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Minimizing Lead Exposure

Minimizing Lead Exposure

Lead enters your body in two ways: ingestion, such as touching your food with your hands containing gunpowder residue; or inhalation if you are shooting at a range with poor ventilation. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. At very high levels, lead poisoning can be fatal.

In most ammunition, the primer inside the casing contains lead that is released into the air every time you fire a round. Also the projectile itself is typically made of lead, which you touch every time you load your magazines. The lead gets on your hands, arms, face, and in your hair, and also lingers in the air.

Evaluate your shooting environment and equipment. If you believe the facility does not have adequate ventilation, you may choose to leave and find an alternative venue. If you are sensitive to lead, you can also use lead-free ammunition. Some brands have lead-free bullets AND primer.

Include LeadOff wipes in your range bag to remove metals from your skin when you are done shooting. If your range has operating bathrooms with running water, thoroughly wash your hands with de-lead soap and COLD water (to keep your pores closed) after you are done with your activities.

Also take care to minimize your exposure while cleaning your gun. Invest in latex-free or nitrile gloves to use while cleaning and servicing your firearm.

Leave lead at the range! Remove your shooting shoes before stepping into your home to keep from tracking in the residue collected on the bottoms of your shoes. Also, consider reserving a set of shooting clothes, which you may opt to wash separately from the rest of your laundry. This may help to isolate and maintain your home’s lead exposure and keep lead at the range and out of your home.

About Robyn Sandoval

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