Dangers of Soldering with Lead

Question: What are the dangers of soldering with lead? I repaired an old cigarette lighter case that had split at the seams, by soldering it with 60/40. It’s a copper/metal case.

Having never soldered in my life I forgot to use flux (because I don’t know what I am doing); I soldered the seams on the case (to my surprise, it looked pretty good). AFTERWARDS, I realized I didn’t put flux on it. I painted on the flux, then went over it with the soldering iron and the 60/40, and added more flux. It seems to have worked  so far.

Canfield 60/40 SolderAfter soldering the two pieces together, I then read the label on the ‘bottom’ of roll of “Studio Pro 60/40 Solder (675A)”. It says ‘lead’ and that it is dangerous! When I bought it, I had no idea it was lead. I bought it to learn how to do stained glass.

My question is will this poison me each time I pick up my cigarette lighter? Will I get lead poisoning and all the other damage that comes with it (as if smoking isn’t bad enough)?

Milly’s reply:

Hi Donna, loved your question, thanks!

Don’t eat, drink, or smoke in the same area as you are working on Stained Glass with lead.

I’ve been working with stained glass for nearly 20 years now and have regular blood tests for lead poisoning. There has never been anything remotely suspect about the results. The solder holds far less percentage of lead than the lead cames, so I would say that the risk was miniscule provided you follow basic safety rules.

Having said that, I’m not a medic, and one can never categorically be sure about these things! Hope that allays your fears.




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