Paintball hoppers have come a long way since their inception, with players like Steve McQueen, James Cameron, and David Bowie all using them to create the look of their dreams.
However, in recent years, many have come to believe that they may be contributing to an increase in serious injuries.
Now, with the proliferation of hoppers, many are questioning the safety of the devices.
A new research study found that the amount of paintball foam used to create a hopper can contribute to the onset of asthma, which in turn can increase the risk of injury.
Dr. Matthew A. Withers, the lead author of the study, said the results of the research are concerning, and he said there are several factors at play.
First, he said, the foam may be used improperly or improperly in the hopper itself, and then later in the paintball game.
In addition, he pointed out that the foam might be used in the wrong place, which can contribute more to injury.
“If you’re not using it correctly, you may not be as safe,” Witheres told Fox News.
“And in fact, if you’re just not using the right foam, then you’re at risk for more injuries.”
In the study of paintballs produced by the Canadian National Paintball Association, Witheros and his colleagues analyzed the foam used for the hoppers of 1,726 players.
They found that foam used in paintball was significantly different from foam used by other players.
The foam used was composed of a mixture of polyethylene and ethylene glycol, with some parts of the foam containing less than 0.1% polyethylenimine, according to the report.
In the foam of paint balls produced by Canadian Paintball Federation, the composition was significantly more similar to the foam produced by paintballs sold by other companies, according the report, but the amount and type of polyamides in the foam was significantly higher.
Withers noted that there was an increase among paintball players in the use of polystyrene and other foam-like materials, which he said are less likely to cause problems with injury.
The researchers also noted that the use and composition of the hopped paintball balls did not differ significantly from the foam made for use by other manufacturers, suggesting that the manufacturing process was similar.
“I think we’re seeing a lot of people who have been doing it wrong for a long time and are just not learning from it, but I think it’s really important to get more people who are using these hoppers out there and getting their hands on some safety training,” he said.
Witherson added that there are plenty of other safety concerns, including improper handling of the hoop, too much moisture in the hoop’s mouth, and that it is unlikely the foam would be able to safely absorb foam in an enclosed space.
He said the study is not conclusive, but he said it suggests that paintball is an increasingly dangerous activity.
He said that the study does not mean that the hopping process is dangerous or should be discouraged.
However and no matter what the results, he added, there should be more people involved in paint ball.
“I’m glad we’re in the midst of a renaissance in the hobby and the technology that we’ve got and that’s good for everybody,” he told Fox.
“I hope we’re going to keep that momentum going.”
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.)