(AK) State investigates lead in rifle team's blood


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Drizzt
May 9, 2007, 01:17 AM
State investigates lead in rifle team's blood
Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 05/08/2007 03:38:59 PM AKDT


A state toxicologist is investigating elevated lead levels in the blood of members of the Delta High School rifle team. Toxicologist Lori Verbrugge (ver-BREW'-gee) says the investigation was triggered when an infant in the Delta area was undergoing unrelated medical tests and doctors found the child had increased lead levels in the blood.

Verbrugge learned an older sibling of the infant was on the Delta High School rifle team. She also discovered that the Delta rifle team took part in "dry sweeping" at the range that is used by students and privately owned by the Delta Sportsman Association.

Dry sweeping -- in contrast to wet methods to control dust -- can disperse lead dust into the air. Verbrugge says the student may have carried some of that dust home on clothing, bringing the infant sibling into contact with it.

Ten of the 13 rifle team members agreed to be tested at the end of March. Four students who had not shot regularly on the team since November had average lead levels. Six students who had participated more recently had elevated levels. All ten students reported they helped clean the range with dry sweeping.

The range of blood lead levels from the Delta team in March ranged from 3.3 to 37.9 micrograms per deciliter. The Center For Disease Control and Alaska Section of Epidemiology says that a blood lead level of ten or more micrograms per deciliter in children are "levels of concern."

Lead is a toxin that affects the brain, nervous system, digestive system, kidneys and the body's ability to make blood.

An elevated blood level indicates lead is building up in the body faster than it can be removed. Verbrugge says lead poisoning is especially dangerous in young children and during brain development. School administrators are considering state recommendations for the rifle team.


http://www.ktva.com/alaska/ci_5847559

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NeoSpud
May 9, 2007, 01:32 AM
Should've followed OSHA regulations for hazardous material cleanup? ;)

Cosmoline
May 9, 2007, 01:57 AM
It's something we really need to work on. A lot of these ranges and shooting areas are substandard.

heypete
May 9, 2007, 02:02 AM
Not good. I wonder if the infant had any other possible vectors for elevated lead levels (such as lead in household products, paint, etc.)?

I've never really seen any range use "wet sweeping" when cleaning up the range. Seems like it'd be messy. I have seen range staff wear a respirator when sweeping, and that makes sense.

I wonder if wearing some sort of coveralls or other range-cleaning-specific clothing and a respirator might be better at reducing the lead in the shooters bloodstream and clothing?

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