Each day many people breathe an extremely harmful poison into their bodies without fully realizing what they have inhaled. In recent decades we have learned just how dangerous lead poisoning is for children and adults alike. Lead is present in especially large quantities at firing ranges, especially cleaning lead at indoor firing ranges where there is little ventilation. It is for this reason that indoor firing range cleaning is especially important. Employees and patrons that are exposed to lead over extended periods of time are at a high risk for serious complications. It is of extreme importance to employ the use of a dependable and competent contractor to eliminate the toxic lead from your establishment.
The Center for Disease Control has found that lead poisoning is a serious medical problem in the United States. Lead’s toxicity lies within its ability to imitate the essential nutrient Calcium. Calcium is essential to bone growth, muscle contraction, and neurological functioning. When lead is ingested, absorbed through skin, or inhaled it can bond to the calcium receptors inside the human body and prevent it from carrying out its duties. Lead is also very difficult to eliminate from the human system. This can lead to a buildup in excretory organs (kidneys, liver) and cause possibly fatal disorders.
The Financial Cost of Lead Poisoning
Lead’s toxicity does not decrease over time. This means that old, discarded bullets are just as toxic as new ones. The lead can seep into the soil and groundwater and pollute the drinking water and wildlife. The EPA and OSHA levy hefty fines for companies and individuals that are responsible for environmental contamination.
How to Protect Yourself
The purpose in writing this is not to scare you, or create panic. Lead poisoning is a very serious issue but it can be avoided, or at least mitigated. One of the largest sources of lead inhalation is among the employees and shooters at firing ranges. Lead is present in most bullets and gun powders and patrons and employees are often exposed to lead fumes over long periods of time. It is very important that firing range owners take all of the necessary precautions to protect themselves.
Firing range owners have a moral and legal obligation to protect employees and patrons alike. A reputable contractor is the best way to ensure that your range is safe and as lead free as possible.
Safe, Efficient Granulated Rubber Trap Cleaning and Reclamation
In the 1960s, the risks associated with lead poisoning had just been recognized. Today, lead poisoning is emerging as a significant national health problem no range owner can ignore. Very few of the 800,000 Americans who frequent gun ranges are fully aware of the lead contamination risks encountered on the gun range; it’s up to range owners to protect these customers in order to protect their own livelihoods.
Lead is the heaviest and softest of the common metals and once ingested wreaks havoc on the body. Modest lead exposure in children severely damages the brain, and in adults damages the blood, organs, and lymphatic and nervous systems. Continued exposure leads to death. The dangers cannot be exaggerated.
Litigation risk will rise as national attention (already primed by recent wide-spread lead poisoning in Flint, MI) turns to stories like this Chicago news piece on lead and arsenic soil pollution in the Calumet area. More lead contaminated sites will quickly come to light, and low-volume gun ranges may become prime suspects.
Rubber traps can significantly reduce ricochet and lead dust and are safer for cross range or close range shooting, but are subject to fire if left full of lead, dust and paper. Expert and frequent rubber trap cleaning cannot be neglected.
A professional reclamation company is fully licensed and bonded, operates all the correct equipment and properly contains the site before shoveling starts. Expert reclamation teams separate dust and paper from lead; ask for this expertise before hiring. A 45’ berm normally takes 9 or 10 hours to clean, and a good reclamation company works during your off hours so that guest activity isn’t disrupted. Shooting stalls and floors must also be properly cleaned; only then is the range ready for use and the range owner protected from litigation.
MT2 is the Leading Nationwide Professional Lead Reclamation & Maintenance Contractor for BOTH Indoor & Outdoor Firing Ranges and has served over 1,200 public and private firing ranges nationwide since 2000. MT2’s firing range services include complete range maintenance, improvements and lead remediation services.