Contamination, Fate and Management of Metals in Shooting Range Soils—a Review


Pollution of shooting range soils by lead from bullets represents a widespread and potentially significant concern for impact on the environment. High concentrations of lead in particular are reported in bullet impact berms and shot fall zones. The other components of bullets used in shooting including antimony, copper and zinc may also be present at elevated concentrations. Antimony is a concern due to its mobility in the environment. It has been recognised that the status of contamination is important for the risk presented by shooting ranges. Lead bullets are subject to weathering in the soil, forming secondary minerals, which may be solubilised and may release lead and co-contaminants into the soil. The mobility and availability of contaminants in the soil affect their potential for spreading in the environment and for uptake and toxicity in organisms. Soil physicochemical properties affect bullet weathering and availability of contaminants in the soil. A number of strategies have been researched for management of shooting range pollution such as chemical stabilisation, phytoremediation and soil washing. This review considers the current state of knowledge and research of contamination and management of shooting ranges from recent literature (2014–2017) reflecting on new knowledge and novel management strategies for shooting range soil management. Ultimately, management of pollution in shooting range soils should seek to remove bullets from soil, reduce the weathering of bullets and reduce the mobility and bioavailability of contaminants. Adopted management practices should be based an understanding of site-specific condition, to achieve the most optimal outcome.

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Sanderson, P., Qi, F., Seshadri, B. et al. Contamination, Fate and Management of Metals in Shooting Range Soils—a Review. Curr Pollution Rep 4, 175–187 (2018).

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  • Lead
  • Antimony
  • Shooting ranges
  • Chemical stabilisation