Law enforcement officers have to qualify on firing ranges up to six times per year and they practice a little less often than that. Live firearms training is expensive, but typically officers buy cheaper ammunition for practice. Whereas 50 regulation rounds will cost as much as $50. The practice ammunition costs up to $300 for 1,000 pounds and are purchased in bulk.
Lead is found in each bullet as well as the explosive that ignites the gunpowder. When the bullet is fired, the lead vaporizes and can be inhaled by the police officer and all the employees of the range. Then the lead dust settles into the soil, on the floor of the range, on the clothing and the bodies of everyone around. The cheaper bullets that are used in firing ranges are generally known to contain more lead than regulation rounds. However, lead from copper jacketed bullets also spews into the environment on firing and can be just as dangerous to the shooters and those around them.
Working in and around firing ranges is dangerous because of the significant lead exposure from lead dust and bullet fragments that land throughout the range. Protecting police officers from lead may not be completely possible. However, lead exposure can be dramatically reduced by periodic firing range detoxification and cleanup.
MT2’s patented ECOBOND® lead treatment technology provides a unique solution eliminating the need to generate hazardous waste, saving money and protecting the environment.
ECOBOND® treatment is a patented family of treatments that chemically converts lead and metals in soils and sediments to non-leachable, highly insoluble material. Soils treated with ECOBOND® contain only highly stable compounds so that the leaching of lead and metals from the soil into the environment is virtually eliminated.
Lead decontamination is like other forms of dry soil contamination cleanup. Several inches of soil have to be picked up and screened for lead particles. This kind of cleanup can recover several thousand pounds of copper and lead per day.
Dredges can pick up 200 cubic yards per hour over large ranges. Portable dredge units can pick up 40 cubic yards per hour for medium-sized ranges. Stir pans are smaller units that can clean small ranges or bullet back stops .
MT2, incorporating our patented Ecobond® technology, is a national leader in firing range remediation. Please contact us to find out more we are happy to provide you with a gun range lead reclamation quote.
TSA Requires Ranges Provide Proof of Lead Safety
If your gun range wants to host Federal Air Marshals or other federal employees seeking training and certification, you’d better be able to provide proof that your facility is not contaminated with lead or threatening your employees with unsafe levels of workplace lead exposure.
Lead, a potential neurotoxin that can cause brain and organ damage, is present in bullets and, to an even greater extent, in training-only rounds that are often used on ranges. After being shot, the rounds release dust that contains lead into the air, where those present can breathe it in. Proper ventilation and cleaning procedures are a must to minimize exposure to shooters.
Because it also settles on the ground and throughout the facility, workers in gun ranges must take special precautions to avoid getting lead dust in their clothing or possessions.
Now, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has determined that ranges hosting its employees must be certified free of dangerous lead levels. Most federal air marshals must engage in regular training every three to four months. Some of the facilities that they were training in had dangerous levels of lead present, and instructors had high lead levels in their blood.
Language in TSA’s 2015 proposals for gun training facilities states, “The range must comply with applicable, local, state and federal regulations, including but not limited to, lead exposure. Vendor MUST submit its most recent certification of lead exposure testing and/or its most current OSHA compliance certificate/letter and air sample for lead with submission of proposal.”
To comply with federal regulations, indoor and outdoor gun ranges must prove they have been tested by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and found to have levels of lead below the minimum safety requirement.
That means that ranges seeking federal contracts — as well as those seeking to maintain low levels of lead overall — should partner with an environmental firing range service provider like MT2.
MT2 is the Nation’s leading provider of environmental firing range services in the US and has served approximately 1,000 public and private firing ranges nationwide since 2000. MT2’s firing range services include complete range maintenance, improvements and lead remediation services. In the past year alone, MT2 has completed firing range clean-ups for law enforcement agencies such as NYPD, Denver, Richmond, Duluth, Concord and US Border Patrol.
Over the past decade, MT2 has removed over 12,000,000 lbs. of lead from the environment while working closely with range owners to implement firing range Best Management Practices (BMPs) to protect shooters and the environment. MT2’s patented ECOBOND® lead treatment technology provides a unique solution eliminating the need to generate hazardous waste, saving money and protecting the environment.
Contact us for more information about our services in removing unsafe levels of lead from your ground and recycling it properly.