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LA2A and Lead poisoning, I’d like to know more.
Old 11th May 2019
  #1
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meymia's Avatar
LA2A and Lead poisoning, I’d like to know more.

Hello,
So only recently a store owner in a country I’ve visited told me that a lot of European governments have banned importing of lead-based items,
And that this is the main reason why a lot of people cannot get the LA2A in some parts of Europe these days.

My LA2A was bought in the US around 2016, he was actually the last one in guitar center and was on clearance.
It is the universal audio re-issue of course, not the original one.
In conclusion I’ve searched the web for lead poisoning but nothing in the context of this specific device only drops of information here and there.
I am actually thinking about selling my unit because of it, I’d love it if you guys could elaborate on lead specifically regarding the LA2A.
I already know about Lead in fuel’s and in-house pain prior to 1978.
Thanks!
Old 11th May 2019
  #2
Here for the gear
 
cerebellum's Avatar
 

Are you talking about Lead or Cadmium ?

The use of CdS and CdSe photoresistors is severely restricted in Europe due to the RoHS ban on cadmium.


Cadmium is what is in the Light Dependent Photo-resistor that is in the core gain reduction cell of every optical compressor (like LA2A ) .
Old 11th May 2019
  #3
m03
Gear Maniac
 
m03's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by meymia View Post
In conclusion I’ve searched the web for lead poisoning but nothing in the context of this specific device only drops of information here and there.
I am actually thinking about selling my unit because of it, I’d love it if you guys could elaborate on lead specifically regarding the LA2A.
The lead restrictions exist due to health concerns around manufacturing and disposal of electronics, not simply possessing and using them.

Unless you bought the LA2A for the purpose of turning it into a food source, then you should be fine. Your phone, laptop, mode of transportation, etc probably contain items that are more immediately detrimental to your health.

Also, I swear I recall this exact topic being posted here ~6 months ago.
Old 11th May 2019
  #4
Not sure about the LA2A, but more generally there are restrictions on the use of lead: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restri...nces_Directive

Quote:
RoHS is often referred to as the "lead-free directive," but it restricts the use of the following ten substances:

Lead (Pb)
Mercury (Hg)
Cadmium (Cd)
Hexavalent chromium (Cr6+)...)
Quote:
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a life-cycle assessment (LCA) of the environmental impacts of lead-free and tin–lead solder, as used in electronic products.[15] For bar solders, when only lead-free solders were considered, the tin/copper alternative had the lowest (best) scores. For paste solders, bismuth/tin/silver had the lowest impact scores among the lead-free alternatives in every category except non-renewable resource consumption. For both paste and bar solders, all of the lead-free solder alternatives had a lower (better) LCA score in toxicity categories than tin/lead solder. This is primarily due to the toxicity of lead, and the amount of lead that leaches from printed wiring board assemblies...
Old 11th May 2019
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meymia View Post
I am actually thinking about selling my unit because of it...
Kind of painting yourself into a logical and moral corner, aren't you?

If there's nothing to fear, why sell the unit? But if there is, how can you take someone else's money while passing that risk on to them?

If you just give me the La2a, it'll be safely gone and you'll only feel half as guilty about it. :-)
Old 11th May 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 
thismercifulfate's Avatar
Dangit Brent... you beat me to it!
Old 11th May 2019
  #7
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frans's Avatar
I not only take it, but also offer you a certificate, legally taking over any guilt/legal responsibilities on your hands because of posession, use and passing on a LA2A, signed by me, my lawyer and a notary.
Old 11th May 2019
  #8
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meymia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Kind of painting yourself into a logical and moral corner, aren't you?

If there's nothing to fear, why sell the unit? But if there is, how can you take someone else's money while passing that risk on to them?

If you just give me the La2a, it'll be safely gone and you'll only feel half as guilty about it. :-)
Thank you for existing.
Old 11th May 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by m03 View Post
The lead restrictions exist due to health concerns around manufacturing and disposal of electronics, not simply possessing and using them.

Unless you bought the LA2A for the purpose of turning it into a food source, then you should be fine. Your phone, laptop, mode of transportation, etc probably contain items that are more immediately detrimental to your health.

Also, I swear I recall this exact topic being posted here ~6 months ago.
Yes there was a thread that said it was due to cadmium in the opto attenuator.
Old 11th May 2019
  #10
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vernier's Avatar
Governments and states make up regulations that change how things are made, and/or outlaw old stuff, or at least label them as dangerous.

