Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Experts demand lead ammunition be replaced by steel in shooting sports

Date:
April 1, 2014
Source:
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Summary:
Olympic athletes specializing in shooting use one thousand cartridges per week and scatter some 1.3 tonnes of lead yearly, with harmful effects for surrounding animals and agricultural land. Authors of a new article demand that lead ammunition be replaced with steel, which is non-toxic and contains similar technical characteristics.

Raimon Guitart, lecturer in Toxicology at the UAB, and Vernon Thomas, emeritus professor of the University of Guelph, analysed in detail the environmental effects of using lead ammunition in shooting sports, in an article published in the AMBIO journal. Although the number of Olympic athletes specialising in these sports is reduced, and the ammunition is recovered and recycled after the competitions, there are many amateurs who practice this sport around the world, making it almost impossible to recover the ammunition after being used.

Related Articles


Researchers show that for these athletes practicing represents using approximately one thousand cartridges per person every week, with a yearly dispersal of 1.3 tonnes of lead. This metal represents a risk of contamination for the land and could poison animals, especially birds, since they confuse the ammunition with small stones and swallow them.

Although an alternative, non-toxic sports ammunition manufactured with steel has been available for ten years now, the International Olympic Committee leaves the regulations on ammunition to the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), which only accepts lead ammunition in official competitions. That causes countries such as Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, in which lead ammunition is prohibited, to have to make exceptions in the training and competitions of their athletes.

The research points out that depending on the terrain, lead can dissolve and spread in subterranean waters, and later be absorbed by the vegetation. Cases have been described in which farming land was contaminated by lead originating from shooting sports in the Czech Republic, where the lead passed to cereal crops; in Finland, where blueberry fields were reported to be contaminated, and in New Zealand.

In addition to the lead, the research highlights that ammunition manufactured with this metal contains arsenic and antimony, two toxic metals which seep into the ground when the ammunition degrades and which also contributes to increasing the environmental risks of this sport.

According to the authors, the problem of using lead as ammunition could be solved before 2020, with new regulatory measures and by gradually replacing this toxic ammunition with steel.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Vernon George Thomas, Raimon Guitart. Transition to Non-toxic Gunshot Use in Olympic Shooting: Policy Implications for IOC and UNEP in Resolving an Environmental Problem. AMBIO, 2013; 42 (6): 746 DOI: 10.1007/s13280-013-0393-7

Cite This Page:

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. "Experts demand lead ammunition be replaced by steel in shooting sports." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401102717.htm>.
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. (2014, April 1). Experts demand lead ammunition be replaced by steel in shooting sports. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401102717.htm
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. "Experts demand lead ammunition be replaced by steel in shooting sports." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140401102717.htm (accessed February 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Apple Ordered to Pay $533 Mln

Apple Ordered to Pay $533 Mln

Reuters - Business Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) A Texas jury ruled that Apple&apos;s iTunes software infringed three patents. Apple says it&apos;ll appeal. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
GOP Voices Concern Over Net Neutrality Vote

GOP Voices Concern Over Net Neutrality Vote

AP (Feb. 25, 2015) The debate surrounding net neutrality was on full display at a congressional hearing Wednesday, a day before the FCC is set to vote on on whether to put Internet service in the same regulatory camp as telephone communications. (Feb. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) A new study says marijuana is about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

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