Investigating ambient air quality of a shooting range during official national competitions

Aslanoğlu S. Y., Öztürk F., Güllü G.

Environmental Research and Technology, vol.5, no.1, pp.11-23, 2022 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Shooting is among nine sports branches that formed the first modern Olympic Games in
Athens in 1896. A professional shooting athlete shoots millions of bullets throughout their
sports life to commune with their gun dedicatedly. The number of simultaneous shots per
unit time depends on the capacity of the range. It can enormously increase when a national
match is a case. Shooting can cause gunshot residue exposure, including lead, other elements,
and their by-products accumulate in ambient air and reveal significant health risks.
This study aims to find the levels of PM10 and its chemical composition during official threeday
50 m 22-cal competitions in May 2016, Mersin, Turkey. To this end, PM10 samples were
collected on quartz-fiber filters and analyzed for elements by ICP-MS and carbonaceous
material by Thermal-Optical EC/OC analyzer. The total PM10 mass concentration average is
28.7±7.3 μg/m3 within the indoor threshold values of different countries. The ambient mass
concentrations of PM10, OC, EC, TC, Cd, and Pb were higher during once pistol matches
instead of rifle matches. Although Pb values did not exceed the indoor limits for shooting
ranges, it has the highest concentration among the analyzed elements. Additionally, Cr poses
cancer risk potential. Except for Zn, Sr, and Cu, all the measured parameters have higher
calculated emission factor (EF) values during pistol shots. To our best knowledge, this study
reports the airborne mass concentrations of EC, OC, and TC from indoor shooting ranges
and investigates indoor air quality for shooting sport for the first time.