April 6, 2011
Tungsten May Not Be The Best Shot For Making ‘Green’ Bullets
With efforts underway to ban lead-based ammunition as a potential health and environmental hazard, scientists are reporting new evidence that a prime alternative material for bullets "” tungsten "” may not be a good substitute. The report, which found that tungsten accumulates in major structures of the immune system in animals, appears in ACS' journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.
Jose Centeno and colleagues explain that tungsten alloys have been introduced as a replacement for lead in bullets and other munitions. It resulted from concern that lead from spent ammunition could harm wildlife when it dissolves into water in the soil, streams, and lakes. Scientists thought that tungsten was relatively non-toxic, and a "green" replacement for lead. Recent studies suggested otherwise, and with small amounts of tungsten also used in some artificial hips and knees, Centeno's group decided to gather further information on tungsten.
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