Lead Contamination at Shooting Range Leads to Big Fines

A shooting range in Orlando has paid $8,551 in OSHA fines for safety violations having to do with lead.  This was actually a settlement of $21,377 in proposed fines.  A former employee who worked as a safety range officer learned his kids tested positive for lead poisoning and was worried it was the result of his own exposure at work.  The range claimed it was not their responsibility to protect him.  The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) became involved and the employee was subsequently fired.  OSHA cited the Shooting Gallery for “three times the permissible amount of lead in the lobby and shooting range, accumulations of lead on surfaces around the range, and failure to train employees on hazards associated with lead in the work area.”

Now, the Orlando shooting range will pay an additional $30,000 to the fired employee as announced by the U.S. Department of Labor after judgment was issued in a federal court to settle its whistleblower lawsuit.

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.


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