Ask a Question forum: contaminated land

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littlelizajane
Apr 23, 2017 10:35 AM CST
land used as a shooting rang in the civil war contaminated vegetables grown there now ?
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Apr 23, 2017 12:04 PM CST
I hope not. We live on similar property. I don't think all the bullets used then were lead; we have found some that clearly are not.
Porkpal
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
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JuneOntario
Apr 23, 2017 4:01 PM CST
Lead contamination on a firing range would be concentrated at the end where the targets were positioned, because that's where most of the bullets ended up. The firing point would have an accumulation of brass from the cartridge cases, but I don't think brass is a contaminant. Does your property encompass the entire firing range? If you are only finding brass when you dig, then your vegetables are probably safe!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Apr 23, 2017 4:21 PM CST
I believe you can take a soil sample and request testing for lead, Our property was just a battle area.
Porkpal
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Apr 23, 2017 5:30 PM CST
porkpal said:I hope not. We live on similar property. I don't think all the bullets used then were lead; we have found some that clearly are not.

Bullets were lead, cannon balls were not.
You may be finding jacketed bullets which still have a lead core.

[Last edited by RpR - Apr 23, 2017 5:31 PM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Apr 23, 2017 6:12 PM CST
What we found looked to be made of a cement like material and did not feel heavy enough to be lead, What else could they be?
Porkpal
Name: June
Rosemont, Ont. (Zone 4a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Beavers Region: Canadian Dragonflies Butterflies Cactus and Succulents
Birds Cat Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers Deer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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JuneOntario
Apr 23, 2017 8:13 PM CST
@porkpal @RpR
The cement-like bullets are lead that has oxidized.
Cannon balls were made from iron.
I consulted my DH, whose hobby is antique ammunition. If you have any other questions about Civil War ammo, I'd be happy to find out the answers for you!
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Apr 23, 2017 8:50 PM CST
But because you are finding these lead bullets that are 160 years old and they have not turned into dust yet (Oxidized but not dissolved), you can safely assume that your property is not a hot bed of lead poisoning.

The lead bullets in the soil would have to degrade to dust before your plants (and health) were effected. Probably hasn't happened yet as you are finding recognizable bullets.

If you are really concerned, take a soil sample to the county to have it tested.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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