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INDOOR FIRING RANGES

Overview

Indoor firing ranges are popular among law enforcement and recreational shooters because they offer protection from inclement weather conditions and can be operated around the clock under controlled environmental conditions. However, many firing range facilities lack environmental and occupational controls to protect the health of shooters and range personnel from effects of airborne lead, noise, and other potential exposures.

This page provides links to information about the evaluation, measurement, and control of noise and airborne lead exposures at indoor firing ranges.

NIOSH Publications

Preventing Occupational Exposures to Lead and Noise at Indoor Firing Ranges
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2009-136
This Alert presents five case reports that document lead and noise exposures of law enforcement officers and students. The Alert examines firing range operations, exposure assessment and control methods, existing regulations, and exposure standards and guidelines.

Reducing Exposure to Lead and Noise at Indoor Firing Ranges
NIOSH Publication No. 2010-113
This two-page Workplace Solutions document provides clear and simple recommendations to workers, occupational shooters, and operators of indoor firing ranges to reduce their occupational exposure to airborne lead and high-intensity noise.

Reducing Exposure to Lead and Noise at Outdoor Firing Ranges
NIOSH Publication No. 2013-104
This two-page Workplace Solutions document provides clear and simple recommendations to workers, occupational shooters, and operators of outdoor firing ranges to reduce their occupational exposure to airborne lead and high-intensity noise.

Lead exposure and design considerations for indoor firing ranges
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 76-130 (December 1975)
This technical document provides the user with recommendations for design considerations and work practices to reduce or eliminate health hazards associated with indoor firing ranges. It includes topics such as ventilation, noise, and maintenance issues.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Indoor Firing Ranges and Elevated Blood Lead Levels - United States, 2002-2013

Auditory risk estimates for youth target shooting
Int J Audiol 2014 Mar; 53(S2):S16-S25

Noise exposure profiles for small-caliber firearms from 1.5 to 6 meters
J Acoust Soc Am 2012 Sep; 132(3)(Pt. 2):1905

Noise mitigation at the Combat Arms Training Facility, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH
J Acoust Soc Am 2012 Sep; 132(3)(Pt. 2):2084

Measurement of impulse peak insertion loss for four hearing protection devices in field conditions
Int J Audiol 2012 Feb; 51(S1):S31-S42

Handwipe method for removing lead from skin
J ASTM Int 2011 May; 8(5):JAI103527

Evaluation of a handwipe disclosing method for lead
J ASTM Int 2011 Apr; 8(4):1-7

Measurement of impulse peak insertion loss for five hearing protectors
J Acoust Soc Am 2011 Apr; 129(4)(Part 2):2651

Noise control solutions for indoor firing ranges
Noise Control Eng J 2010 Jul; 58(4):345-356

Assessment of noise exposure for indoor and outdoor firing ranges
J Occup Environ Hyg 2007 Sep; 4(9):688-697

Firearms and hearing protection
Hearing Rev 2007 Mar; 14(3):36, 38

Lead Exposure from Indoor Firing Ranges Among Students on Shooting Teams --- Alaska, 2002—2004

NIOSH/NHCA best-practices workshop on impulsive noise
Noise Control Eng J 2005 Mar-Apr; 53(2):53-60

Noise exposure assessment and abatement strategies at an indoor firing range
Appl Occup Env Hyg 2003 Aug; 18(8):629-636

Indoor Shooting Ranges
ASHARE Journal 2002 Dec; 44-48

Ventilation control of lead in indoor firing ranges: inlet configuration and booth and fluctuating flow contributions
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1991 Feb; 52(2):81-91

Reducing Exposures to Airborne Lead in Indoor Firing Ranges -- United States

For more publications, see:
NIOSHTIC-2 search results on Firing Ranges
NIOSHTIC-2 is a searchable bibliographic database of occupational safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by NIOSH.

NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluations

NIOSH conducts Health Hazard Evaluations (HHEs) to find out whether there are health hazards to employees caused by exposures or conditions in the workplace.

Some recent HHE reports related to firing ranges have been listed below. For a comprehensive listing of HHE reports please search the HHE Database.

Health Hazard Evaluation Report: HETA 2013-0124-3208, Measurement of Exposure to Impulsive Noise at Indoor and Outdoor Firing Ranges during Tactical Training Exercises

Health Hazard Evaluation Report: HETA 2012-0083-3189, Evaluation of Employee Exposure to Lead and Other Chemicals at a Police Department

Health Hazard Evaluation Report: HETA 2012-0065-3195, Followback Evaluation of Lead and Noise Exposures at an Indoor Firing Range

Health Hazard Evaluation Report: HETA 2009-0216-3201, Exposures of Helicopter Pilots and Gunners to Firearm Noise and Lead During Gunnery Target Training Exercises

Health Hazard Evaluation Report: HETA 2012-0091-3187, Evaluation of Instructor and Range Officer Exposure to Emissions from Copper-Based Frangible Ammunition at a Military Firing Range

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2011-0069-3140, noise and lead exposures at an outdoor firing range — California

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2008-0275-3146, evaluation of lead exposure at an indoor firing range — California

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2005-0153-2997, Markham Park, Broward County Parks and Recreation Division, Sunrise, Florida[PDF - 930 KB]

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2002-0131-2898, Fort Collins Police Services, Fort Collins, Colorado[PDF - 636 KB]

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2000-0191-2960, Immigration and Naturalization Service, National Firearms Unit, Altoona, Pennsylvania[PDF - 1,393 KB]

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-1997-0255-2735, Forest Park Police Department, Forest Park, Ohio[PDF - 254 KB]

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-1996-0218-2623, New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council, Concord, New Hampshire[PDF - 231 KB]

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-1996-0107-2613, Dartmouth Police Department, Dartmouth, Massachusetts[PDF - 215 KB]

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-1992-0034-2356, Saint Bernard Police Department, Saint Bernard, Ohio[PDF - 215 KB]

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-1991-0346-2572, FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia[PDF - 325 KB]

Other Resources

Potential Health Risks to DOD Firing-Range Personnel from Recurrent Lead Exposure

Range Design Criteria: U.S. Department of Energy: Office of Health, Safety and Security

Workshop on Indoor Shooting Ranges: Responsible Care of Range Environment: Proceedings of the Workshop on Indoor Shooting Ranges

Lead Management and OSHA Compliance for Indoor Shooting Ranges

OSHA-NASR-SAAMI Alliance

Guidance Document: Indoor Firing Range Design and Operations Criteria Version 2.0

 
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  • Page last reviewed: August 15, 2013
  • Page last updated: August 4, 2014
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