Tuesday, October 29, 2013

And the fleas continue to bite at the dog...

End of an era: Last U.S. lead smelter to close in December

Doe Run made significant efforts to reduce lead emissions from the smelter, but in 2008 the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for lead that were 10 times tighter than the previous standard. Given the new lead air quality standard, Doe Run made the decision to close the Herculaneum smelter.

What is clear is that after the Herculaneum smelter closes its doors in December, entirely domestic manufacture of conventional ammunition, from raw ore to finished cartridge, will be impossible.

This will drive up ammunition prices, there is no way it can't. US manufacturers will have to rely on lead from recycling and imports which will be more expensive than domestically smelted lead. Other businesses that rely on lead will be affected too. Car battery prices will increase.

The industry has tried to switch from lead to alternate materials but most of these do not have enough of the properties and characteristics of lead to be a viable long term substitution. Government agencies at all levels rely on the biolistic properties of lead projectiles as part of their CSI programs. The substitutes do not match and will need to be studied and their behaviors coded.

There will be ripples...

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