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I bought a soldering station a while back and was practicing on a kit and had the website on assembly up while I was soldering using 60/40 tin-lead solder. Should I worry about splatter on the surfaces causing contamination? Or from using my keyboard/mouse while I was soldering? I occasionally snack in there and was wondering if I was slowly poisoning myself.

Edit: is there any way to clean it the contamination from the room?

Edit 2: Possible duplicate doesn't quite answer my concern on surface contamination and transfer of contamination I feel. For example when I touched a door knob after soldering but before washing my hands, would I have transferred any amount of lead contamination to the door knob in which case I could be unknowingly ingesting lead by touching the door knob and eating/drinking in another room?

Edit 3: question was not properly answered I feel, does lead transfer to surfaces after my hand touched the solder because if so wouldn't door knobs and light switches in my house be contaminated

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marked as duplicate by RoyC, JRE, Finbarr, Dave Tweed May 17 at 20:36

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I have spools of 60/40 and use it for hobby work. I wouldn't want young children in the room where I work. And common wisdom has it that there is no safe level of lead. So if you are touching it, you are probably absorbing it. And so far as anything medical I've seen, it stays with you. I'm sure that's not entirely true as your body is always changing. But the "levels" appear to linger a long time. My attitude is that you live exactly once. Make the most of it, whatever that means. Mitigate risks, but don't avoid them. Life is too short. That said you don't have to use 60/40. You have options. \$\endgroup\$ – jonk May 14 at 4:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ me thinks you worry too much. Just wash your hands with soap, and relax. \$\endgroup\$ – analogsystemsrf May 19 at 23:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ The vegetables you buy usually contain more lead than any traces of solder you may touch in your whole life. Luckily, lead poisoning takes more than ocassional micrograms. \$\endgroup\$ – Janka May 19 at 23:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Some numbers: World Health Organization (WHO) estimates typical oral doses of at least 100µg of lead each day. More than 1000µg daily is considered harmful in the long term. As lead isn't too soluble, you could actually eat 100g (!) of lead without getting poisoned. Lead vapours (as a lot of metal vapours) can cause metal fume fever. That's why you should have proper ventilation where you solder. \$\endgroup\$ – Janka May 19 at 23:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kyurama Are you aware that lead wasn't all that toxic until 2006? \$\endgroup\$ – Nick Alexeev May 20 at 0:31
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I've been using it for over 60 years and haven't poisoned myself yet.

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    \$\begingroup\$ And your evidence is? \$\endgroup\$ – Solar Mike May 14 at 5:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ My evidence is a clean bill of health from the Mayo Clinic over many years of testing. \$\endgroup\$ – SamR May 14 at 5:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, but you don't need acute lead poisoning (let's face it, if you are able to notice it on your own then it's already far past the threshold of damage) for it to dull your mental faculties. It would never fly if you said you never exercise and you haven't gotten a heart attack yet, or smoked but have never gotten cancer yet, so I don't know why so many people seem to accept similar reasoning for lead exposure. \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen May 14 at 5:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is so much medical evidence for the effects of lead on the human body... did your clinic test for lead and its effects - most probably not. \$\endgroup\$ – Solar Mike May 14 at 5:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SolarMike, "so much medical evidence" - probably the same sort of evidence as for ozone hole and CFC, or anthropogenic climate change... and I also have been soldering since I was a kid, and for over 60 years for now, and I second the SamR sentiment. \$\endgroup\$ – Ale..chenski May 20 at 3:08
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I can verify that soldering does produce beads and dusts in the area, even when you're careful. It's quite a bit more than some people make it out to be. If you keep your workstation clean and it is the proper colour, the solder has no grime or camouflage to hide amongst. An iron will mostly produce larger bits like beads and flakes, but solder vacuums are notorious for producing fine dusts.

If you're jumping back and forth between soldering and using the mouse/keyboard, then you should not be jumping back and forth between eating and using the mouse/keyboard.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I washed my hands after soldering the one time I did it. Just worried that my room may be contaminated from the one time. Is there any way to make the room safe again? \$\endgroup\$ – Kyurama May 14 at 5:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you're a normal person who doesn't suffer from OCD, I would think wiping everything down and then vacuuming (in that order) should be enough to take care of flakes, beads, and dust. Wipe down first to catch any finer dust that will make it through the vacuum's filter back into the air. HEPA is nice. Larger bits of solder won't adhere very well to wet towels so vacuuming is easier but I don't vacuum. I try and pick it all up with the towel. I don't actually know to the extent of something like "lead residue" in the sense that a greasy sausage might smear grease onto everything it touches. \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen May 14 at 5:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ I unfortunately suffer from OCD. That's what's causing me all of the anxiety about the lead. \$\endgroup\$ – Kyurama May 14 at 5:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ehhh, the fact that you ate in your room first and then started wondering about it later makes me think it's not so bad. My OCD is specifically lead focused so I would never let it get to that point or I would go crazy since I would not be able to figure out how to clean it up (I actually do treat it like a greasy sausage because I don't have knowledge and can't find any information about lead smear). \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen May 14 at 5:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ehh, I've found a way around it. I wear gloves and keep track of which tools and which end of the tools touched solder, or things the solder touched, or things that touched things that the solder touched, etc. You can use tweezers, hemostats, and makeshift stands for them so that you never have to touch the solder and the working end of things that touch the solder never touch anything else. Then keep a wide berth around the workstation so you nothing ever gets too close and clean regularly. I also don't go randomly touching other things while I'm soldering before washing my hands. \$\endgroup\$ – DKNguyen May 14 at 5:54
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Yes there will be solder dust if your regularly soldering things. If anyhow these dust goes inside PC or complex smd circuits it may causes short circuit or disfunctions. Clean these dust with vaccume or use solder paste under your solder holder so the dust stuck on the paste surface. Clean your solder bit with wire net soaked in water.

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