I learned about this recently during a Larue Armorers Course at the last Big 3 East. Robert Gee, the instructor, imparted some interesting information about Larue and the AR-15 but the most interesting and important information was his story about his friend Jim Schatz. Jim worked at H&K. In his later years before his untimely death, he was plagued by heavy metal poisoning. When you bring this up to shooters they often brush it off by saying “I’m good. I get tested for lead all the time”. The problem that Jim discovered is that it goes far beyond lead poisoning. Lead poisoning is merely the tip of the iceberg.
Click on the link above to read Jim Schatz’ briefing. There are so many toxins and it is in everything from primers to the brass. Shooting suppressed is especially bad due to the increased back pressure.
He dispels some common misconceptions. Like this issue only affects people shooting indoors and symptoms can be similar to other diseases so the true nature goes undiscovered.
● Issue and treatment not well known.
● Few statistics collected on those exposed.
● Simple “lead test” is woefully inadequate.
● Acute symptoms parrot other health conditions (i.e. aging, mono, Lyme’s, “Lo T”)
● High-concentration exposure unnecessary.
● Typical treatments may provide temporary relief while the long-term damage and risk continues.
According to Jim Schatz, this problem is far beyond the shooter or instructor in an indoor environment.
Anyone exposed to firing and firing
– Weapons, magazines, suppressors
– Ammo, ammo waste handling
– Weapons Cleaning
– Range/apparatus cleaning,
– Target and food handling
– Bystanders (at demonstrations)
– Explosive breaching also
Here are some of the ill effects of heavy metal poisoning.
Impaired Neurological Function
Immune System Dysfunction
pH Imbalance and Acidity
Coronary Artery Disease
Endocrine and Reproductive System Dysfunction
Detoxification System Damage (colon, liver, kidneys, skin)
Jim notes that the military is slightly ahead of the curve since soldiers are highly susceptible to this problem. But the same problem persists as it goes beyond lead poisoning. There is an article recently published on Military.com about soldiers suffering a whole host of problems due to “lead in their bones”.
A number of U.S. troops with unexplained symptoms such as impaired concentration, anger, irritability and impulsivity, as well as physical problems such as high blood pressure, peripheral neuropathy and low sex drive, have chronic lead poisoning
Now, look at Jim’s list of indicators below. Sounds similar, doesn’t it? And he wrote this in May 2014.
Jim refers to the Norwegian Green Ammo. Click here to read our short article from 2009.
What can be done?
There is some treatment. Here is Jim’s list.
● Oral. Rectal. Transdermal. IV most effective.
● Chelating Agents “bind” to toxic metals which are then excreted from the body.
● @ $300/IV treatment. Not covered by US health insurance (even “Obama Care”). 10 ($3K) to 100 ($30K) treatments required + tests.
● Side-effects include removal of “good” metals/minerals, headache, fatigue, joint pain, weight loss, kidney damage (lead, nickel, mercury, aluminum, cadmium – kidney “bad actors” during infusion)
Early detection is key. Don’t just have a “lead test” done. Go have a comprehensive toxic metals test done. Start being proactive and start reducing your exposure.