Saturday, November 19, 2011

What are the risks of target shooting and ingestion of lead?

I'm a recent gun enthusiast and have been shooting at a range to practice so I can qualify for the pistol team. Recently the ventilation hasn't been that great and I am noticing some symptoms that seem to be related to lead poisoning. I want to know if this is just because of the air or are there other risks like getting things on the clothes and hands that maybe I am not being careful of enough? I mainly shoot a .22 Mark III. Thanks.|||If it's an indoor range and it has a decent ventilation system your exposure should be very minimal. If it's an outdoor range you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than getting lead poisining. Very basic common sense is all that's needed. Wash your hands when done shooting, blow your nose, don't chew on your clothes, and don't eat the bullets. Many professional gun writers who shoot 1,000s of rounds a year have their blood tested anually and common sense precautions keeps their lead levels well below anything close to alarming.|||Hey ask a great question, and you have also included a key word in it.

Most people do not understand that not only are they subjected to airborne lead from inhalation, but they can also ingest it.

The other answerer said it correctly when he suggested that you wash your hands when you are finished shooting....but there are a few other things that some people do not know.

Most of the lead that your body accumulates is through ingestion....that means usually through your mouth. Let me give you a are at the range. Everything around you is coated in it or not. You are touching it, then you put your hands in your your pockets have lead residue. When you are finished shooting, you wash your hands, but then you go to eat lunch. You reach into your pocket to give the dweeb at McDonald's your money, and now you have lead on your hands again. When you eat your hamburger, you are also eating a tiny amount of lead. Do this often enough, and you my friend, have a problem.

The same thing can happen with your keys, your wallet, your gun case, your gun....everything.

If you know this, and you are can be prevented.

If you go to the range often, and you taste that "sweet" taste in the back of your mouth after shooting, you are breathing in too much lead. Wear a mask. Keep in mind that everything that went to the range with you also has a layer of lead on it. It needs to be washed.

If you think that you may have lead poisoning, go to the doctor and have it checked. It can be eliminated...but long term exposure can lead to permanent impairment. Please don't take the chance. If you have your lead checked and you are OK, you will have wasted a couple bucks. It is sometimes overstated regarding adults, but lead poisoning is nothing to mess around with.

Good luck, and good shooting! What discipline are you shooting??? Bullseye? Three gun? IPSC? IDPA??

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