US Army invests in ‘green’ bullets

The US Army will reduce its use of lead bullets in favour of tungsten bullets, according to The International Tungsten Industry Association. Lead bullets pose a danger to the environment, ending up in sediment, groundwater and surface water.

According to the ITIA newsletter, the US Army will manufacture one million tungsten bullets this year, and increase production to five to 10 million in 2000.

Tungsten and its compounds have generally lower toxicity compared to most other metals and their compounds. The ‘green’ metal is more expensive than lead, but the ITIA argues that the difference will be recouped by lower costs incurred in the clean up of the bullets’ manufacture.

The ITIA represents 51 companies from 15 countries. Members include mining companies, processors, consumers, trading companies and assayers. The 8th Annual International Tungsten Symposium will take place in October in Japan.

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