Cinnaminson, NJ, August 13th, 2020
Lead (Pb) bullets are the preferred and most common type of ammunition used in the United States. When they are fired at an indoor shooting range that doesn’t have adequate ventilation and cleaning procedures, their use can result in lead dust contamination hazards.
In an effort to protect workers and the public in these types of facilities, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently published information about lead hazards that were discovered at a shooting range in Hawaii. According to OSHA, the Hawaii Occupational Safety & Health (HIOSH) Consultation & Training Branch (C&T) removed workers from lead poisoning hazards as the result of an On-Site Consultation visit to a firearms retailer and shooting range where high levels of lead were identified throughout the facility.
The shooting range’s ventilation system was evaluated and it was discovered that the system was not working properly. Smoke from the shooting range was lingering in the shooting stations and was distributed by an unfiltered fan throughout the shooting range and into the adjacent retail space. Wipe sampling revealed lead dust levels significantly above OSHA’s acceptable decontamination level of 200 micrograms per square foot (µg/ft2). In one area where employees consumed food, the level was measured at 1,765 µg/ft2. As a result of blood testing, the general manager himself was medically removed from the workplace by his physician due to an extremely high lead blood level and chronic over-exposure to lead.
“Lead exposure is a significant occupational hazard in many shooting ranges across the nation,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Earlier this year, OSHA reported on a case in Florida where an employee claimed his children’s lead poisoning was the result of his working at a shooting range. In that case, OSHA conducted an inspection and issued three citations for lead levels above the permissible amount. Fortunately, industrial hygiene and environmental testing from EMSL can help to identify these types of hazards and is vital for determining if engineering controls and cleaning practices are effective.”
To learn more about this or other occupational, environmental, air quality, health and safety testing services, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com. To access lead and other indoor environmental quality (IEQ) test kits, visit www.EMSLTestKits.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 45 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella
, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com
for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.