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pregnancy and indoor shooting range

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by skyflier, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. skyflier

    skyflier New Member

    Dec 26, 2006
    I got a new .22 and tried it out for about an hour in an indoor shooting range. I'm 32 weeks pregnant. This was my first time in an indoor shooting range and I was ignorant of the potential risks to pregnant women. I called my OB/GYN and she said I had nothing to worry to about--the sound was muffled by my heavy clothes, tissue, muscle, etc. I didn't ask about lead exposure. I've asked several other people: their answers range from no worries to you better moniter the growth of your fetus. I'm wondering if women here have had any experience shooting in an indoor range and pregnancy. I'm really very worried that I did damage to either my little one's ears or exposed her to dangerous levels of lead in that one hour. Help!
  2. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Elder

    Oct 14, 2005
    Northwest Arkansas
    I would be much more worried about the lead exposure than the noise levels. Is it really worth even the slighest risk? Just take a bit of a hiatus and use that time to stock up on ammunition for a good celibration after the baby is born.

    I seriously doubt you did any harm with just one trip (not any worse than eating a can of tuna). But I wouldn't make a habit of going to the range while pregnant

    Welcome to THR!
  3. Linda

    Linda Member

    Sep 9, 2006
    central Ohio
    I doubt very seriously if an hour at the range would harm your baby, so don't waste anxiety on that. Just don't do it again!!! If you must, use an outdoor range.

    I'm rather surprised that the employees at the range would have let you go in there. Did they ever once question you going in?:confused:
  4. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    United Socialist States of Obama
    I am not so sure your gynecologist gave good advice. Generally they will tell patients to avoid shooting while pregnant because it can cause problems with hearing. Remember, sound is transmitted better through water (amniotic fluid in this case) than air. As for the lead exposure, I think it would be minimal with only one hour of time there.
  5. Dysfunctional Individual

    Dysfunctional Individual New Member

    Nov 14, 2006
    I would imagine that the sound of others' firearms would be diminished enough by tissue and amniotic fluid, but I don't know about your gun. Sound travels much better through liquids and solids, so direct contact of the gun and your body could potentially aggravate the problem. Then again, if it's only a .22, it might not be a big deal.
  6. mete

    mete Senior Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    A fetus can hear at least for the last two months. More significant is lead .DON'T take the risk, it isn't worth it !!
  7. MaterDei

    MaterDei Senior Member

    Sep 23, 2003
    Congrats on the baby!
  8. SoCalShooter

    SoCalShooter Senior Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    That's for me to know and not you!
    1. Congrats on being 32 weeks pregnant
    2. Lead exposure for you and the child at this point and any point in the pregnancy is bad m'kay
    3. Sound also bad but probably muffled for the most part.
  9. Prince Yamato

    Prince Yamato Senior Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    I think the risk comes more from touching leaded bullets and then licking your hands afterwords. The precautions you read on boxes are for manufacturers liability purposes. I wouldn't lose any sleep. Remember, women gave birth to perfectly healthy babies living in warzones or heck, living in homes with lead paint on the walls for the past 100 or so years. The only harm comes, when you ingest it in vast quantities (or, in the case of children, quantities large enough to effect them). To play it safe though, I'd avoid a gun range while pregnant. I don't know what sound pressure levels could do to your condition. Plus, what if someone had a ND and the bullet went your direction?
  10. MikeG

    MikeG Member

    Nov 8, 2003
    Pueblo West Colorado
    I think indoor ranges have pretty stringent OSHA regulations as far as ventilation and lead exposure go. And a .22 doesn't generate that much noise and concussion. But now that you've tried out your new .22 (what is it?) take it easy.

    Congratulations on your new family member. We're 'expecting' our first grandchild in March. Mrs G says she's too pretty to be a grandmother - no argument from me.
  11. Slide45

    Slide45 New Member

    Nov 23, 2006
    All good advise, don't worry about the past. Think happy thoughts.
    You will have a healthy baby. "But no more shooting untill you do."
    Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! and God Bless you and your new one.
  12. tellner

    tellner member

    Apr 17, 2004
    The sound isn't muffled by the tissue and amnion. If anything it's a bit louder since water transmits sound better than air does.

