Brass poisoning

Dwight Hall dwihall at
Sat Nov 29 20:53:44 EST 1997

On the newsgroup where I spend my time, there has been considerable
debate about whether trumpet and other brass instrument players are at
risk from brass poisoning. Some feel it its an allergic/sensitivity
reaction to nickel or lead present in trace amounts in brass. Some say
it is a danger only from bare brass mouthpieces (they are normally
silver plated). Others believe it can come in through the hands from a
bare instrument. One major manufacturer now refuses to sell bare brass
instruments (almost all are either lacquered brass or silver plated) for
fear of a customer getting brass poisoning. Some pro players use
unlacquered brass because they believe they get a "brighter" sound. I'd
appreciate a reference - on the net if possible, but I can get access to
a medical library. E-mail is fine so you don't clog up your newsgroup.

Dwight Hall
Denver, CO

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