Lead Exposure Risks & Shooting Ranges

Ingesting lead is a serious thing and can cause numerous problems for people with constant exposure. As you’re likely aware, you come into contact with lead during every trip to the range. You even come into contact with it each time you handle your firearm, especially if it hasn’t yet been cleaned after a visit to the range. The same goes for handling ammunition, and so on. Lead is present in most types of ammunition, including the primer and bullet. Each time you fire a round, lead is vaporized into the air and can be inhaled or ingested through the mouth.

Neurological Effects:

  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Fatigue / Irritability
  • Impaired concentration
  • Hearing loss
  • Wrist / Foot drop
  • Seizures
  • Encephalopathy

Ways to Reduce Exposure to Lead:

  • Use lead-free ammunition
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke while at the range
  • Wear gloves while shooting
  • Have dedicated ‘range clothing’ to wear for each trip
  • Always wash your hands after shooting
  • Take a shower immediately after using the range
  • Wash your clothes immediately after using the range
  • Never place empty casings in or on your clothing, always use appropriate containers, empty shell boxes, etc.

Please contact FSRMF with any questions or for additional information at loss.control@fsrmf.org.