Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Lead Bullets And Shot Corrode, But The Lead Stays Put, Virginia Tech Study Shows

Date:
November 30, 2000
Source:
Virginia Tech
Summary:
Studies at Virginia Tech show that, although the metal in lead bullets and shot corrodes rapidly in the natural environment, the lead becomes trapped in the corrosion products so it cannot easily migrate away.

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Studies at Virginia Tech show that, although the metal in lead bullets and shot corrodes rapidly in the natural environment, the lead becomes trapped in the corrosion products so it cannot easily migrate away.

Research carried out by Donald Rimstidt and James Craig, professors of geological sciences in Virginia Tech's College of Arts and Sciences, shows that reactions between the lead metal and ions from the soil solutions deposit minerals like cerrussite (lead carbonate) and hydrocerrussite (lead hydroxycarbonate) onto the surfaces of the bullets and shot. Under normal conditions these minerals are quite insoluble. They form a coating on the metal that traps soluble lead, and this coating protects the metal from further corrosion.

Lead shot and bullets, dispersed at the rate of over 50,000 metric tons per year, now constitute the greatest flux of lead into the U.S. environment. A large fraction of these shot and bullets accumulate onto formal and informal shooting ranges where lead loading can be extremely high.

Rimstidt and Craig's research has documented loadings of as high as 22,000 g/m2, or 4.5 pounds per square foot. Heightened public awareness of the toxicity of lead, along with the high concentrations of lead found on shooting ranges, has caused growing concerns about the environmental impact of these highly lead-contaminated sites. This new research improves our understanding of the level of environmental risks associated with shooting ranges and suggests that there is relatively little risk that soluble lead will escape from the shooting ranges.

These studies are not only important for making management and design decisions for shooting ranges, but they explain why lead artifacts are preserved. For example, lead bullets from the Civil War have persisted in the battle field soils of Virginia for more than 100 years because of these mineral coatings.

These findings were presented at the Geological Society of American meeting in Reno in November.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Tech. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Virginia Tech. "Lead Bullets And Shot Corrode, But The Lead Stays Put, Virginia Tech Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 November 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001129074745.htm>.
Virginia Tech. (2000, November 30). Lead Bullets And Shot Corrode, But The Lead Stays Put, Virginia Tech Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001129074745.htm
Virginia Tech. "Lead Bullets And Shot Corrode, But The Lead Stays Put, Virginia Tech Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001129074745.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

Raw: Thousands of Fish Dead in Mexico Lake

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Over 53 tons of rotting fish have been removed from Lake Cajititlan in western Jalisco state. Authorities say that the thousands of fish did not die of natural causes. (Sep. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

Raw: Iceland Volcano Spewing Smoke

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — The alert warning for the area surrounding Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano was kept at orange on Tuesday, indicating increased unrest with greater potential for an eruption. Smoke is spewing from the volcano, and lava is spouting nearby. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Halliburton Reaches $1B Gulf Spill Settlement

Halliburton Reaches $1B Gulf Spill Settlement

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP oil spill could be a way to diminish years of costly litigation. A federal judge still has to approve the settlement. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins