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Old 09-11-2009, 01:33 PM   #1
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Default Air pollution in indoor Gun Ranges hazardous?

I haven't honestly researched this topic a whole lot, and frankly this topic won't keep me from going to the indoor gun ranges often, but I want to ask all of you here what your opinions on this matter is?

Is there any kind of long term health risk asscoiated with air pollution inside gun ranges? I mean like the gun smoke, bullet fragmentation, possible lead in the air, ect.

I got the idea for this thread from what I read about frangible bullets. A website deemed frangiblebullets.com mentioned lead floating in the air, and promoted frangible bullets by mentioning that these bullets are lead free, ect.



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Old 09-11-2009, 02:11 PM   #2
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Yes, air filtration in an indoor range is a serious consideration. There is definitely lead in the air. In fact you would be surprised at how much lead is on your hands just from handling bullets. Clean your hands with a lead removal wipe, and you may be shocked.

Several years ago I was looking into opening a range and read more than one article about air filtration and the exposure danger, especially to employees. There are of course lead free bullets, but requiring everyone at the range to use them might be cost prohibitive.

And lets not also forget about the small amount of mercury in the primers of some ammunition as well.

The National Association of Shooting Ranges (RangeInfo.org) has plenty of information under the range resources tab.



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Old 09-11-2009, 02:20 PM   #3
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The NRA published an article on this lead issue some years back. Also, one of the major gun rags ran a similar article recently.

Massad Ayoob once mentioned a police training officer who died of lead poisoning after working for two weeks non-stop transitioning a police force from revolvers to semi-autos.

Part of the lead hazard comes from lead burned off of the back of the bullet by the firing gasses. Part of it comes from lead shaved off in the barrel. Part is from lead spatter as the bullet strikes the backstop.

Precautions you can take include :
1) Using a well-ventilated range.

2) Never sweeping the floor. The floor should be wet cleaned.

3) Wearing a dust mask, at least if you are on the range a great deal, for instance as an instructor.

4) Washing face and hands as soon as you finish shooting, before eating.

5) Washing your lead-exposed clothes separately from other clothes and often.

The NRA range at their headquarters employs a sort of oiled snail trap to catch the bullets without spatter.

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Old 09-11-2009, 02:33 PM   #4
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alright the good thing about MOST indoor gun ranges is they only allow handguns, or small caliber i.e. .22 caliber rifles.
ive been in and out of ranges for years, ive even worked in multiple ranges as range officers. in order to get lead poisoning from a range, you would have to be residing in that building for up to 7-8 YEARS, eating and sleeping in their. the lead contaminates in the air from normal jacketed handgun ammo, is .0002
lead poisnoning symptoms on your body starts when the percentege reaches around 2.3% and higher. however, there is a much higher contaminate risk.
many rifle cartriges particularly military style ammo, 5.56, (223) 7.62. ect.
these rounds have ammonia in the propellent to limit smoke and flash, long time exposure to this and a few other contaminates, (sulfer, & cordite) those will get you long before the lead. but in a properly ventilated range, as long as your not living there for days. your probly never going to feel any affects from these. hope this helps.

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Old 09-11-2009, 03:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
alright the good thing about MOST indoor gun ranges is they only allow handguns, or small caliber i.e. .22 caliber rifles.
This has more to do with backstop construction than air quality, as magnum handgun calibers are also not allowed on "MOST" ranges either.

Quote:
in order to get lead poisoning from a range, you would have to be residing in that building for up to 7-8 YEARS, eating and sleeping in their. the lead contaminates in the air from normal jacketed handgun ammo, is .0002
lead poisnoning symptoms on your body starts when the percentege reaches around 2.3% and higher. however, there is a much higher contaminate risk.
many rifle cartriges particularly military style ammo, 5.56, (223) 7.62. ect.
these rounds have ammonia in the propellent to limit smoke and flash, long time exposure to this and a few other contaminates, (sulfer, & cordite) those will get you long before the lead. but in a properly ventilated range, as long as your not living there for days. your probly never going to feel any affects from these. hope this helps.
I'm not quiet sure where you have gotten your information from, or what the .0002 is in reference to. Is that % or ppm? And whether or not you feel the effects has little to do with having elevated or toxic levels of lead in your body.

Quoted from the Lead Management & OSHA Compliance for Indoor Shooting Ranges published by the National Shooting Sports Foundation

http://www.rangeinfo.org/resource_library/facility_mngmnt/environment/Lead-OSHA.pdf

Quote:
OSHA has a comprehensive lead regulation, see 29 CFR 1910.1025
Quote:
Action Level. The OSHA Action Level (AL) is 30 micrograms of lead per cubic meter of air (30 μg/M3) as an eight-hour time-weighted average (The eight-hour time-weighted average divides the total results of an employee’s airborne lead monitoring by a full workday, which is defined as an 8-hour shift.)
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:05 PM   #6
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I totally agree that rifle ammunition are is allowed on most ranges because of backstop construction, my point there was to say that the risk of toxic contaminants entering your body is less when these types of ammo are not being used in the range because by design pistol ammo has less chemicals.
as to my information on lead contamination, ive picked up on the topic in the ranges ive worked at, the range supervisors and owners ect. the lead percentage .0002% came from a long discussion id had with a fellow coworker, he was very knowlegable, and taught me a thing or two. I will not call myself an expert myself im simply passing on what ive learned.

my overall point is, and im sure you will agree, is that lead poisoning is rare, and you are much more suseptible to the contaminates in the powder rather than the lead from jacketed pistol ammo.

like rentacop was saying, (although I've never worn a mask in a range) simple precautions like washing your hands after shooting and cleaning your weapon are enough to keep you out of harms way.

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Old 09-11-2009, 04:39 PM   #7
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Here's an example of what can happen. Fire at shooting range is latest in long history of problems | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com

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Old 09-11-2009, 05:47 PM   #8
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I have a good friend that is on special meds because his lead level was 6 times what it should be. From shooting on indoor ranges and teaching defensive tactics to LEO and military. He has to be on this for almost a year I believe and have his lead levels checked monthly to make sure the meds are doing their job.

I personally don't like indoor rangs. If you shoot on one make sure it has a froced fresh-air system. This is where over the firing line there is a line of high velocity heavy duty blowers blowing in filtered fresh air and on the other end are blowers blowing that dirty air out.

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Old 09-13-2009, 12:05 AM   #9
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I will not use indoor ranges because I have never seen any significant efforts to deal with the lead exposure problem.

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Old 09-13-2009, 12:36 AM   #10
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I shoot at Open Range, Inc at Louisville, and I asked them specifically about this. I don't remember the numbers or specifics, but legally they have to keep their air/lead levels below a certain amount. This particular facility was far below the necessary gov't standard. As a precaution though, they won't let pregnant women shoot there, and they provide hand wipes inside the range...



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