hardware cloth contains lead?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by FLminifarm, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. FLminifarm

    FLminifarm Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 3, 2016
    I am going to be doing construction on our wooden shed this weekend to turn it into a chicken coop. I will be adding a large run to one side. I was planning on covering the run with hardware cloth to prevent predators. We have bears, foxes, coyotes and snakes and more here! When I was at the store I noticed that all hardware cloth has a warning on it about it containing LEAD! It says to wear gloves and protection while handling it. Everyone uses this stuff for gardens and animals and pets, around things we eat! I don't want my animals or my children or myself to be exposed to large amounts of lead. Is there an alternative material? Has anyone researched this? I am assuming the lead is in the sauder that connects the joints only as the actual metal use dis galvanized steel or aluminum? I showed the gentleman at the store the warning label and he was surprised and concerned as he uses it for his garden. He had never noticed this warning label before either. I would love some advice in this. I know most of us are trying to do things as natural and healthy as possible!
  2. paneubert

    paneubert Chillin' With My Peeps

    "All things are poison and nothing (is) without poison; only the dose makes that a thing is no poison." -- Paracelsus (1493-1541)

    Those warnings are placed on products that contain any lead at all. I do not have a solid source for hardware cloth specifically, but my logic would say that there is most likely a very small amount since it is used in the "hot dip" process of galvanizing the wire mesh. It is not a large part of the actual structure, but just a small component of the liquid bath that they dip the wire into to galvanize it.

    Here is a quote related to plumbing pipes, which would be of much greater concern since they have your drinking water running thru them 24/7/365.

    "Historical research documents that the grade of zinc typically used for galvanizing contains a minimum of 0.5% lead and can itself be a significant long-term source of lead, which may explain some recent lead contamination problems associated with galvanized steel. Surface analysis of various galvanized steel pipes and fittings installed from 1950 to 2008 demonstrated that the concentration of lead in the original zinc coating can range from nondetect to nearly 2%, dependent on the manufacturer and fitting type."

    I think as long as you are not using the hardware cloth as a dinner plate each night, you will be ok! Just my 2 cents!

    EDIT TO ADD ONE MORE EXAMPLE: I Googled around and found at least one person who gave some numbers.

    "We have a content of 0.11% Pb in our zinc kettle. Due to new restrictions, we have to lower our Pb content to 0.05% Pb".

    If you can assume that those numbers are about average, there is at most less than 1/10th of 1 percent lead in the dip solution, and the vast majority of that is going to stay in the kettle, not on your fencing.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by