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A forum to talk about Olympic style shooting, rifle or pistol, 10 meters to 50 meters, and whatever is in between. Hosted by Pilkguns.com
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:04 am
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Location: Montreal, Québec, Canada
How open is your range about the results or whether workers or users have failed blood tests?

Remembered the following article while responding to the thread about Purdue University and their Target shooting program using their armory building as a range.
I also remember my dismay at the time I first read the article that the reaction of many of the gun owners and supporters of shooting sports to the article was not dismay, disgust, and anger against those range owners that repeatedly violated rules and put shooters and workers at risk, but vehement anger against those that dared uncover the truth.

http://projects.seattletimes.com/2014/l ... th-lead/1/

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:56 am 
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Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 3:58 am
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Location: Corner of Walk & Don't Walk
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:07 am 
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Location: Montreal, Québec, Canada
LOL

Joking aside, I learned a few unsettling facts about my previous volunteer run club and blood tests of several members showing elevated and worrisome lead levels.. Before the city shut us down, it was my intention to push the issue of releasing the results of the city tests if they had them or to press the city for them if they did not.

The club I just joined sells themselves as having a ventilation system and tests that were approved by the local health authority. But they seem to date from the time the club opened in the 90's.

And personally, I know I've been negligent with wearing shoes from the range into the house and being haphazard with where I put clothing that I've worn at the range.

Next time I'm at the doctor's I'm going to ask about blood testing. At least so that I have a current level to compare to once in a while.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:19 pm 
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I shoot at a 12 point indoor range with excellent ventilation so much so that air rifle shooting is difficult because of the draft. It was opened in 1990 and has been in continuous use since. That means DAILY shooting by about 100 active members. The range rules include wiping feet on a mat kept inside the range, wiping again after leaving the range area, hand washing immediately after leaving the range and considerable care to keep the range clean. It is washed down monthly and power washed walls and floors at least yearly. Both the State and Federal EPA have inspected the range multiple times and found no violations.

Recently, half the range was dismantled for some maintenance. The second half is scheduled for early next year. The area behind the backstop (an armor plate - commercially system by the way) was found to have 8314 pounds of lead and jacket debris accumulated on the floor and in the support structure behind the backstop. Much was powdery or small granular material. It was recycled rather than adding to the landfills.

I suspect the gun smoke containing the lead byproducts of primer material, the lubricant used on lead bullets, and a bit of vaporized lead from unjacketed bullets as the major contributor to ingestion of lead at a range.

I put over 30,000 rounds of various calibers down the range in the last 5 years or so. I had my lead level tested several years ago for a baseline. My result was 9 after 60+ years of shooting. A couple other members have done the same with similar results. The only member with elevated values (over 20) owns a pistol bullet casting business and casts over 50 tons of lead a year. From my reading in the medical literature intervention is recommended when the lead level exceeds 30. The individuals that I mention are all over 65 and have been shooters since childhood.

My own situation may be different as I worked in a chlorine production unit for a short time in which I had to cast lead slabs from used and contaminated lead. I calculated that I cast over 300 tons in that period. I feel that the casting process was the smaller contributor compared to the wet and degraded material. We used masks, shields, gloves, rubber boots, frequently washed the area down, but I still remember the sweet taste in my mouth from the lead oxide or carbonate being given off. That plant is no longer around.

For us old-timers, remember the yellow (lead chromate pigment) pencils that we used to chew the paint off of??

Don't get me wrong! I am not belittling the issue but I am trying to say let's be reasonable and work on improvements rather than letting anyone destroy our sports.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:34 pm
Posts: 696
Location: White Sulphur Springs, MT, USA
Typical misleading story.

The story said
Quote:
For the public, shooting firearms is the most common way of getting lead poisoning outside of work, according to national statistics.


The CDC study mentioned only "the most frequent non- employment exposure to lead". It made no determination of sources of lead in patient's bloodstreams. Many older shooters were exposed to lead from washing up with leaded gasoline after working on cars, trucks, other equipment.

I've dropped my lead levels from over 50 to 21.7 over the past 20 years by taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily. It works as a chelating agent (removed heavy metals), and is recommended for kids because the prescription chelating agents are very hard on the kidneys and liver.

Good hygiene is still very important, and washing up after shooting, but before drinking, smoking, or eating is strongly advised.


Last edited by Pat McCoy on Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:14 pm 
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Location: Montreal, Québec, Canada
dtdtdtdt wrote:
work on improvements rather than letting anyone destroy our sports.


No one was mentioning destroying the sport. I was shocked that the junior team in the article was as badly affected as they were.

Get the kids sick at THAT will destroy the sport.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:40 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:30 pm
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Location: San Diego, CA
Pat McCoy wrote:
Typical misleading story.

