January 2005

Downrange: 01/05

The Lead Boogeyman
There were 20 million metric tons of lead bullets fired in the United States in the 20th century. Is that lead having an environmental impact? Not according to research done by Virginia Tech geological scientists.

Analyzing samples from a U.S. Forest Service firing range near Blacksburg, Virginia, Donald Rimstidt, a professor in the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech, and other researchers found very little lead damage to the environment. This is a big issue for gun owners, who face opposition from environmentalists over lead deposits. There are 9,000 nonmilitary shooting ranges and a lot of military ones in the United States. Some 60,000 metric to...

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