Overview: The US Army Reserve consists of approximately 200,000 soldiers and Army Civilian employees across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Pacific and European Theaters.
Situation: USARC Safety Department identified 746 buildings with some level of heavy metal contamination. They also discovered that 224 locations are potentially generating heavy metals such as Lead, Hexavalent Chromium, and Cadmium.
Lead: a common metal that is found in bullets, which can be released as a residue in the smoke of a fired gun. Lead enters the body through ingestion as well as inhalation of fumes. Once in the body, it can cause kidney issues, high blood pressure, and neurological issues that can impair brain functioning. For more information: https://www.osha.gov/lead
Cadmium: is used as a plastic stabilizer, it is found in nicad batteries, but it is usually released from use as a pigment. It is a fine powder that is carried through the air and the main concern is breathing it in as dust. The health consequences associated with long-term exposure to this heavy metal include kidney, bone, and lung disease. Acute exposure can cause lung damage and flu-like symptoms. For more information: https://www.osha.gov/cadmium
Hexavalent Chromium (Cr^6): a metal that can be released through manufacturing processes such as welding and chromate painting. It's carried through the air and can settle on surfaces. Ingestion can increase the risk of cancer and cause organ damage in the kidneys, lungs, and eyes. For more information: https://www.osha.gov/hexavalent-chromium