Study: Gun range lead exposure poses ‘significant’ health risk
By Andrew Shepperson
Lead dust discharged from firearms at gun ranges may be posing a significant health risk, a new analysis has concluded.
The review analysis of 36 studies conducted between 1975 and 2016, published recently in the journal Environmental Health, looked at the ways gun range lead exposure affected patrons, employees and family members.
For the analysis, the authors used the search engines Google Scholar, Pubmed and Science Direct to access studies related to blood lead levels (BLL) and firearms. From that search, 36 related articles were found from 15 countries around the world. Over half the articles were from the U.S.
The authors found that nearly all BLL measurements published in the reviewed studies exceeded the current maximum safe level of 5 μg/dL set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (CDC/NIOSH).
In 31 studies BLLs > 10 μg/dL were reported in some shooters, 18 studies reported BLLs > 20 μg/dL, 17 studies > 30 μg/d, and 15 studies BLLs > 40 μg/dL. The studies found the higher levels of BLLs to be connected to lead discharge from guns at shooting ranges, number of bullets fired, and caliber of weapon fired.
From those results, the authors concluded that shooting ranges are a ‘significant’ health problem, as many adverse