Thread: Lead lead lead
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Old April 13, 2019, 08:59 AM   #11
briandg
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Join Date: May 4, 2010
Posts: 5,349
Picher is irrelevant. The mine areas here are full of ore, dust, chemical compounds. Picher's biggest problem was airborne lead. The groundwater was also a problem, but the airborne lead filled homes with toxic dust, the cars would be covered, the ground was poisoned, etc. The problem that has been found all over the area was that processing releases lead as gas or dust with every pound of ore. Places near smelters had aerosolized lead landing on the ground for decades. It took many years to have the pollutants reach well depth, and many wells are still unaffected but ground surfaces are unacceptably toxic. Homes near the eagle picher smelter here were dug out as part of the superfund and sixteen inches of fresh soil was replaced.

A few facts to think about. First, lead is pretty much inert in the body. a bullet will not seep into the blood, it just sits there. A layer of oxide seals if off from further leaching.

Lead pipes are in some cases an overstated concern. In fact, my house feeds off of lead mains and my water is within tolerances. Scale forms in the pipes and seals off most of the lead. Until the scale is disturbed everything works well. In fact, there are crews outside this week preparing to replace this last one block long stretch of lead.

Lead in waterfowl happens in dabbling ducks that feed from bottom water. They swallow pellets and those pellets, just like sand, catches in the gizzard, and that lead is literally ground into paste, being absorbed in the intestines.

In the wild, just like in pipes, lead does not tend to leach into the soil. Lead bullets form a layer of oxide, much like aluminum, and that layer doesn't dissolve. It sits there inert forever, leaching very little. Bullets from over a century ago show thick scale, but they don't dissolve like a piece of steel would.

Your range wouldn't have thousands of pounds of bullets or fragments laying on the ground. There won't be aerosolized fumes, should be very little dust or other fine powder.

You will be shooting into a berm, right? Your lead will punch into the dirt berm. hills or other types of Dirt berms don't allow water to seep through the soil into the ground water, rain generally runs off. The lead remains buried, away from ground water in generally dry dirt. It forms scale from corrosion by the water available in the dirt. It becomes a mostly inert thing like a pebble.
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