That said, use an LA2A for all vocals and bass tracks if you want to sound like hit records of the 60's and 70's . . and who wouldn't want that? ! !
Old 12th May 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by meymia View Post
Hello,
So only recently a store owner in a country I’ve visited told me that a lot of European governments have banned importing of lead-based items,
And that this is the main reason why a lot of people cannot get the LA2A in some parts of Europe these days.

My LA2A was bought in the US around 2016, he was actually the last one in guitar center and was on clearance.
It is the universal audio re-issue of course, not the original one.
In conclusion I’ve searched the web for lead poisoning but nothing in the context of this specific device only drops of information here and there.
I am actually thinking about selling my unit because of it, I’d love it if you guys could elaborate on lead specifically regarding the LA2A.
I already know about Lead in fuel’s and in-house pain prior to 1978.
Thanks!
Yah... that’s why you can’t get them in restaurants anymore, either

Stupid PC police
Old 12th May 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
 
toledo3's Avatar
 

*Never* lick your UREI La2 or La2a.
Old 12th May 2019
  #13
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Richard Crowley's Avatar
 

Don't get alarmed by a bunch of silly bureaucrats in Brussels.
The shop-droid that told you that has disqualified himself from offering any useful advice.
Even as you are reading this there are plans to reduce or even retract this silly policy.

This is a perpetual topic of discussion on these and other online forums. For example....
How dangerous is lead solder?
Old 12th May 2019
  #14
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Crowley View Post
Don't get alarmed by a bunch of silly bureaucrats in Brussels.
The shop-droid that told you that has disqualified himself from offering any useful advice.
Even as you are reading this there are plans to reduce or even retract this silly policy.

This is a perpetual topic of discussion on these and other online forums. For example....
How dangerous is lead solder?
Say what you want, but I've given up eating lead solder altogether, and I've never felt better.
Old 12th May 2019
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kafka View Post
Say what you want, but I've given up eating lead solder altogether, and I've never felt better.
But you can't make a perfect bolognese without it.
Old 12th May 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
I don’t think the ban applies retroactively to items which were made before the ban. It’s totally fine if you have vintage electronics with lead solder.
Old 12th May 2019
  #17
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by miscend View Post
I don’t think the ban applies retroactively to items which were made before the ban. It’s totally fine if you have vintage electronics with lead solder.
And you can still buy lead solder in the shops if you want to use it for repairs at home just not to use in commercial products.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
m03's post (# 3) is on the money. For perspective, lead paint and lead pipes have been an arguably far greater concern historically though there are a number of mitigating replacement or containment strategies in play. Public health/safety officials are waging both efforts to clean things up and prevent greater contamination going forward.

It's important to keep perspective on the comparative magnitude of respective threats. The lead and other heavy metal threats from your electronics gear -- if properly disposed of when the time comes -- is likely to be relatively low compared to many other, historic sources of contamination.

But the problem is real and has definite human/societal consequences.

Here's one indicator of the depth of the problem in the US:

1.2 million children in the US have lead poisoning. We’re only treating half of them.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
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frans's Avatar
Way back when i heard about Flint, Michigan i said to myself: "These damn LA2As again!!!! Why don't they put a ban on the hit sound that kills so many people?" My theory is that you can trace every major human cataclysm back to a piece of gear. The last tsunami, for example: Behringer. Need i say more? TLM 103? AKG C1000? I should write a book.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by frans View Post
Way back when i heard about Flint, Michigan i said to myself: "These damn LA2As again!!!! Why don't they put a ban on the hit sound that kills so many people?" My theory is that you can trace every major human cataclysm back to a piece of gear. The last tsunami, for example: Behringer. Need i say more? TLM 103? AKG C1000? I should write a book.
That may be the funniest thing I've ever read on GS. Or maybe I just need a laugh this a.m.


Indeed. Perspective is (just about) everything.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
There is far more lead in the ground of Europe from two world wars than the lead in all audio gear combined.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
There is far more lead in the ground of Europe from two world wars than the lead in all audio gear combined.
Some places in the world there are loads of depleted uranium from wars too.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
There is far more lead in the ground of Europe from two world wars than the lead in all audio gear combined.
And it's not just war, either...

US National Park Service: Lead Bullet Risks for Wildlife & Humans


I think it's entirely appropriate for us to mitigate lead contamination going forward.

But I would not obsess about a piece of working gear that might have lead or other heavy metal content. It's contained in the device. In that form it's not a threat to the user. It's basically not going anywhere until the device is disposed of. As long as you've done that responsibly -- sending it to a facility designed for proper decommission and disposal of heavy metal containing electronics (which is basically all electronics) -- you've performed your due diligence, seems to me. At least up to current societal standards.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #24
The ancient Greeks and Romans spread the lead too...first mined and smelted around 6,500 BC in Anatolia...even Vitruvius warned about it. If only Universal Audio had listened...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #25
Lives for gear
I guess lead is the cause for the increase in learning disabilities in kids.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
The ancient Greeks and Romans spread the lead too...first mined and smelted around 6,500 BC in Anatolia...even Vitruvius warned about it. If only Universal Audio had listened...



There were likely a lot of factors, but when I was a kid in the 1950s and 60s, a dominant line of thinking with regard to the decline and eventual disintegration of the Roman empire was that the unglazed pottery they used for water and food -- and particularly wine -- storage had a very high lead content. (Under this thinking the alcohol facilitated the leaching of lead out of the pottery into the contents of the jar.)

I doubt it was quite that simple -- but I can imagine it might well have been a factor, maybe even an important one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by miscend View Post
I guess lead is the cause for the increase in learning disabilities in kids.
It's certainly implicated in the existing science. Another factor is heavy metal poisoning from fish, since many ocean and freshwater fish stocks now have high levels of mercury and other contamination. As I understand it, some scientists have warned not to give kids fish more than once a week. =/
Old 4 weeks ago
  #27
Moved this thread to exist in a more technically knowledgeable sub forum.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Sounds like you're inventing a moral crime to suit your politics without taking into account
some really basic science and common sense.

First, Electronics grade solder isn't even pure lead. Its 60/40, 60% Tin and only 40% lead.
Once the gear is built its unlikely to create harm with the food chain. Even in a land fill, lead does come from the ground
and it takes acids to dissolve it. They've used solder on copper pipes used for water for many years only switching to PVC recently.
The Vinyl Chlorides in PVC seem to me more toxic then copper or lead can ever be.

The only thing that might be a bit caustic in solder when using it is the Rosin, a chemical that comes from Pine trees.
It melts and cleans the soldering joint before it burns off so you get a solid joint.

I been an electronic tech for nearly 50 years and began soldering when I was 7. So far I've had no brain damage, no cancer, I haven't grown a second head.
Lead needs to be leached into your food chain over extended periods of time before it causes any health issues. Once something is soldered it stays that way.
It needs to be heated to 370 degrees before it can leave the wire its soldered to so there isn't much risk of it leaving the gear and getting into your system.

Even if you ate a piece of solder it isn't going to dissolve and kill you. Like most metals it would simply pass through your system unaffected. I'm not advocating you eat solder of course merely pointing out the common sense people fail to apply. You'd need to grind it lead into a fine powder or dissolve it with salts/acids to get it small enough to be absorbed into the bloodstream. In its solid form, water needs to be pretty corrosive before trace amounts are dissolved, then ingested over a good deal of time before it builds up in your system and becomes a problem.

Again, I'm not advocating anyone eat lead or work with it unsafely. I'm simply pointing out what's obvious having worked with the metal so many years. A little common sense and normal safety precautions should have you covered on just about everything. Worrying whether the circuits could ever harm you when used as designed borders on the ridiculous. The only time it could be a problem is in a land fill, and if you recycle, there's little chance of that happening.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #29
Lives for gear
 
bgood's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by meymia View Post
Hello,
So only recently a store owner in a country I’ve visited told me that a lot of European governments have banned importing of lead-based items,
And that this is the main reason why a lot of people cannot get the LA2A in some parts of Europe these days.

My LA2A was bought in the US around 2016, he was actually the last one in guitar center and was on clearance.
It is the universal audio re-issue of course, not the original one.
In conclusion I’ve searched the web for lead poisoning but nothing in the context of this specific device only drops of information here and there.
I am actually thinking about selling my unit because of it, I’d love it if you guys could elaborate on lead specifically regarding the LA2A.
I already know about Lead in fuel’s and in-house pain prior to 1978.
Thanks!
It’s interesting to me that you’re concerned enough to sell it, yet apparently not concerned enough to remit the unit to a green recycling facility to have it broken down properly to mitigate any possible “effects”.

So... I’m concerned about “my” environment and not “the” environment? Or I’m concerned about the environment but I’m concerned about my wallet more? Or, I decided to post this thread to spark some chat where I appear thoughtful about the environment to a bunch of anonymous dudes on the internet?

What’s really happening here?

Last edited by bgood; 4 weeks ago at 09:04 PM.. Reason: Sp
Old 4 weeks ago
  #30
Gear Addict
 

There's absolutely nothing to worry about, aside from possibly dropping the unit on your foot if you move it. There's no way for the lead or other heavy metals to leach out of the unit -- simply not going to happen.
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