I’m an investigative reporter who spent 18 months investigating the National Guard’s toxic armories. AMA
I spent 18 months investigating National Guard armories across the country, finding that hundreds have been contaminated by lead dust from indoor shooting ranges. Lead spread almost everywhere imaginable in armories — inspectors found lead on ice machines, refrigerators, a coffee machine, boxing bag, floors and shelves where kids’ toys were stored. Even a deli meat slicer. It contaminated offices, classrooms, assembly halls and entire HVAC systems.
Armories are a part of the fabric of America. They're community gathering halls that not only house our citizen-soldiers for monthly drill weekends but also baby showers, weddings, scout meetings, banquets and sleepovers.
Even after testing showed Oregon’s armories were grossly contaminated with lead, my reporting found that elementary school kids from an Oregon town were allowed to sleep on a floor where inspectors once found lead at levels 650 times higher than the U.S. EPA considers safe for young kids. Inspectors had just surveyed the armory the previous month, finding lead in every sample they took.
Since our story published online last Friday, we’ve already seen lawmakers in two states call for more disclosure from their state Guard units. More reporters across the country are working on stories using the thousands of pages of records we published along with my report.
You can read my article here: http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/page/toxic_lead_dust_in_national_guard_armories.html
Update: That's a wrap. Thanks for your questions. I'll circle back around this afternoon if there are any Qs lingering. Thanks for stopping by.