The story said
Quote:
For the public, shooting firearms is the most common way of getting lead poisoning outside of work, according to national statistics.


The CDC study mentioned only "the most frequent non- employment exposure to lead. It made no determination of sources of lead in patient's bloodstreams. Many older shooters were exposed to lead from washing up with leaded gasoline after working on cars, trucks, other equipment.

I've dropped my lead levels from over 50 to 21.7 over the past 20 years by taking 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily. It works as a chelating agent (removed heavy metals), and is recommended for kids because the prescription chelating agents are very hard on the kidneys and liver.

Good hygiene is still very important, and washing up after shooting, but before drinking, smoking, or eating is strongly advised.


I don't think that Vitamin C chelates lead. There is no evidence to support that. It is believed that taking C may help to reduce the absorption of lead, but does nothing to remove it from your body. I am a Vitamin C fan, but I am also a scientist.

Joel


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 5:29 pm 
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Some research suggests that sulfur-rich foods are good at binding to heavy metals. This includes all the alliums- onions, garlic, etc.- and all the cruciferous vegetables. After shooting you should probably head to your nearest Lebanese restaurant for a plate of cauliflower with garlic-tahini sauce. Mm.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:09 pm
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Also in Seattle, I shoot powder weapons at West Coast Armory, who say their ventilation system is state of the art FWIW, and encourage clean-up with their special soap (lead removing) and suggest taking further precautions (dedicated shooting clothing, etc.). Haven't checked my own lead levels, but probably should (shoot at least 10k rounds of 22 lead a year - probably just warm-up for most here).http://www.westcoastarmory.com/the-range.html


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:13 am
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Location: North London, Ohio
Greetings- there are no CDC (US) guidelines specifially aimed at adults, they are all for developing (young) individuals. I get tested, regularly, for lead levels as part of a work requirement. None of the levels have ever triggered a concern, and I am on a range daily handling and shooting firearms.

We certainly need to be aware of the lead exposure dangers for young people. Simple, basic precautions such as not eating/drinking on the range, washing one’s hands/face after leaving the range, washing one’s clothes at the end of each range day, and cleaning range shoes in a safe manner will prevent excessive exposure to our young ones.

Caution, is the best defense.

Cheers!
m1963

edit 27/10/2017- added Lead Mgmt Guide.


Attachments:
LeadMgtGuide-1.pdf [492.08 KiB]
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Last edited by m1963 on Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:44 pm
Posts: 44
Location: Central MS
My wife has worked more than 25 years for a clinic that tests employees in industry for lead and other chemicals. Mainly the battery manufacturing industry. Years ago our 12 year old son and I were shooting indoors for hours every day, melting lead, casting bullets, and tumbling brass. She started testing us every few months for lead. After about 6 months of this, she gave up because our lead levels were far below normal levels for the general population. The main precaution that we could control was tumbling to clean brass. Lead goes into the air during tumbling. Don't clean brass in a tight room. Run the tumbler outside or in a large shop with plenty of air flowing through. The only people I have heard of with high lead levels from shooting basically had their tumbler in a small, tight room with no air circulation and stayed in there with it while reloading.

Look for other reasons for high lead levels besides the shooting sports. By all accounts, our son and I should have had high lead levels during that time period.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 5:36 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2007 4:09 am
Posts: 209
Location: Belgium
Our indoor ranges are tested once every 10 years, mainly because they are used by the police.
But the issue seems rather superficial. I'm convinced that 1 hour in stop-and-go traffic is more hazardous then 10 years an indoor range.
My impression is that the 'air quality' in the indoor ranges is an other argument invented by the anti-gunners.
In Belgium, I've known once case of a police shooting instructor who worked on a poorly ventilated indoor range 5 days a week and 6 hours a day, for 25 years and was a victim of lung cancer. He was a non-smoker. After a long procedure his employer accepted that his illness was related to his work on the range.

So I'm inclined to say: don't let that keep you from shooting.
Regards,
Guy


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:49 pm
Posts: 2338
Location: Valencia County 4-H, NM USA
My program uses a small, 6-lane indoor range built from old Army barracks for our indoor SB range.
It has an angled steel backstop dropping into a pit of sand behind a cellotex "wall" which is replaced occasionally.
We have a large "attic fan" that moves air thru the range (from behind the firing line) and exhausts back by the plate.

I am the one that performs almost all the maintenance on the range.
I've been doing it for over 13 years now.

I get my blood tested yearly, and the test has always come back as "negligible". My doc always questions why I want this test done ... since it is not a "normal" test, my insurance does not pay for it, but I've always considered myself the canary.

If a parent brings it up, and when I note the above, they don't worry anymore.


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