Environmental risks at Finnish shooting ranges - A case study

Jaana Sorvari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


We studied three Finnish shooting ranges in order to define the extent of the risks associated with elevated environmental concentrations of metals and PAHs. A scoring system revealed that lead, arsenic, and antimony were the most critical contaminants. On Site 3, the concentration of lead in groundwater exceeded the drinking water standard indicating evident health risks. For the remaining two sites we calculated Acceptable Daily Doses (ADD) based on the Reasonable Maximum Exposure (RME) approach and compared them with safe exposure levels. We also used a pharmacokinetic model to determine blood lead levels (PbBs). Risks to biota were assessed using ecological benchmarks and exposure and accumulation models. Prediction of leaching was based on laboratory tests and a distribution model. The health risk assessment for lead resulted in the maximum hazard quotient (HQ) of 1.2 whereas the HQs of As and Sb remained less than 1. Some exposure scenarios produced PbB estimates exceeding 10 μ g dl-1 but based on the uncertainty analysis we expect the health risks to remain insignificant. However, leaching of contaminants presents a risk to groundwater quality. At site 1 the ecotoxicity-based HQs demonstrate high risks to soil biota, small mammals, terrestrial plants and aquatic organisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1111-1146
Number of pages36
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Contamination
  • Ecological risk
  • Health risk
  • Risk assessment
  • Shooting range

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