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Health hazard evaluation report: followback evaluation of lead and noise exposures at an indoor firing range.

Ramsey JG; Niemeier RT; Page E; Chen L; Choi J-H
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 2012-0065-3195, 2013 Nov; :1-33
The Health Hazard Evaluation (HHE) Program received a request to re-evaluate an indoor firing range for lead and noise exposure during firearms qualifications. In the initial evaluation in 2009, we measured airborne lead exposures among instructors, shooters, and technicians above occupational exposure limits. HHE investigators recommended the employer redesign the ventilation system to reduce lead exposures at the range and were later informed that changes had been made. HHE investigators returned in 2012 to reassess lead and noise exposure and to evaluate the redesigned range ventilation system. We collected air samples, surface vacuum, and surface wipe samples for lead throughout the complex and measured airflow in the firing range. Surface wipes were also used to qualitatively evaluate the presence of lead on skin, clothing, and shoes. Low levels of lead in the air were found in the firing range and firearms cleaning area. High levels of lead were detected in the air while the hazardous materials technician vacuumed behind the bullet trap. Instructors' and shooters' exposure to airborne lead was below occupational exposure limits. Surface wipe and vacuum samples detected lead throughout the complex. Most of the wipe samples collected on the hands, shoes, and pants of the instructors, shooters, and the hazardous material technician were above the limit of visual identification. Measured airflow along the firing line met NIOSH recommendations. HHE investigators recommended that the employer remove all carpets and rugs, clean the floors with an explosion-proof vacuum cleaner, and improve general housekeeping practices throughout the facility. The employer was encouraged to provide instructors and technicians with annual training and educational materials regarding lead and noise exposure. Investigators recommended the employer provide lockers for employees to change from their personal clothing into work clothing. Employees were encouraged to wear dual hearing protection; to shower prior to leaving the facility each day; and to not eat, drink, chew gum or use tobacco in the firearms cleaning area and firing range. All were encouraged to wear shoe covers while in the range and use lead removal wipes to wash their hands and faces before eating, drinking, or contact with others.
Region-9; Lead-compounds; Lead-dust; Indoor-air-pollution; Indoor-environmental-quality; Ventilation; Ventilation-systems; Lead-absorption; Work-practices; Air-sampling; Exposure-assessment; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Air-flow; Time-weighted-average-exposure; Medical-monitoring; Air-quality-measurement; Worker-health; Workplace-monitoring; Workplace-studies; Hearing-loss; Environmental-control-equipment; Author Keywords: National Security; lead; noise; ventilation; indoor firing range; take home
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
HETA-2012-0065-3195; M112013
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
SIC Code
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division