Nonprofit publication Capital & Main has reported that a building which housed a shooting range, as well as a children’s’ gymnastics center has closed due to alarming levels of lead. A health department inspection was instigated by Capital & Main with California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). Investigation revealed that lead from the shooting range contaminated the inside of the gymnastics center. Alarming levels of lead were found in various locations inside the facility resulting in the closings of both businesses. Improper ventilation at the gun range was most likely the culprit. Lead dust was found in abundance on the rooftop near the turbine vents and the gymnastics center routinely left doors open for “fresh air”. Furthermore, the investigation revealed that state health officials may have overlooked more than two decades worth of warnings from employees at the gun range.
Exposure to lead dust and fumes at the firing range can present a potential health risk to shooters, firearms instructors, other range employees and their families. Lead contaminates shooting ranges in many ways:
- Exploding primers containing lead styphnate and the friction from the lead slug against the gun barrel create airborne lead.
- Spent bullets and settled dust can contaminate both indoor and outdoor ranges.
- Slugs hitting the bullet trap, walls, floors or ceiling of the range create lead dust.
- The process of removing spent bullets or the face of earthen bullet trap backstops can generate large quantities of lead dust.
- Airborne lead dust can concentrate in outdoor ranges, depending on weather conditions.
- Lead dust can collect on clothes during the day. When those clothes are worn home, the lead can contaminate shooters’ cars and homes.
If you or someone you know frequents shooting ranges, here is how you can protect yourself:
- Keep the bullet loading area clean.
- Make sure the range is correctly ventilated.
- At the range, wash hands & face before eating, drinking, or smoking.
- Wash hands & face before leaving the range.
- Wash range clothes separately from the rest of the family’s clothes.
Simply washing with ordinary soap & water will not significantly reduce the spread of contamination or the danger of ingestion. So BE SAFE by using CLEAN-ALL HEAVY METALS HAND & BODY SOAP – The latest in soap technology, formulated to bond with lead residue so it simply rinses away. It is also an effective way to keep surfaces and laundry clean & safe.