A discursive look at Napoleonic & ECW wargaming, plus a load of old Hooptedoodle on this & that


Friday, 1 April 2016

Wargaming Dangerous? - It May Be Official


I received an alarming email from Allan B, a veteran wargamer who lives in Nevada. Allan is also employed by the Nevada State Division of Environmental Protection, and he has become aware of some possible future regulations which may be of interest to wargamers everywhere.

There is a current civil lawsuit, which has not yet come to court, which involves a claim by a museum employee that he has had his health seriously damaged by working in an environment containing vintage diecast and other toys, without adequate protective measures being put in place. Little is known of the detail of this case as yet, but there is general concern that old toys containing lead and other heavy metals in alloy are seen as potentially unsafe.


One immediate effect is that the forthcoming wargames show in Carson City this summer is likely to be able to proceed only under special licence, and the insurers for the event have already pulled out, pending further investigations. It is possible that attendees will have to be issued with some kind of protective clothing – probably only gloves, though the possibility of some kind of breathing apparatus for staff working on the stands is not being ruled out.


The problem is State Regulation NRS 459.3816, apparently, which lays down requirements for organisations employing staff in potentially hazardous situations. Lead is present in most old paints, and lead and antimony were very common ingredients in cast metal toys manufactured until the 1970s. The difficulty, apparently, is not helped by the lack of precise knowledge of the dates when standard practice changed, nor of the exact age or manufacturing details of specific toys. Lead, in particular, can become unstable as it ages, and toxic free ions may be released with no apparent visible change to the object. The effects of lead poisoning are well known.

As yet there is no mention of the possibility of regulation concerning the domestic use of such old toys, but this may also become an issue, especially if the court case sets any worrying precedents. If the court finds in the claimant's favour, the knock-on effects could be world-wide.

Start looking for your grandad’s old gas mask?

23 comments:

  1. Gosh lead appears to be as dangersous as asbestos or radiation! Who'd have thunk it.

    In fact, you'd have to be in close contact to a hell of a lot of lead for a very long time for a considerable period of time for it to be of harm.

    In wargames terms, as the only real way you'd posion yourself would be if you'd been licking figures for years on end.

    Utterly ludicrous that this nonsense (and it nonsense) has been started by a potential lawsuit that we dont' the details of and may be completely spurious. I'd be asking

    The way theu're treating it here one would think that the merest touch will cause you serious harm.

    Typical ludicrous over-reaction. (IN the UK we'd call it the nanny state). I'd be asking the Nevada State Division of Environmental Protection exactly how many people have suffered from lead posioning by handling wargames figures at wargames shows over the years. (Answer - none I'm willing to bet...) :)

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    1. Absolutely agree - none seems like a very good estimate.

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  2. Don't know about this, but I understand the Health and Safety Executive in the UK is discussing a restriction in the permitted size of 28mm wargames armies due to the health risks of transporting them to venues. The counter proposal is to simply have a 'Risk of Hernia' label added to all wargames figure packaging.

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    1. I think it is only sensible to avoid risks - especially in cases where we do not have any data we can rely on. Why, only the other week my neighbour fell over a cat and spilt his tea.

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    2. The incidence of feline-related lack of equilibrium is clearly underestimated.

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    3. Sorry - in the interests of accuracy, I have to correct this - my neighbour says he nearly spilt his tea, but the point stands, I believe.

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    4. Sorry, in fact he says, "I almost fell over the cat, and could have spilt my tea". Important not to overreact, I think.

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    5. So no tea was spilt in the making of this blog. What a relief. I can sleep easy in my bed then, knowing civilisation is safe.

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  3. There's no need to take the p . . . . . I passed the patch test! :O(

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    1. No need to get lumpy about it.

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  4. I think you need a bigger boat Tony.

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  5. You think that's bad, you should see the regulations that exhibitors at the 3rd Pondicherry International Bat Guano Exhibition had to put up with (I got an honourable mention in the 'open' category!!!)

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    1. Sounds awful - well done, by the way.

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  6. Gentlemen - thank you all for entering in to the spirit of Today's Silliness - I wish you all a happy St Dodolinus' Day - even if you don't personally believe in or recognise St D (on potentially dangerous ground here). I shall not wear my gloves until I am definitely told to put them on, but I do have them standing by, just in case.

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  7. Some people will pay a lot of money to dress like that............

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  8. You totally had me fooled, Tony. Well played, sir.

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  9. I see this is getting a lot of hits from TMP - always good to welcome friends from TMP, of course, but the joke doesn't seem to have been widely spotted there...

    http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=416101

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  10. I am a bit concerned now lest the spoof post has misfired. I have to confess, here and now, in appropriately contrite manner, that I have broken with my normal standards for this blog entry - I have, in fact, related a total falsehood in the interests of getting a cheap laugh.

    Sorry about this - the truth of the matter, once and for all, is that my neighbour does not have, and never has had, a cat, and the tea story was a complete fabrication. There now.

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    1. I had never looked at TMP before. Hmmm.

      My cat, by the way, is considering bringing a class action against you on behalf of all catkind for defamation of character.

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    2. It has been said that anyone feeling a little superior after reading TMP threads should try to aim a little higher. Since I am too thick to understand this, I wouldn't have any opinions.

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