Evaluation of heavy metals contamination at CFAD Dundurn resulting from metals contamination at CFAD Dundurn resulting from small-arms ammunition incineration


  1. Thiboutot, S.
  2. Ampleman, G.
  3. Lewis, J.
  4. Brochu, S.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research Establishment Valcartier, Valcartier QUE (CAN)
Disposal of surplus, obsolete, or deteriorated small arms ammunition by incineration presents the threat of heavy-metal contamination to the immediate area. The highly toxic nature of these pollutants requires that they be carefully monitored, and that steps be taken to prevent contamination althogether. The safety concerns associated with these pollutants are so serious that the United Kingdom requires stringent environmental licensing of ammunition incineration facilities, and several US states have banned the open burning of restricted materials altogether. In this context, a thorough testing of the area surrounding the small arms ammunition burning facility at CFAD Dundurn was undertaken. Groundwater, soil, and foliage from the area surround the burn facility were tested for the presence of heavy metals. Swab samples were taken from surfaces within the facility and these were also tested. Many of the samples showed very high levels of lead, barium, antimony, and other heavy metals. This report details the characterization of the heavy-metals contamination at CFAD Dundurn. The sampling methods are described, and the results are presented. By providing a better understanding of the nature of the problem, it is hoped that this work will help guide the Canadian Forces towards minimizing the possibly serious environmental impact of small-arms ammunition disposal.

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Open Burning/Open Detonation Activity
Report Number
DREV-TR-2001-127 — Technical Report
Date of publication
26 Sep 2001
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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