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Thread: War environmental damage: lead

  1. #1
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    Default War environmental damage: lead

    Dave Hadfield's vid of flying a Spit the other day had me thinking: wouldn't there be some environmental impact of all that lead flying around and falling onto the ground? There must be uncounted millions of lead rounds in England from WWII, for example. Not to mention along the WWI trench lines. Including WWI and WWII, France must have lead poisoned soil in certain areas?
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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    I would worry more about depleted uranium.
    The US fired nearly 10,000 rounds in Iraq in 2003.

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    There is a WWII rifle range on the airfield close by my village. A few years ago, I found spent rounds in the sand of the stop bank. They were all copper jacketed.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    Thanks for that link, Paul. I guess that answers my musing.
    Gerard>
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    Default War environmental damage: lead

    Something like 4% of the sand at Omaha Beach is microscopic bits of metal from the shrapnel and spent ammunition, as well as iron and glass beads (created by the heat of artillery shells exploding in the sand).

    https://thesedimentaryrecord.scholas...aha-beach-sand

    https://scitechdaily.com/microscopic...e-of-war-sand/

    If I remember correctly, the beaches at Gallipoli are in the same state. Lots of microscopic bits of lead, copper, iron, and glass.

    They've even a name for it: "war sand".
    Last edited by Nicholas Carey; 11-20-2022 at 03:41 PM.
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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    In my view, using depleted uranium ammo is a war crime . .

    The US and NATO militaries used DU penetrator rounds in the 1991 Gulf War, the Bosnia war, bombing of Serbia, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and 2015 airstrikes on ISIS in Syria.

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    So, exploding your enemy's body into a red mist with non-radioactive 'standard' ordinance is within the rules of engagement?

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    Lead is relatively inert, as long as children aren't eating the fragments there is very low risk. Plants do not take up lead so not a big problem on farm land either. In fact part of why lead contamination is so hard to clean up is because you can't use plants to help.

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerarddm View Post
    Dave Hadfield's vid of flying a Spit the other day had me thinking: wouldn't there be some environmental impact of all that lead flying around and falling onto the ground? There must be uncounted millions of lead rounds in England from WWII, for example. Not to mention along the WWI trench lines. Including WWI and WWII, France must have lead poisoned soil in certain areas?
    WW2 battlefields were spread, making the lead concentration less of an issue. Western WW1 battlefields were largely static, but other stuff they used there was so bad that even today they're left alone. And even there I would expect automotive sources to do more damage.
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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    There is a WWII rifle range on the airfield close by my village. A few years ago, I found spent rounds in the sand of the stop bank. They were all copper jacketed.
    There is a rifle range a mile or so outside the little village near where we lived when I was a kid. I helped work the targets a few times. Shoots were often and very popular, and it was all old .303 rifles, open sights. The two or three of us manning the targets stood in a trench lined with timber, the targets about four feet directly overhead. The bullets, fired from a couple of hundred yards to over a thousand yards, depending on the shoot, would rip through the paper targets and smack into the high dirt bank behind, throwing dirt and gravel into the air, followed after by a distant boom and echos rolling around the valley. Someone down range would signal the end of the round and we'd haul down the targets from above our heads and replace them with new ones and haul them back up again using pulleys.
    One day I had the bright idea of digging some projectiles out of the bank, taking them home and trying to melt down the lead. I took an old honey tin- which hold sixty pounds of honey- and got to digging. The bullets rolled out of the bank by the hundreds. I more than half filled that tin in no time. And then discovered that I couldn't move it a foot, let alone carry it a mile home Tipped out about ninety five percent of what I'd collected and struggled out with the rest. And yes Nick -all copper jacketed. JayInOz

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    Got a painted house from the fifties or earlier? I have, 1910 in fact.. I would say its been burned off or sanded off perhaps 10 times minimum and most of that is lead based paint.
    Just a month or so ago I was dealing with a blocked sewer and while the drain guy was there, a stormwater drain. The drain was blocked by fine sand/ paint and seemed very heavy in the hand. The weight also explained why it sat and accumulated where it did.

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    So, exploding your enemy's body into a red mist with non-radioactive 'standard' ordinance is within the rules of engagement?
    That is not good either, but you appear to be unaware of the particular dangers of DU.

    just google it

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    I believe that tank penetrators have been tungsten for awhile now.
    Gerard>
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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    So, exploding your enemy's body into a red mist with non-radioactive 'standard' ordinance is within the rules of engagement?
    tricky business

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    Lead is relatively inert, as long as children aren't eating the fragments there is very low risk. Plants do not take up lead so not a big problem on farm land either. In fact part of why lead contamination is so hard to clean up is because you can't use plants to help.
    relatively inert and poisonous when injested don’t go together.

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    Quote Originally Posted by JayInOz View Post
    There is a rifle range a mile or so outside the little village near where we lived when I was a kid. I helped work the targets a few times. Shoots were often and very popular, and it was all old .303 rifles, open sights. The two or three of us manning the targets stood in a trench lined with timber, the targets about four feet directly overhead. The bullets, fired from a couple of hundred yards to over a thousand yards, depending on the shoot, would rip through the paper targets and smack into the high dirt bank behind, throwing dirt and gravel into the air, followed after by a distant boom and echos rolling around the valley. Someone down range would signal the end of the round and we'd haul down the targets from above our heads and replace them with new ones and haul them back up again using pulleys.
    One day I had the bright idea of digging some projectiles out of the bank, taking them home and trying to melt down the lead. I took an old honey tin- which hold sixty pounds of honey- and got to digging. The bullets rolled out of the bank by the hundreds. I more than half filled that tin in no time. And then discovered that I couldn't move it a foot, let alone carry it a mile home Tipped out about ninety five percent of what I'd collected and struggled out with the rest. And yes Nick -all copper jacketed. JayInOz
    Just so.
    Probably 40 to 50 years in a sandbank, the ones I found were hardly corroded. The rifling imprint in the copper was as clear as day.
    So there would be even less risk of contamination from WWII spent rounds than an unjacketed round if such were used in WWI.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    relatively inert and poisonous when injested dont go together.
    See answer two here https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/...tallic-lead-pb


    Metallic lead is very low risk.

    Lead compounds are fairly poisonous: they slowly build up in the body and cause many harmful effects. But lead metal is very inert and you would need to do something fairly risky with it to create much likleihood of generating dangerous lead compounds.

    Don't eat it, for example. Don't put it in contact with food (especially acidic foods which can solubilise lead). But normal handling should not be a problem.

    Lead is so inert that it has been used to pipe clean water supplies to people for most of history (or at least the parts of history where somebody had access to clean water). This is safe unless the water supply is particularly acidic and leaches lead from the pipes.

    In short: don't worry about lumps of lead.
    I'd much rather lay in my bunk all freakin day lookin at Youtube videos .

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post
    ok inert under certain conditions except where animals are injesting animals shot with it.

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    Falconers have to be very careful that their birds don't ingest lead pellets from critters shot to feed them. I seem to recall that in the early days of Gerald Durrells zoo in Jersey in the Channel Islands they lost some rare ducks and I think other water birds, and after draining their pond found a cache of buried shotgun shells which had become exposed and the shot was being eaten by the birds. When I was a kid I swallowed a handful of lead air rifle pellets as a dare, long before I'd heard about lead being harmful. Probably nearly sixty years ago now, so any day now I'm expecting them to reach the exit JayInOz

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    ^ Lead shot has been banned in the UK for use as fishing weights by coarse fishing anglers due to the death of swans eating them.
    Lead, lead oxides and sugars of lead are poisonous if ingested. Small quantities cause brain damage, bigger quantities kill.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    ^ Lead shot has been banned in the UK for use as fishing weights by coarse fishing anglers due to the death of swans eating them.
    Lead, lead oxides and sugars of lead are poisonous if ingested. Small quantities cause brain damage, bigger quantities kill.
    Besides habitat loss California Condors were getting knocked out by lead poisonong. Apparently there’s a lot of dead anomals out there with lead in them.

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead

    April 25, 2014 / 63(16);347-351

    Catherine Beaucham, MPH1, Elena Page, MD1, Walter A. Alarcon, MD1, Geoffrey M. Calvert, MD1, Mark Methner, PhD1, Todd M. Schoonover, PhD2 (Author affiliations at end of text)
    Indoor firing ranges are a source of lead exposure and elevated blood lead levels (BLLs) among employees, their families, and customers, despite public health outreach efforts and comprehensive guidelines for controlling occupational lead exposure (1). There are approximately 16,000–18,000 indoor firing ranges in the United States, with tens of thousands of employees. Approximately 1 million law enforcement officers train on indoor ranges (1). To estimate how many adults had elevated BLLs (≥10 g/dL) as a result of exposure to lead from shooting firearms, data on elevated BLLs from the Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance (ABLES) program managed by CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) were examined by source of lead exposure. During 2002–2012, a total of 2,056 persons employed in the categories "police protection" and "other amusement and recreation industries (including firing ranges)" had elevated BLLs reported to ABLES; an additional 2,673 persons had non–work-related BLLs likely attributable to target shooting. To identify deficiencies at two indoor firing ranges linked to elevated BLLs, the Washington State Division of Occupational Safety and Health (WaDOSH) and NIOSH conducted investigations in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The WaDOSH investigation found a failure to conduct personal exposure and biologic monitoring for lead and also found dry sweeping of lead-containing dust. The NIOSH investigation found serious deficiencies in ventilation, housekeeping, and medical surveillance. Public health officials and clinicians should ask about occupations and hobbies that might involve lead when evaluating findings of elevated BLLs. Interventions for reducing lead exposure in firing ranges include using lead-free bullets, improving ventilation, and using wet mopping or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuuming to clean (1).

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    Default Re: War environmental damage: lead


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