The perils of lead dust from shooting ranges came to light after National Public Radio (NPR) reported about a one-year-old boy who had elevated blood levels, but had no exposure risks at home. It was discovered that the exposure came from the father’s work clothing that was being contaminated with lead dust from working at an indoor shooting range.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has estimated that there are approximately 16,000 to 18,000 non-military indoor firing ranges in the United States.
If an indoor shooting range has inadequate ventilation or improper cleaning practices, the facility can become contaminated with lead dust from the bullets being fired.
Lead can harm almost every organ and system in your body.
Lead testing can protect your employees and customers.
Federal law requires owners, landlords, agents, and managers of rental properties to provide certain information about lead paint to a prospective renter.
For buildings built before 1978, the information includes:
- An EPA-approved information pamphlet on identifying and controlling lead-based paint hazards.
- Any known information concerning lead-based paint or lead-based paint hazards pertaining to the building.
- For multi-unit buildings, this requirement includes records and reports concerning common areas and other units when such information was obtained because of a building-wide evaluation.
- A lead disclosure attachment to the lease, or language inserted in the lease, that includes a “Lead Warning Statement” and confirms that you have complied with all notification requirements.
If your building needs renovations and contains Lead, federal law requires that:
- If you or someone on your staff is performing the work your firm must be Lead-Safe Certified and your staff trained in lead-safe work practices.
- The firm performing the work must be Lead-Safe certified.
These work practices include:
- Containing the work area.
- Avoiding renovation methods that generate large amounts of lead-contaminated dust.
- Cleaning up thoroughly.
Not following this law could mean tens of thousands of dollars in fines or a lawsuit.
For Lead paint testing or removal, call Baxter Group, Inc. at 717-263-7341 or visit the Lead Department.
Facilities managers should regularly inspect for lead hazards.
Although a home may be free of lead-based paint hazards, a child could still be exposed elsewhere.
Here is a list of places to look:
- Interior and exterior painted areas – Examine walls and surfaces to see if the paint is cracking, chipping, or peeling, and check areas on doors or windows where painted surfaces may rub together. The paint can flake off and contaminate nearby soil where children play.
- Surrounding areas – Be sure there are no large structures nearby with peeling or flaking paint.
- Playground equipment, toys and furniture – Older equipment can contain lead-based paint.
- Cleaning practices – The staff should wash any pacifiers, toys, or bottles that fall on the floor.
How much do you know about lead paint?
Take our quick quiz and learn what’s true and what’s false about lead paint.
- True or False: The use of lead paint is banned.
No country has completely banned all uses of lead paint. It is sold in stores in at least 45 countries and it is legal to use in the United States, Canada, and Europe for industrial applications.
- True or False: There are substitutes for lead in paint.
There are alternatives available for lead compounds in paints and more. Though a manufacturer has claimed that paints made without lead pigments are not as yellow and therefore do not protect the public as well when used on roadways. The U.S. has stopped using lead paint on roads but there is no evidence that the substitutes are linked to more accidents.
- True or False: Only residential paint is a problem.
People are exposed to lead paint used on roads, buildings, vehicles, and farm equipment. Exposure results when these paints deteriorate, creating lead dust that workers can take home on their hands, shoes, clothes, and in their hair.
- True or False: Lead paint is only a problem when it is not intact.
Intact lead paint does not pose a threat. It becomes a threat when the paint is cracked, peeling, or deteriorated. It can then flake off and can contaminate the soil, water, and air.
- True or False: Most kids get exposed to lead by eating paint chips.
Children may eat fragmented paint chips but that is not a primary exposure to lead paint. The lead dust in homes that settles on floors, toys, window sills, and other surfaces is how lead is primarily ingested by children. They crawl on the floor, play with their toys, then stick their hands in their mouth.
- True or False: Lead paint only impacts children.
While children have greater health risks because of their growing bodies, people of all ages are impacted if exposed to lead.