Marauding Huns, invading Visigoths. What really caused the fall of Rome? Some historians suggest it wasn't outsiders at all, but lead poisoning.
Lead was used extensively in the upper classes’ plumbing, utensils, even makeup, and the aristocracy suffered from poor decision making, erratic behavior, a low birth rate, and early death — all symptoms of lead poisoning.
Today, a new source of lead poisoning is menacing the 19 million folks who go to indoor shooting ranges annually. When fired, lead-based bullets and primers shed a cloud of toxins.
Poor sanitation and inadequate ventilation let lead dust hang in the air and settle on surfaces, contaminating workers and shooters alike.
The dust also settles on range-visitors’ skin, clothing, and hair, and gets into car interiors. It’s then transported home, where it exposes family members to dangerous levels.
There are around 16,000 to 18,000 indoor firing ranges in the United States. But only 201 of them have been inspected in the past decade, according a report from the Washington state newspaper “The Columbian.”
That explains the more than 2,000 police and firing range workers who were found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood between 2002 and 2012. Almost 3,000 more people also were affected just by visiting ranges.
So before you spend time in at a shooting range, ask how often they cleans their HEPA air filters and wash down the entire area.
Also find out if any workers have ever tested positive for elevated lead levels.
If they can’t assure you the area is clean and safe, shoot right out of there!
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