Google the words “lead poisoning” and although you will find articles about the symptoms of lead poisoning, you’ll find the many are about indoor and outdoor firing ranges. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires commercial gun ranges to prove their ranges are lead-free before handing out contracts to assist federal air marshals’ training. This motion protects federal air marshals, law enforcement officers, and the public from the effects of lead poisoning.
But this is only one step toward “indoor firing range clean-up.” In Massachusetts there are 152 firing ranges, shooting clubs, and training centers in addition to extensive law enforcement ranges. Attention is given to a firing range when an instructor, shooter, or maintenance worker becomes ill from lead poisoning at their range. A bulletin entitled “Shooting Range Lead Safety Precautions” helps consumers and shooting range owners understand the effects of lead and how to remove it from the firing ranges.
Indoor firing range cleaning involves and follows five strict maintenance codes to prevent lead poisoning.
#1 Use personnel trained in controlling lead exposure. Experts in this field perform periodic schedules of cleaning and maintaining the firing range. This helps your firing range follow the levels per OSHA’s guidelines.
#2 Dry sweeping, vacuuming, or raking indoor or outdoor ranges stir up settled dust that contains lead. Children and teens are not allowed to perform these activities as the airborne lead dust will land on their clothing.
#3 Use a wet mop or an industrial HEPA vacuum instead of a broom to clean the range floor. These products reduce the risk of airborne lead dust particles that a broom sweeps around into the air.
#4 Provide appropriate clothing for your workers. Each worker should have the following:
- A tight-fitting cartridge respirator to wear
- A separate set of clothing and shoes marked “for cleaning only” and kept in a plastic bag or a locker if possible.
- Advise the worker to wash their “cleaning clothing” separately from other dirty laundry.
#5 The bullet trap requires special attention. Provide a supplied air respirator and hazmat coveralls, gloves and booties for bullet trap employees. The extensive worker-safety and disposal policies for trap cleaning prompt most range operators to hire a specialty contractor for this exercise.
To clean an indoor range to OSHA codes, it is best to hire a professional contractor. Because the right contractor does this for a living, he will do the best job cleaning your indoor range. The contracting company takes steps to protect your customers, employees and yourself from lead and lead-dust. Their measures will ensure your firing range is a safe, lead-free environment.
Your Choice of a Lead Reclamation Contractor Could Expose Your Firing Range to EPA Hazardous Waste Fines up to $50,000 per DAY and Potential Criminal Charges. (penalties double for subsequent violations)
Are you willing (and able) to take this risk just to save a little money?
To discuss this further, please contact us.