AIRBORNE TOXINS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT
THE REALITY OF HEAVY METAL EXPOSURE DURING LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY
Firing ranges, breaching, and emergency response training / operations expose Law Enforcement and Military personnel to dangerous and harmful airborne heavy metals and toxins. This can include lead, antimony, mold, aluminum, and more. These airborne contaminants wreak havoc on the human body and cognitive functions, leading to both chronic and acute afflictions.
Severe headaches, brain fog, light sensitivity, risk of tremors, insomnia
Increased irritability, anxiety, depression, trouble concentrating
Chronic bronchitis, increased risk of lung cancer
Body aches, chronic fatigue, kidney failure, anemia, paralysis
Impaired sensory function, impaired vision and hearing, speech difficulty
Officers and soldiers have 4 times higher incidence of respiratory related illnesses attributed to occupational hazards vs. the general population.
The cost that United States Veteran Affairs has recently budgeted to care for veterans who experience respiratory related illness-and-injury-related to their service.
Many users are often issued gas masks but are not armed with an effective respirator specifically designed for the unique situations where hazardous particulates are inhaled through dust and debris.
SCENARIOS WHERE HEAVY METAL EXPOSURE OCCURS
In 2022, a Canadian law enforcement agency wore Ventus Tactical Respirators for one week of breaching and range training. Afterwards, the filters were sent out for independent testing, below is a summary of the contaminants extracted from the filter:
HEAVY METAL & TOXIN EXPOSURE AFTER
1 week of breaching & Range training
ASSOCIATED HEALTH RISKS
The most sensitive target of aluminum toxicity is the nervous system, leading to impaired performance on neurobehavioral tests of motor function, sensory function and cognitive function.
Acute exposure by inhalation in humans results in inflammation of the lungs, chronic bronchitis and chronic emphysema.
Causes anemia, weakness, and kidney and brain damage. Very high lead exposure can cause paralysis, neurotoxicity, severe headaches, COPD, and lung cancer.
Inhaled chromium is a human carcinogen, resulting in an increased risk of lung, nasal and sinus cancer.
Inhalation of inorganic arsenic can cause respiratory irritation, nausea, skin effects and increased risk of lung cancer. Acute high dose oral exposure to inorganic arsenic may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. cardiovascular effects and encephalopathy.
Very high uranium intakes (ranging from about 50-150mg depending on the individual) can cause acute kidney failure and death.
To combat the risk of inhaling these toxins, operators should be issued particulate respirators, such as the TR2 from Ventus. The TR2 is a lightweight, low-profile tactical respirator that fits snugly over the nose and mouth. The TR2 integrates seamlessly with comms devices and is mission scalable to integrate with a range of common accessories – this makes it an ideal solution for law enforcement officers and military personnel.
The filter is simple to replace and filters 95% of solid airborne particulates down to 0.3μm. Filtering out these contaminates allows law enforcement professionals to focus on their mission, without having to worry about the long- or short-term effects of heavy metal and toxin exposure.
To learn more about the Ventus TR2, or other officer safety products available at Rampart, such as specialized lead wipes and soaps – contact us today.
Filters used during one day of training vs a brand new filter