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Gun range workers risk toxic exposure

We frequently write about the dangers that workers in high-risk industries face every day on the job. It is important to discuss these dangers and ways to mitigate them. However, it is also important to discuss little-known dangers that workers may be facing on a regular basis even if they do not work in high-risk industries such as commercial trucking, construction and commercial fishing.

For example, it has recently become apparent that individuals who work at gun ranges face a toxic exposure risk simply by showing up to work. When gun ranges are not properly cleaned and maintained, they can place both workers and customers at risk of lead poisoning. As many workers may be unfamiliar with lead poisoning symptoms, it is possible to become poisoned and to remain unfamiliar with what is causing illness.

According to the Charlotte Observer, there are approximately 10,000 gun ranges in the U.S. Some are indoors and some are outdoors. But in either case, if gun owners fail to properly maintain and clean their facilities, their workers can become poisoned while on the job.

If you or a loved one work at a gun range, please educate yourself on the symptoms of lead poisoning. And if you become ill or your employer refuses to properly clean and maintain the range, please consider speaking to an attorney about your legal options. You may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits or you may be able to hold the gun range owner accountable in a personal injury lawsuit.

Source: Charlotte Observer, "Lead exposure at nation's gun ranges poses 'a serious problem'," Christine Willmsen, Lewis Kamb and Justin Mayor, Oct. 19, 2014

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