There is limited information regarding the integrated effect of various small arm weapons and ammunition types on the airborne lead levels. The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether the internal mechanical mechanism of gas-operated ammunition loading systems of weapons has an effect on airborne lead levels and to provide quantitative data on potential inhalation exposure of airborne lead. Remote-controlled firing under laboratory conditions was conducted in a closed shooting range with the Micro-Tavor (MT) and M16 automatic weapons with M193, Frangible, Brass, and Blank ammunition. The results of the study revealed higher airborne lead levels using M16 type weapon compared to the MT with all the ammunition types. The mean airborne lead levels were significantly (p < 0.05) higher using M16 weapon with either Brass and Frangible ammunitions (0.065 + 0.023 mg/m3, 0.046 + 0.031 mg/m3 respectively) as compared to MT (0.007 ± 0.006 mg/m3 and 0.016 ± 0.019 mg/m3, respectively). Lower airborne lead levels were measured opposite the ejection port while firing the MT compared to the M16 when firing all ammunition types. The weapon different internal mechanical mechanisms in MT and M16 weapons of the gas-operated ammunition loading systems have a key role affecting the levels of lead emission to the air. Lead concentrations at shooting ranges can be reduced significantly by implementing better management practices and the use of unleaded ammunition. The present study demonstrated methods for characterizing the specific effects of different weapons and ammunition types on emissions that can be used to initiate studies of inhalation risk and environmental contamination.
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© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis