I'm really sort on time so let's hit the highlights.
The truth is that lead poisoning is bad, but people quite often live to a ripe old age with a little lead exposure.
Yes people live with lead in them – doesn’t mean it’s not harmful.
The truth is that most lead exposure humans have nowadays isn't due to source lead, it's due to lead solder in pipes or lead pipes themselves between the source and the drinker.
Sorry but you are dead wrong there. Most lead exposure is from direct contact and subsequent ingestion – the biggest problem is still kids and lead dust, primarily from old paint but also from other sources.
But there's a major disconnect here. That's drinking water. I'm talking about clean water standards in the environment - big difference. I don't even need to have your argument about 'zero concentration is okay,' because I'm not trying to drink the ocean.
The truth about lead in surface waters, is that the Clean Water Act does a pretty damn good job of cleaning lead up where they've identified a problem, established a TMDL, and met that TMDL. If you can find an instance of acute lead poisoning that was from exposure to water in a creek that met or beat it's EPA established TMDL, you point me to it. Until then, we must presume that the TMDL program is working, when it comes to limiting environmental concentrations of lead. Where people have gotten sick from environmental exposure to lead in surface waters, has uniformly been where the creek didn't meet the TMDL.
Lead TMDLs vary by location and by water body use, but they're typically around 1 microgram per liter. So unless you have a better number you want to use as a baseline, we will use this. "Zero" is not a better number.
Lets skip the keel, and talk about my bullet, 300 feet deep, off the gulf coast of Florida. Lets do math about that bullet.
It's 2.6 grams.
That's 2,600,000 micrograms.
If I were to somehow completely dissolve that bullet into water, I would need 2,600,000 liters of water in which to dissolve it to meet a typical concentration limit for a "clean" surface stream.
That's 91,819 cubic feet of water. Sounds like a lot of water, right? In fact, that's a rectangular column of water 17.5 feet by 17.5 feet, 300 feet tall. If I were somehow to dissolve my bullet on impact, and distribute that liquid bullet to the bottom of the ocean where I shot it, I would have to move 17.5 feet down the coast before I shot another bullet, to meet clean surface water standards. Doesn't seem that hard.
But of course the bullet dissolving on impact would be the "worst case" scenario, which clearly isn't happening Instead, the bullet itself will dissolve from the pH of the ocean, over the course of perhaps decades or centuries. So lets figure out how slow we need the bullet to dissolve for the safety of the environment.
Well .. the rotational current of the Gulf is about 1.5 miles per hour. In truth this current is much slower at the bottom due to boundary layer mechanics that I'm skipping because it just muddles the issue. Instead we'll say that the "plume" from this bullet is approximately one square foot wide by the time boundary conditions no longer affect it's velocity. Now lets pretend it's totally laminar, no molecular diffusion or turbulent effects, and the plume stays exactly 1 foot square, off to infinity.
1.5 mph = 2.2 ft/sec
at 1 foot square, that's a volume of 2.2 cf passing over the bullet per second.
at that rate of advection of the plume, we'd meet clean water standards if the bullet dissolved in half a day.
How long do you really think it's going to take the bullet to dissolve? I would figure maybe 50 years? In 50 years, 3.5 billion cubic feet of water have passed over this bullet, and the lead concentration of the plume due to the bullet is three thousanths of a percent of the allowable limit.
Nice smoke screen. Any idiot can do a little superficial math based on dubious assumptions
Now, lead is clearly a problem if the animals in the food chain actually eat the lead pellets. This is a problem for birds, who are silly creatures who eat rocks to help their digestion, and who eat things pellet sized. Are there food-chain fish who eat rocks the size of .22 bullets?
Bullets fragment and lead leaches and does get into the food chain.
.. the idea that the bullet will dissolve into water and harm the environment is just plain dumb. It's the sort of thing that brings all of environmentalism down, because smart people can tell it's dumb, and when environmentalists make dumb statements then they taint the whole movement. And I'm an environmentalist. Stop tainting my movement.
So why did you come up with this dumb idea – if you read my posts, I didn’t. You label yourself an environmentalist, which I doubt and which is just a label you apply to yourself anyway. I wouldn’t want to risk stepping in your movement, there’s already enough pollution.
So! Why don't I go to a gun range? Unfortunately, the economy sucks, and while Wall Street got a bailout, Civil Engineers got a steaming pile of crap shoved down our throats, so I've got a little bit of free time to argue with people over the internet. And shoot guns. Off boats.
So you are an out of work engineer. Sorry to hear that. Absolutely nothing wrong with that of course, a lot of people are hurting right now. The problem is that you represented yourself as “ president of his own engineering consulting company”, presumably to pump yourself up and sound important. Not sure if it was to give credence to your argument or ….? Maybe you did a bit of self-employed work and incorporated for tax or liability reasons, which could technically make you president of a corporation. But claiming that you are the president of his own engineering consulting company is a bit disingenuous, don’t you think?
Lead is bad for you.
While one bullet might be insignificant by itself, the vast quantity of lead from bullets is not.
Once in the environment, it stays there. (While there are ways to bind lead to other substances so that it isn’t retained in a body, that doesn’t happen in nature).
Lead can fragment and leech its way into the food chain.
Once in the food chain it tends to rise to the top.
The effects of lead ingestion aren’t always obvious.
Did I mention that lead is bad?
BTW, we never even touched on lead in primer
I'm done - feel free to have the last word. As I said, people tend to do what ever they want and then come up with ways to justify it.