Lead and antimony from bullet weathering in newly constructed target berms: Chemical speciation, mobilization, and remediation strategies.

Author(s) Barker, A.J.; Douglas, T.A.; Ilgen, A.G.; Trainor, T.P.
Journal Sci Total Environ
Date Published 2019 Mar 25

Understanding lead (Pb) and antimony (Sb) speciation associated with the weathering of bullets at shooting ranges is essential for identifying species migration potential to local watersheds and for assessing the overall toxicity of shooting range soils. In the present study, we fired 2000 5.56 mm bullets into newly constructed and instrumented target berms composed of well-characterized test soils (sand, sandy loam, loamy sand, silt loam) and collected berm pore water runoff and soil samples over five summers (2011 to 2015). We tracked the chemical transformations of Pb and Sb released during bullet weathering as a function of time and soil properties. During 2014 summer, an amendment of ferrous chloride (FeCl) with a calcium carbonate (CaCO) buffer was added to a subset of the berms of each soil type to test this remediation strategy. Bulk speciation analysis coupled with micro-scale spectroscopic methods show that both Sb(III) and Sb(V) species are present in soil solution depending on the soil matrix type, but Sb(III) was not observed after 9 months of weathering. In general, Sb was found to be more mobile than Pb, attributable to the relatively low solubility of the dominant Pb phases present in the crust forming around bullet fragments and within soil. The oxidation of Pb(0) resulted in a mixture of lead oxide, lead carbonate, and lead sorbed onto iron(III) oxides. We found a higher degree of metal(loid) mobilization (higher dissolved metal concentrations) in the berms made from the sandy soils. In contrast, silt loam soil was found to be more effective at immobilizing metal(loid)s. Furthermore, we observed that an iron-oxide type amendment may be effective at further reducing Pb and Sb runoff. Results from this study provide insight into the fate and transport of metal(loid)s within small arms target ranges and address a potential method for metal(loid) immobilization.

DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.188
ISSN 1879-1026
Citation Sci Total Environ. 2019;658:558569.