young teen, in the summer months I worked for my cousin.. he was a crop duster.. my job was loading his airplane with poison.
    The stuff was so bad (so they say) that they outlawed it many years ago.