CDC logoSafer Healthier People  CDC HomeCDC SearchCDC Health Topics A-Z
NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

NIOSH Safety and Health Topic:

Indoor Firing Ranges


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is conducting a public review of the NIOSH draft document entitled NIOSH Alert: Preventing Occupational Exposures to Lead and Noise at Indoor Firing Ranges, NIOSH Docket Number NIOSH-128.

This document has been determined by NIOSH to be a Significant Guidance document, in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidelines under the Federal Data Quality Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-554, Section 1(a)(3)[515]). The overall goal of the review is to enhance the quality and credibility of Agency recommendations by ensuring that the scientific and technical work underlying these recommendations receives appropriate public review. This guidance document does not have the force and effect of law.

Indoor firing ranges are popular among law enforcement and recreational shooters because they offer protection from inclement weather conditions and can be operated around the clock under controlled environmental conditions. However, many firing range facilities lack environmental and occupational controls to protect the health of shooters and range personnel from effects of airborne lead, noise, and other potential exposures.

This page provides links to information about the evaluation, measurement, and control of noise and airborne lead exposures at indoor firing ranges.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Noise exposure assessment and abatement strategies at an indoor firing range
Appl Occup Env Hyg 2003 Aug; 18(8):629-636

Ventilation control of lead in indoor firing ranges: inlet configuration and booth and fluctuating flow contributions
Am Ind Hyg Assoc J 1991 Feb; 52(2):81-91

NIOSH/NHCA best-practices workshop on impulsive noise
Noise Control Eng J 2005 Mar-Apr; 53(2):53-60

For more publications, see:

NIOSHTIC-2 search results on Firing Ranges
is a searchable bibliographic database of occupational safety and health publications, documents, grant reports, and journal articles supported in whole or in part by NIOSH.

NIOSH Health Hazard Evaluations

NIOSH conducts Health Hazard Evaluations (HHEs) to find out whether there are health hazards to employees caused by exposures or conditions in the workplace.

Some recent HHE reports related to firing ranges have been listed below. For a comprehensive listing of HHE reports please search the HHE Database.

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2002-0131-2898, Fort Collins Police Services, Fort Collins, Colorado
this document in PDF PDF only  636 KB (35 pages)

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-2000-0191-2960, Immigration and Naturalization Service, National Firearms Unit, Altoona, Pennsylvania
this document in PDF PDF only  1,393 KB (67 pages)

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-1997-0255-2735, Forest Park Police Department, Forest Park, Ohio
this document in PDF PDF only  254 KB (26 pages)

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-1996-0218-2623, New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council, Concord, New Hampshire
this document in PDF PDF only  231 KB (15 pages)

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-1996-0107-2613, Dartmouth Police Department, Dartmouth, Massachusetts
this document in PDF PDF only  215 KB (12 pages)

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-1992-0034-2356, Saint Bernard Police Department, Saint Bernard, Ohio
this document in PDF PDF only  215 KB (16 pages)

Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-1991-0346-2572, FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia
this document in PDF PDF only  325 KB (39 pages)

Related NIOSH Topic Pages


Noise / Hearing Loss

Take-Home Toxins

CDC/NIOSH Documents and Publications

Lead exposure and design considerations for indoor firing ranges
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 76-130 (December 1975)
this document in PDF PDF only  113 KB (38 pages)
This technical document provides the user with recommendations for design considerations and work practices to reduce or eliminate health hazards associated with indoor firing ranges. It includes topics such as ventilation, noise, and maintenance issues.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report June 17, 2005 / 54(23);577-579: Lead Exposure from Indoor Firing Ranges Among Students on Shooting Teams --- Alaska, 2002—2004
External link:
During 2002--2004, the Alaska Environmental Public Health Program (EPHP) conducted lead-exposure assessments of school-based indoor shooting teams in the state. This investigation revealed that lead exposure can occur at indoor firing ranges despite federal regulations and specific guidelines pertaining to range design and operation.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report September 23, 1983 / 32(37);483-4,489: Reducing Exposures to Airborne Lead in Indoor Firing Ranges -- United States
External link:
Between 1980 and 1982, NIOSH completed nine evaluations of exposures to lead in indoor firing ranges. Results show that exposure of shooters to airborne lead is greatly reduced by replacing traditional lead bullets with nylon-clad, copper-jacketed, or zinc ammunition.

Other Resources

Indoor Firing Ranges: Industrial Hygiene Technical Guide
External Link:
This technical manual, produced by the US Navy Environmental Health Center, provides general information on indoor firing ranges to assist the user in recognizing, evaluating, and controlling safety and health hazards inherent to such worksites.

Lead Management and OSHA Compliance for Indoor Shooting Ranges
External Link:
The National Association of Shooting Ranges (NASR) produced this manual though an alliance with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and input from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The manual provides valuable background on lead issues, as well as general guidance for lead monitoring and ventilation, precautions and coverage for employees, and related business practices.

External Link:
August 5, 2002: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the National Association of Shooting Ranges (NASR) and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI) established an Alliance to promote safe and healthful working conditions for workers in target shooting facilities.


Indoor Firing Ranges

Target Practice at a Firing Range


On This Page...

Health Hazard Evaluations
Other NIOSH Topic Pages
CDC/NIOSH Documents
Other Resources