In the US shooting is an important hobby, pastime, for many, and for some, like military and law enforcement personnel, it is a professional training requirement. And while there are countless gun ranges across the country to satisfy the demand from recreational and professional shooters alike, some ranges and their employees have been exposed to health risks posed by the lead in ammunition. When lead bullets are fired, it produces airborne lead particles that gets into the air supply. Expensive ventilation and filtration systems are required to address this issue, and while most gun ranges have basic safety mechanisms in place, somedo not adequately address them. As such, there are cases every year of employees at ranges who develop lead poisoning due to the constant lead exposure.
What is Lead Poisoning Exactly?
When guns using lead-based ammunition are fired in shooting ranges, they spray insidious toxins such as lead dust and lead vapour in the air. This then gets inhaled by the employees and customers at the gun range. Poor ventilation and lead-coated surfaces further add to the problem. This exposure to lead is known to pose a number of health issues that range from fatigue and nausea to mental problems and even death. It becomes even worse as the employees can carry back the lead residue on their clothes or their skin back home, inadvertently contaminating those around them, including little children who are most vulnerable to the damage caused by lead.
How Can Gun Ranges Help?
According to an article published in the Seattle Times, 9 out of the 10 commercial ranges that were inspected in Washington had a minimum of one lead violation. The article also pointed out that there are thousands of indoor and outdoor gun ranges in the US that don’t even follow basic lead safety guidelines set by the OSHA. Gun ranges need to start understanding the importance of avoiding this issue and improving their ventilation systems. The simplest solution is to follow the go-green trend and stop using lead-based ammunition completely by switching to a lead substitute such as frangible bullets.
What Can I Do About It?
Unfortunately, most people are still unaware of the dangers of lead poisoning and exactly what leads to lead poisoning. The first thing that you can do is make others around you aware of the dangers associated with gun ranges that use lead-based ammunition. A few precautions you can take to minimize the risk of exposure include –
• Avoiding food and drinks inside a gun range
• Shooting at outdoor ranges
• Washing hands with soap and cold water right after shooting
• Changing your clothes after getting back home
That said, the simplest alternative is to look for ‘green gun ranges’, places that use lead free ammunition. These ranges go a long way in protecting their employees and customers from the dangers of lead poisoning by using frangible projectiles and eliminating the need for lead-based bullets entirely.
What is Lead Free Ammunition?
Ecomass Technologies produces lead free projectiles for ammunition manufacturers to produce their green ammunition line, to address the growing demand for lead free ammo and lead substitute materials. These frangible bullets have been introduced as ‘green bullets’ and are produced using high density materialsthat contain tin, copper or tungsten.