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Lead Exposure From Firearm Use Is a Lot More Common Than You Think May 27, 2017

For millions of Americans, shooting firearms is a satisfying hobby and a great way to exercise our unique rights. And the cornerstone of this activity is safety. The vast majority of gun owners know just how dangerous firearms can be, which is why they are so cautious around their firearms. Gun culture is steeped in safety and conscientiousness, and for good reason.

However, there’s one aspect of gun safety that is often overlooked. Most gun owners don’t concern themselves too much with the risks associated with lead exposure, and that’s not a euphemism for getting shot. It turns out that merely shooting a firearm can give you a tiny dose of lead. And when you shoot a lot, those doses add up.

In a standard bullet, a solid lead core wrapped in a copper jacket sits atop a stack of gunpowder and lead primer. When the gun fires, the primer ignites, the gunpowder lights, and some of the lead on the bullet boils. When the casing snaps out of the ejection port, lead particles trail behind it. As the bullet hurtles down the barrel of the gun, a shower of lead particles follows.

If a gun range isn’t ventilated well, lead dust collects on shooters’ clothing and hands and lingers in the air, where it can be inhaled. The more people shoot, the greater the risk of being exposed to dangerous amounts of lead. It becomes an occupational hazard for weapons instructors, police and defense personnel.

It can also put family members at risk. A 1-year-old boy in Connecticut was found to have high blood lead levels at a routine doctor’s visit. There were no lead paint or pipes in the child’s home. The exposure was traced to his father’s job as a maintenance worker at an indoor shooting range; the father cared for his son after work in lead-contaminated clothing, according to a 2015 report from the state public health department.

The people who are most vulnerable to lead exposure from firearms, are the gun range workers, especially if they work at indoor ranges with poor ventilation (which is more common than most people realize). Also at risk, are avid shooters, and people who work in professions that require them to frequently train with firearms, such as police officers and military personnel. However, some people think that the risk is overblown.

The issue of lead exposure and firearms is divisive, even the question of whether higher lead levels are unsafe. “Well, that’s their opinion,” says Larry Keane, the vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “We believe there are efforts by others that want to diminish people’s participation in shooting sports or exercise their second amendment rights. They put out or advocate positions that are unsupported by the evidence.”

That’s an understandable sentiment. Gun owners are used to having their hobby demonized and undermined by politicians and activists. It wouldn’t be a surprise if someday, anti-gun politicians latch on to this issue, and use it to regulate shooting ranges out of existence, or scare would-be gun owners.

However, the truth is there is a problem with lead exposure at gun ranges. Its a fact gun ranges are rarely inspected by OSHA, according to a Seattle Times investigation. They also found that in many cases, range owners were negligent and had poorly ventilated facilities. Or they were unaware of the hazard, which is understandable. Even though every shooter knows that their bullets contain lead, this issue isn’t really on the radar of the shooting community.

It’s also true that generally speaking, shooting firearms can increase your lead exposure, regardless of whether or not you shoot at a poorly ventilated indoor range. A recent examination of 36 previous studies that looked at the lead levels of avid shooters, found that just about every shooter has blood lead levels that are higher than what is considered safe by the CDC. If you use a firearm on a regular basis, you probably have more lead in your body than the average person.

So is this something that gun owners really need to worry about? In short, yes. No amount of lead is safe for the human body. Even in small amounts, it’s still going to do damage to you, and you may not have symptoms of lead poisoning right away. And these symptoms aren’t exactly telling. They include things like irritability, high blood pressure, joint pain, and poor memory. If you started suffering from those conditions, would you immediately assume that it was from using firearms?

However, we shouldn’t let this danger stop us from enjoying firearms. There are things we can do to mitigate the risk of lead exposure. The researchers who studied lead exposure among shooters, recommended changing your clothes after visiting a shooting range, and not smoking or eating at the range. Wearing gloves while shooting would probably also be a good idea. And most importantly, use ammunition that contains lead free primers.

Gun owners are already well known for being obsessed with safety, and taking every necessary precaution when handling firearms. It only makes sense that we stop ignoring this issue, and start protecting ourselves and our families from lead.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published May 27th, 2017
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You Won’t Believe Why Washington State Isn’t Allowed to Prepare for Nuclear War May 15, 2017

If the government was able to take care of everyone during any foreseeable disaster, there probably wouldn’t be a thriving prepper movement today. So many people have taken it upon themselves to prepare for disasters, because they know how the government often reacts to crisis situations. Our government’s response to disasters is often slow and lacking, and the victims of these events are frequently forced to fend for themselves. Still, what they do is better than nothing, and at least at the local level first responders do a great job.

