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Alternatives to Open Burning and Open Detonation:
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Alternatives to Open Burning and Open Detonation: The Disparity Between HMA and Commercial Best Practices

The Disparity Between HMA and Commercial Best Practices


 

This article is brought to you by the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) from issue 25.1 of The Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction


By Linsey Cottrell [ Conflict and Environment Observatory ] and Kendra Dupuy [ Norwegian People’s Aid ]

Munition and explosive residues have the potential to cause long-term harm when released into the environment. Common explosives, such as TNT and RDX are toxic, with both classed as possible carcinogens.1,2 The environmental fate of explosives is complex and varied. TNT absorbs onto soil, slowly leaches, and degrades to form degradation products such as DNT, which has a higher toxicity than TNT itself.3 RDX leaches from soil more readily, degrades slowly, and can persist in the environment. The residual soil and water contamination at military ranges caused by the firing, detonation, and disposal of munitions by open burning and open detonation (OBOD) is well documented, and there has been increased attention on finding more environmentally acceptable options.4 This is reflected in the draft Lausanne Action Plan from the Second Review Conference for the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which sets out the need for stockpile survey, clearance, and destruction to be carried out with minimal environmental impacts.

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Published: Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Last Updated: Friday, September 24, 2021

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