Two stories today which affect the continuing narrative of lead in bullets being a real problem.Â Lake City brags of producting 600,000 rounds of green ammunition for the military.Â 600,000 is a fraction of their daily production.Â It’s made from a bismuth alloy.Â The only problem with bismuth is that it’s only about twice as abundant as gold, and is only mined as an ancillary to other ores.Â In other words, you can’t scale bismuth production to the levels needed to replace lead at any reasonable cost.Â With its scarcity, prices would quickly go through the roof.Â The devil is in the details, and if we’re attacked along this route, it’ll be tough to speak to the public about the problems of using other metals.Â You can bet our opponents will be saying there are substitutes for lead — much like a helicopter can be a substitute for an automobile.
The other is a new study out of Jackson that suggest grizzly bears are being posioned by lead.
JACKSON – Preliminary results of a study by a University of Montana graduate student suggest that lead bullets may be poisoning grizzly bears in the Yellowstone ecosystem.
Tom Rogers sampled blood from 13 grizzlies during hunting season and found nearly half had elevated levels of lead, possibly because the bears had eaten lead bullet fragments in big-game carcasses left behind by hunters.
Here’s a question.Â How is the Yellowstone Ecosystem being poisoned by hunters when hunting isn’t allowed within the Yellowstone Ecosystem, and guns aren’t allowed either?
UPDATE: Some folks have corrected that the Ecosystem is a vast area that ecompasses more than just the National Park.Â Either way, here’s an idea — aren’t bears busy gaining a lot of fat for hibernation during hunting season?Â Â Wouldn’t that tend to drive the levels of a lot of ecological contaminants higher, including lead?