A summary of the findings of DEFRA’s Lead Ammunition Group says sporting, clay pigeon and vermin shooting is adding more than 5,000 tonnes of lead a year to soils and is affecting wildlife and could threaten the health of 10,000 children. Lead poisoning can cause a number of adverse human health effects and is particularly detrimental to the neurological development of children.
“At least 2,000 tonnes of shot used for game and pest shooting are irretrievably and unevenly deposited on or close to the soil surface where it is available for ingestion by birds”, says the summary. “In areas of intensive shooting lead is taken up by some plants and soil microfauna getting into the food chain” concluded the Group.
Earlier this Summer, Dunton Environmental were engaged by a leading national housebuilder to provide remedial services to tackle significant lead contamination at a former shotgun shooting range in Swindon. Test data indicated that an area of approximately 45,000m2 had been impacted with shallow lead contamination. Over time, weathering and corrosion had transformed the elemental lead into more soluble salts resulting in unsafe levels to surrounding ground and surface waters.
land contaminated with lead
Dunton Environmental designed a solution of in-situ treatment and encapsulation which reduced total lead concentrations by 72% and the leachate values by 93% within 2 weeks of product application. The process diverted impacted soils away from hazardous landfill enabling the safe reuse of materials resulting in a significant cost benefit to the Client.