Los Alamitos, CA, May 26th, 2009
A former biathlon shooting range in Alaska caused a multi-million dollar project to halt construction earlier this year. The shooting range was located in a part of Kincaid Park that was being converted into a new soccer stadium. Apparently the volunteer organization that was overseeing the project excavated, stockpiled and graded dirt from the shooting range that was contaminated with lead.
There are an estimated 9,000 non-military outdoor shooting ranges in the United States according to the EPA’s BMP for Lead at Outdoor Shooting Ranges. According to that same document, “It is estimated that approximately four percent (4%) (80,000 tons/year) of all the lead produced in the United States in the late 1990s (about 2 million tons/year), is made into bullets and shot. Taking into account rounds used off-range, and rounds used at indoor ranges, it is clear that much of this 160,000,000 pounds of lead shot/bullets finds its way into the environment at ranges.”
Just as in the case of the park in Alaska, many of these shooting ranges are eventually converted into other uses that may expose people and the environment to the dangers of lead. Lead can also exist within indoor environments, although the use of lead in many consumer products in the United States has been drastically reduced in the last several decades. Lead paint, for example, was banned in 1978 yet it is believed that about one in five homes still have lead paint hazards.
LA Testing, an affiliate of EMSL Analytical, is a leading provider of lead testing laboratory services and field testing products for clients across the West Coast. “Once lead enters the environment or our homes, it doesn’t just go away,” reported Ben Sublasky, National Director of Client Services for LA Testing and EMSL Analytical.
To learn more about lead and other environmental testing services please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
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