    The lead danger isn't just from handling RNL bullets. Some is vaporized when the bullet is fired. Most primers contain nasty heavy metals. And even if you're using CleanFire not everyone else at the range is. OSHA funding for enforcement has been cut to the bone, and the EPA is relaxing airborne lead standards. I've been at plenty of ranges where you could taste the sweetness of lead in the air. I got out as quickly as possible.

    It's just for a few weeks. You'd probably be better off not exposing your baby to the risks.
  13. cyrano

    cyrano New Member

    Dec 24, 2006
    cover the basics, what we know about

    eat well, take your *prenatal* vitamins, limit caffeine,... drink lots of water, wash your hands often, avoid too much sun, avoid raw eggs/fish/meat/cheese, avoid domestic violence, avoid excessive worrying/sleep well, read a good book on how to have a healthy baby. don't do illegal drugs, especially cocaine, :)
    disclaimer= I'm not an MD, but these seem like the important things to me
  14. Tommygunn

    Tommygunn Senior Member

    Jun 14, 2006
    Morgan County, Alabama
    People should try this experiment -- though I would wait until summer. Go to a pool and dive under water, and hold your breath. Have a friend replicate a gunshot, or make a loud, sudden noise.
    I think you will find that while you might hear it, it will be considerably muffled.
    Tellner is right that water transmits sound better than air, but he's forgetting that the gunshots come from outside. In the pool example, much of the sound will reflect off the surface of the water. A fetus might hear, but much of what it hears will be body noises. It will hear it's mother's voice because that voice starts inside the body and will be transmited largely though body tissues and the circulatory system.
    Loud external sounds, like gunshots, will be largely reflected. Not all, of course, but I doubt one exposure will bother the fetus.
    Yeah ... worry more about the lead exposure.
  15. ctdonath

    ctdonath Senior Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    Cumming GA
    Congrats on the kid!

    Being a temporary situation, and the issues not being well understood, and having good arguments on both sides, I'd say just stay away from lead and excessively loud noises for the time being.

    Sounds like a good time to explore lead-free ammo, subsonics, and silencers. If nothing else, a good excuse to do so.
  16. CountGlockula

    CountGlockula Senior Member

    Oct 1, 2006
    In a Los Angeles coffin.
    Pistol packin' mama!!!

    Take a break from the range for now until the little one is born.

    Make sure you teach your baby the 4 rules! Welcome.
  17. shadowalker

    shadowalker Active Member

    Sep 6, 2006
    Wouldn't risk it

    If you must go avoid the indoor range and opt for an outdoor one, you'll have lower lead and other chemical exposure, also make sure your ammo doesn't have any exposed lead and make sure you wash your hands well.

    Our indoor range will not allow a pregnant woman to shoot at their range.

    Just like cell phones no one can really say for sure it is harmful but no one can say it isn't either. People can speculate on the effect of sound but no one hear really knows.

    Risks can be managed, the best way to manage them in this case is probably to avoid it completely for a few more weeks and do lots of dry fire, you'll save money and be a better shot when you do get to go :D.
  18. Medusa

    Medusa Active Member

    Jul 20, 2005
    EE, Europe
    As I was beated to it, it's good time to get the silencer (if only it wouldn't take much longer than a simple trip to store, like in Finland), this would keep the baby's ears safe&sound.
  19. Zach S

    Zach S Mentor

    Jun 30, 2003
    Western NC/East TN
    I wouldn't worry about that hour too much, but you shouldnt be shooting, mainly because of lead exposure. Keep this in mind even after the baby is born and nursing (if you chose to breastfeed).

    You would be better off asking your doctor what harm could have been done, he could (hopefully) answer that better than all of us. Ask about lead exposure specificly.

    As far as noise goes, indoor ranges are the worst, since the noise is confined.

    Anyway, congrats on the inbound little one. My first is due June 22, we're hoping to find out if its a girl or boy next friday.
  20. MechAg94

    MechAg94 Senior Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    I would be more concerned with handling ammunition and not washing your hands thoroughly afterwards.

    Also, use jacketed ammo. If airborne lead is a concern, avoid the range when it is busy. I am sure the owner could let you know the best times. Make sure you wash your hands though even after messing with ammo at home.

    I am by no means an expert. I do remember having black residue in my phlegm and nose after visiting the range during busy hours. Not fun to think about. I can't imagine it being worse than smoking or other stuff though.

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