AAF Flanders, working closely with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), developed a recirculating clean air system for indoor firing ranges. The result was safe, clean air and substantial savings in cooling/heating.

AAF Flanders designed a system of airflow, filtration, and recirculation based on proven results in hundreds of applications around the world. The combination of air patterns with the AAF Flanders system for contaminant removal permits recirculation of air that enables air-conditioning systems to function more cost-effectively.

Lead Exposure and Contaminant Risk

Indoor gun ranges produce large quantities of airborne pollutants, including lead and noxious gases. The most significant potential source of airborne lead at the firing line is the burning gunpowder acting on the exposed lead base of a projectile. The metallic lead in the projectile can also become airborne lead particles through heat from friction between the bore of the firearm and an unjacketed lead projectile. Downrange, lead may become airborne from splatter as projectiles strike backstops, floors, walls, or baffles.

In addition, maintenance and/or repair of the backstop or other range equipment may stir up lead dust that had settled. Improper cleaning of a range may also introduce lead dust to the air. Ranges that allow lead dust to accumulate face increased lead exposure risks, including lead poisoning and other serious health side effects. Concentrations may exceed safe levels of exposure for workers and shooters, and failure to comply with the
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) regulations can result in significant fines for range owners.

Controlling Contaminant Levels

By law, contaminant levels within an indoor firing range facility must be controlled.
  • Lead must be limited to a level of 50 ug/m(3) averaged over an 8-hour period.
  • Carbon monoxide must be controlled to 50 ppm.
  • Surveys from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) indicate that the majority of indoor firing ranges operate with air contamination levels far exceeding acceptable standards.

Optimize Your Filtration and Improve Your Environment

The primary purpose of an air filtration system in shooting ranges is to prevent the build-up of toxic gases (CO2, CO, NO) and particulates, including lead and other discharge products that generate as guns are fired. The benefits of proper air filtration include:

  • Elimination of dangerous air contaminants, protecting the health of employees and patrons alike
  • Compliance with EPA and OSHA regulations
  • Reduced liability from lawsuits resulting from employee health problems
  • Reduced employee absenteeism and disability
  • Improved conditions inside the firing range

A thorough audit of your air filtration system is the first step that AAF Flanders recommends to provide you with professional guidance and an analysis for cost savings and liability reduction opportunities. By conducting this audit, we document your current state and advise you on how your facility could perform better, helping you save money, save time, and reduce risk.

Contact your AAF Flanders representative to schedule an audit and to find out how the insights from intelligent data tools, including TCO Diagnostic® and Sensor360®, can improve operational outcomes and save you time and money.