With that said, there’s an expectation among most people that when disaster strikes, the government will do something. And worst case scenario, sometimes there are disasters that the government doesn’t foresee, and they simply don’t have a plan. However, most people don’t realize that sometimes, not only does the government not have a plan, they deliberately avoid making a plan for political reasons.

That may sound totally asinine, but it’s absolutely true. Especially in the state of Washington. With all the hype surrounding North Korea’s missile tests, many states are reexamining their nuclear preparedness plans, except in Washington, where apparently it’s illegal for state authorities to even make those plans. According to King5 news out of Seattle:

Despite the constant threats and missile tests coming out of North Korea, emergency management officials in Washington state say they are prevented from forming an evacuation plan in the event of a nuclear attack.

“State law does not allow any advanced planning,” said Karina Shagren with the Washington State Emergency Management Division.

RCW 38.52.030, passed in 1983, says “The comprehensive, all-hazard emergency plan authorized under this subsection may not include preparation for emergency evacuation or relocation of residents in anticipation of nuclear attack.”

Can you believe that? You might be wondering why any government would actively refuse to prepare for a nuclear war. It turns out that the only thing dumber than this law, is the reason why it exists.

The author of the state law preventing a nuclear attack plan, former Democratic state lawmaker Dick Nelson, says at the time, Washington state was inundated with nuclear threats, and the idea was to create an example of peace.

“It was about finding a middle ground we could all agree on,” he said.

Nelson also felt that if Seattle were to be attacked, the chances of survival would be so low that a preparation plan would have been moot anyway.

Today, Nelson still says he has no regrets.

So in other words, the state decided that refusing to prepare for a nuclear war would send the message that nuclear war is bad and peace is good…or something. I’m struggling to follow the logic here.

It’d be like refusing to prepare for hurricanes, because hurricanes are bad and destructive. It doesn’t make any sense. Trying set a peaceful example by refusing to prepare for war; a preparation that I might add is totally non-violent and only exists to save civilians, doesn’t do anything to actually reduce the probability of that war happening. It doesn’t bring more peace to the world, and it doesn’t save anyone. With this law, Washington has traded the safety of many of their citizens for a shallow political statement.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published May 15th, 2017
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Scientists Reveal Fukushima Doused Everyone on Earth With Radiation

When the crisis at the Fukushima power plant first began six years ago, there were legitimate fears that the radioactive particles spewing from the fuel rods could blanket the Earth. Since then the experts and the mainstream media have downplayed that possibility. Either they don’t think it’s possible, or they don’t think it’ll be significant. But recently, scientists in Norway have revealed that the radiation emitted from Fukushima really did have a global reach.

It’s been over half a decade since Japan’s Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant suffered a catastrophic meltdown due to the effects of a tsunami which struck the island nation, but scientists are only just now confirming its far-reaching effects. After conducting the first worldwide survey to measure the ultimate radiation exposure caused by the reactor meltdown, researchers at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research finally have a figure on exactly how much extra radiation humanity was exposed to.

According to the group’s data, over 80 percent of the radiation that was released by the meltdown ended up in either the ocean or ice at the north and south poles. Of the remaining radiation, each human on the planet received roughly 0.1 millisievert, which equates to about “one extra X-ray each,” according to the team.

Fortunately, that’s not a whole lot of radiation. That’s significantly less than the average amount of background radiation that most people receive in a year. The fact that we all received the equivalent of an x-ray isn’t alarming. What is alarming, however, is the fact that Fukushima did this, and it did it to every man and woman and child on Earth.

The reason why that’s so scary is that the Fukushima disaster is still unfolding. Earlier this year it was revealed that the level of radiation at the power plant was at its highest level since this crisis began in 2011, and the fuel rods have likely melted through their containment vessel. If this situation isn’t contained, then these fuel rods could melt into the groundwater, and spew radioactive particles into the ocean for years (or at least, more than what the power plant is already leaking into the ocean).

And we have to consider that as long as those fuel rods aren’t properly stored, they could still explode. If at any point in the next few decades, (which is how long most experts believe it’s going to take to decommission the power plant) the workers at Fukushima fail to keep the rods cool, they could become critical and cause an eruption of radioactive smoke that would spread throughout the atmosphere.

That’s why the discovery made by these Norwegian researchers should be taken seriously. We know for a fact that the radiation from Fukushima is capable of reaching everyone on our planet. So if the situation in Fukushima ever worsens, we know that there will be nowhere to run to. There will be no escaping the lethal emanations from that power plant.

Read More:

The Next Fukushima? These Nuclear Power Plants Reside in Earthquake Zones

PREPARING FOR THE NEXT ATTACK: HOW TO SURVIVE A NUCLEAR MELTDOWN

5 Foods that Help to Naturally Prevent Radiation Poisoning

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published May 15th, 2017
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