Conducting a Lead Survey at a Shooting School

Lead Particles at a Shooting School

When a gun is fired, the base of a lead bullet can become airborne as a microscopic particulate. The bullet fragments further when it hits a target or backstop. That entire area is then potentially contaminated. Our client invited us to their shooting school based in Kent and asked us to carry out an investigation to evaluate the effectiveness of deep cleans and to evaluate the residual risk to the health of visitors. 

The shooting range is situated in the basement of a school. Directly above the shooting range is the school’s swimming pool. The range consists of a small changing and sitting area to the front, which is separated from the main shooting range by a glass/wood partition. The range has an observation desk to the front, shooters’ elevated platform and a target area to the back.

Lead survey at a shooting school

What does a Lead (Pb) survey consist of?

Our surveyor conducts a Lead (Pb) survey by means of a visual inspection as well as taking a number of samples. The shooting range was visually inspected for the presence of residual dusts and debris which could potentially contain traces of lead particles. Samples of dust and debris were collected using ghost wipes which are specially designed for the collection of lead dust. Samples of airborne lead dust were also collected using 7-hole and IOM sampling heads fitted QMA filters. These samples were then analysed in a laboratory so we could supply our client with accurate results and appropriate remediation measures in the form of a final report. 

Lead survey at a shooting school

Results of our Lead (Pb) survey

Once completing the visual inspection and collecting several samples, our surveyor was then able to come to conclusions based on these and then make recommendations for our client.

Results of the air monitoring suggest that the visitors of the shooting range are unlikely to be exposed to levels of lead containing dust above the workplace exposure limits (WELs). The concentration of lead dust in the ambient air was below the detection limit of 0.004mg/m3 and therefore is not considered to be hazardous to health. The residual concentration of lead on the surfaces in the shooting range, following the deep clean, ranged between 16.6 and 37.2 µg/f2 which is significantly below the assigned concentration limit of 250 µg/f2. We strongly recommend that a periodic clean of the areas is carried out in order to maintain the residual lead dust level concentration below the assigned concentration limit.

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