[NAFEX] Lead in game, lead in wildlife

Hilborn.E at epamail.epa.gov Hilborn.E at epamail.epa.gov
Wed Nov 19 10:57:23 EST 2008

My primary concern was ingesting lead in animals that I had harvested
using lead bullets.  I appreciate the suggestion of aiming at the head
and using .22 shorts!

My awareness of the issue stems form the recent exclusion of donations
of venison to food banks in the Midwest.  A physician detected lead
fragments in ground venison, and raised the concern that consumers could
be exposed to hazardous levels. CDC followed up with a blood lead study
of hunters/consumers.  Here is a link to the ND Dept.  of Health website
discussing the issue.   http://www.ndhealth.gov/lead/venison/

There ARE alternatives to lead ammunition for high power rifles, a
popular choice of weaponry for harvesting large game.  So if lead free
ammunition is used, the meat will not be contaminated by lead fragments
(just fragments of some other metal! But that is another discussion).

I try not to use lead bullets on my land, not because I am worried about
soil contamination and crops, but because I am worried about scavengers
or waterfowl becoming poisoned by lead fragments.

See: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1972

Betsy Hilborn
7a NC

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