Student Research: Melvin Torres
, Occupational & Environmental Exposure Sciences (OEES), 2014
Faculty Advisor: Martin A. Cohen
Characterizing Lead Exposure at a U.S. Coast Guard Indoor Firing Range
Exposure to airborne and settled lead dust at firing ranges is a well-known hazard that puts employees, fire arms instructors (FAIs), customers, and their families at risk for lead poisoning. Workers are exposed to lead in firing ranges when they fire weapons, instruct shooters, clean the range, clean firearms, empty bullet traps or sort brass (Fisher, 2013). Recently, several indoor firing ranges in Oregon and Washington State have been scrutinized by federal and state agencies for lead exposures. On November 2012, the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River in Astoria, OR, secured an indoor firing range after they discovered that one of their active duty members had an elevated blood lead level (BLL). It was later determined that the ventilation system was non-operational (Riutta, 2012) and the range was reopened after the ventilation issues were fixed and the internal CG standard was met (50 fpm). On January 2013, a health assessment survey determined that the U. S. Coast Guard Base Seattle indoor firing range’s ventilation system was not operating to internal Coast Guard standards while the heating unit was operating (Riutta, 2013).
*Exerpt from introduction, no abstract provided