Ron Meador: Recreational Shooter Blood Pb Levels


Wherever you stand on the question of whether it’s guns that kill people or people who kill people, you might be impressed by new findings about shooting ranges as a source of serious lead poisoning among their enthusiasts.

In occupational health and workplace safety circles it has long been recognized that police officers, soldiers and others who train intensively with firearms are exposed to lots of lead dust and fumes as they make holes in targets. Same for their trainers. There are workplace rules intended to limit that exposure and to monitor blood-lead levels for dangerous conditions...

Half the studies found BLLs above 20µg, and 17 found them above 30 µg, at which point “prompt medical evaluation” is recommended. Fifteen found readings in excess of 40 µg.

The three dozen studies included both professional and recreational facilities worldwide and the new analysis did not attempt to distinguish them by BLL results. Rather, it makes the sensible and perhaps even obvious point that the health risks in both venues ought to be of equal concern and receive equal attention.