Children as young as eight years-old who participate in JROTC, Boy Scouts, Young Marines, and 4-H Clubs, may come into regular contact with deadly lead contaminates while shooting in America's largely unregulated firing ranges.
From the Seattle Times:
Lead poisoning is a major threat at America’s shooting ranges, perpetuated by owners who’ve repeatedly violated laws even after workers have fallen painfully ill. Indoor and outdoor, public and private, gun ranges dot the national landscape like bullet holes riddling a paper target, as the popularity of shooting has rocketed to new heights with an estimated 40 million recreational shooters annually.
But a hidden risk lies within almost all of America’s estimated 10,000 gun ranges. When shooters fire guns with lead-based ammunition, they spread lead vapor and dust, insidious toxins. Thousands of people, including workers, shooters and their family members, have been contaminated at shooting ranges due to poor ventilation and contact with lead-coated surfaces, a Seattle Times investigation has found.
Lead analyzed on the floor of the Vancouver Rifle and Pistol Club Lead was 993 times higher than a federal housing guideline for allowable lead on surfaces. 20 children were found to have elevated blood lead levels. “We weren’t very cautious,” said one shooter, “We would get lead on our hands and eat finger food.”
The Vancouver Rifle and Pistols Junior Program is affiliated with USA Shooting, the CMP, and the NRA. Junior team members travel to local, state, and national competitions. Age requirements are 8-19 years old. JROTC, Boy Scouts, and the Young Marines shoot there.