According to a 2015 report from the Connecticut State Public Health Department, improper safety protocols at a gun range led to a 1-year-old boy having high levels of lead in his blood. While many know that lead dust from firearms can pose a silent health risk, many people rarely consider the opportunities for lead contamination away from the firing range.
After the initial detection by a local pediatrician, the case remained a mystery. No lead pipes or lead-based paint were found in the boy’s home. Eventually, investigators found a somewhat less commonly acknowledged cause: the boy’s father brought home high levels of lead on his person, after coming home from work at a gun range.
Because of similar incidents, OSHA standards tightened to 20 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood. But OSHA only tracks workers; gun range customers aren’t typically tracked. This means gun ranges need to pay special attention to following tightly managed best practices to keep customers safe and prevent lead contamination off-site.
Improper ventilation and failure to perform required cleaning and maintenance are leading causes of elevated lead blood levels and potential off-site contamination from gun ranges. Repeatedly, public gun ranges and law enforcement training spaces with lead issues are traceable to these same primary causes.
Because current OSHA regulation, tight as it is, focuses on blood lead levels, even providing the best ventilation possible isn’t always enough. Gun range owners and employees should encourage all customers and staff to participate in self-care on and off the range. Removing contaminated clothes after leaving the range, consistent hand washing, and avoiding drinking or eating while in the firing areas are all crucial and simple ways to lower the chances of blood lead contamination. Firing ranges can contribute to a being cause of high lead levels in the blood.
After proper ventilation, Best Management Practices (BMP’s) is the next most important step to consider. MT2 is the Nation’s leader in providing BMP’s to all indoor and outdoor firing ranges and is the #1 and Largest Nationwide Professional Firing Range Lead Reclamation and Maintenance Contractor with a proven record. Services includes: complete firing range maintenance & improvements, lead remediation services, lead reclamation, OSHA & environmental consulting, operational maintenance and range closure.
MT2’s zero-tolerance for regulatory violations gives range owners the peace of mind that their project will be successfully completed on a guaranteed schedule. No one can complete an Environmental or firing range lead reclamation project quicker and safer than MT2. Contact us today for a free firing range analysis, complete our online range questionnaire.