Indoor firing ranges are popular among law enforcement and recreational shooters because they offer protection from inclement weather conditions and can be operated around the clock under controlled environmental conditions. However, firing range facilities need to have environmental and occupational controls to protect the health of shooters and range personnel from effects of airborne lead, noise, and other potential exposures.

Lead is a ubiquitous metal in the environment, and its adverse effects on human health are well documented. Lead interacts at multiple cellular sites and can alter protein function in part through binding to amino acid sulfhydryl and carboxyl groups on a wide variety of structural and functional proteins. In addition, lead mimics calcium and other divalent cations, and it induces the increased production of cytotoxic reactive oxygen species. Adverse effects associated with lead exposure can be observed in multiple body systems, including the nervous, cardiovascular, renal, hematologic, immunologic, and reproductive systems.

Lead exposure is also known to induce adverse developmental effects in utero and in the developing neonate.

Ammunition is Combustible and is an Explosion Hazard:

Primer is the mixture of high sensitive explosive materials in ammunition. Initiated by the mechanical force of the striking by the firing pin, the primer mixture will explode causing a jet of flame thus ignites the propellant i.e. the smokeless powder propelling the bullet. Common primer mixtures include compounds of lead, antimony and barium. In primer, there are also other elements which are often found to be associated with gunshot residues including copper, iron, as well as other non-specific elements such as silicon, aluminium, potassium, calcium and sulfur primer vapours often condense and liquefy onto the primer surface as droplets.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) defines a combustible dust as “a combustible particulate solid that presents a fire or deflagration hazard when suspended in air or some other oxidizing medium over a range of concentrations, regardless of particle size or shape.”

In general, combustible particulates having an effective diameter of 420 μm or smaller, as determined by passing through a U.S. No. 40 Standard Sieve, are generally considered to be combustible dusts. However, agglomerates of combustible materials that have lengths that are large compared to their diameter (and will not usually pass through a 420 μm sieve) can still pose a deflagration hazard. Therefore, any particle that has a surface area to volume ratio greater than that of a 420 μm diameter sphere should also be considered a combustible dust. The vast majority of natural and synthetic organic materials, as well as some metals, can form combustible dust. The NFPA’s Industrial Fire Hazards Handbook states, “any industrial process that reduces a combustible material and some normally non-combustible materials to a finely divided state presents a potential for a serious fire or explosion.”

Suggested Industrial Vacuums for Recovery of Toxic & Combustible Dust

PrestiVac HEPAPlus* Vacuums are specifically designed to safely vacuum toxic dusts. Equipped with a Certified Absolute HEPAPlus*filter with an efficiency of 99.995% on 0.2 micron so there is no risk of exposure or contamination for the operator or the environment. These vacuums are tested for absolute filtration. Testing Method: IEST RP-CC034.3. H14. MIL-STD 282 / A.S.T.M. - D2986-91.  MPPS method EN 1822.

PrestiVac Explosion Proof/Dust Ignition Protected Vacuums are designed to safely vacuum explosive, flammable, combustible conductive* dusts. Our Explosion Proof/Dust Ignition Protected Vacuums are completely grounded and static dissipating because they are built entirely with non-sparking metals and do not have any painted components so there is no risk of fire or explosion from a spark or static build up. All the electrical components, including the motor and starter are totally enclosed so there is no source of ignition. Our explosion proof vacuum cleaners comply with NFPA 484 guidelines and are an effective tool for good housekeeping practise as per OSHA.

Which Industries are associated with Firing Ranges / Shooting Ranges?