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Dec 19, 2008 08:23 AM

using a lead to shuck oysters

i thought this would be the best board to inquire about oyster shucking. is there a risk of getting lead into ones system from using a oyster lead to shuck on?

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  1. I work in human health risk assessment, but admittedly have no data whatsoever on this particular issue. That said, there probably is some exposure, but I doubt that it's a concern for the average oyster consumer. There's likely to be some lead deposited on the lower shell, and I know that when I eat oysters that shell comes into [slight] contact with my mouth. There may also be micro bits of lead on the knife, glove, and who knows what else. Unlike inhalation exposure where 100% of the lead is assumed to be absorbed into the body, only about 40% of ingested lead is absorbed. Considering all of that, I'd guess that you'd have to eat one hell of a lot of oysters to have a lead problem from that source, but individuals who know they already have elevated lead (as I do, being competitive pistol shooter) may want to take their business elsewhere.

    1. lead makes it taste sweeter...

      seriously what exactly is an oyster lead? I've always used my hand and a knife or a screwdriver.

      watching pro shuckers I've never noticed much more. (except their skill and finesse)

      2 Replies
      1. re: hill food

        Sometimes they'll use a flat piece of lead on the counter to hold the oyster steady as thjey press down while they open it - the soft lead allows the shell to dig in a bit.. I've seen it sometimes, not often. I also only use a hand and oyster knife, but then again I've never had to open more than a few dozen at a time.

        1. re: FlyFish

          that makes a lot of sense to stabilize the thing, I've occasionally (OK always) worried about disastrous slips. I wondered if you meant 'lead' as the actual tool.