Advanced Search
Current and Breaking News for Professionals, Consumers and Media



Click here to learn how to advertise on this site and for ad rates.

Environment Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Nov 29, 2012 - 7:11:02 AM



Lead in Ammo and Fishing Tackle

By Staff Editor
Oct 13, 2012 - 11:18:40 AM



Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Ezine
For Email Marketing you can trust


Email this article
 Printer friendly page
(HealthNewsDigest.com) - The issue of lead in hunting ammunition and fishing tackle isn’t so much about lead contaminating the spoils of hunters and fishermen but about lead accumulating in our ecosystems and poisoning other animals that ingest it. “Lead is an extremely toxic element that we’ve sensibly removed from water pipes, gasoline, paint and other sources dangerous to people,” reports the non-profit Center for Biological Diversity (CBD). “Yet toxic lead is still entering the food chain through widespread use of lead hunting ammunition and fishing tackle, poisoning wildlife and even threatening human health.”

The group reports that at least 75 wild bird species in the United States—including bald eagles, golden eagles, ravens and endangered California condors—are routinely poisoned by spent lead ammunition. Meanwhile, every year thousands of cranes, ducks, swans, loons, geese and other waterfowl ingest spent lead shot or lead fishing sinkers lost in lakes and rivers “often with deadly consequences.”

“Animals that scavenge on carcasses shot and contaminated with lead bullet fragments, or wading birds that ingest spent lead-shot pellets or lost fishing weights mistaking them for food or grit, can die a painful death from lead poisoning, while others suffer for years from its debilitating effects,” reports CBD. Across the U.S. some 3,000 tons of lead are shot into the environment by hunters every year. Another 80,000 tons are released at shooting ranges, and 4,000 tons in fishing lures and sinkers are lost in ponds and streams. CBD estimates that as many as 20 million birds and mammals in the U.S. die every year as a result.

Of course, lead ammunition also poses health risks to people, especially those consuming hunted meat. “Lead bullets explode and fragment into minute particles in shot game and can spread throughout meat that humans eat,” says CBD. “Studies using radiographs show that numerous, imperceptible, dust-sized particles of lead can infect meat up to a foot and a half away from the bullet wound, causing a greater health risk to humans who consume lead-shot game than previously thought.”

CBD launched its Get the Lead Out campaign in March 2012 to raise awareness about the issue and help build support for a federally mandated transition to non-toxic bullets, shot and fishing gear. The coalition includes groups from 38 different states representing conservationists, birders, hunters, scientists, veterinarians, Native Americans and public employees. In April, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied the coalition’s request to take toxic lead out of hunting ammunition. In response, CBD and six other groups filed suit against EPA in June for refusing to address the problem.

Opponents of CBD (such as the National Rifle Association/NRA) are on the offensive, supporting the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 (HR 4089), a bill that aims to open up more federal land to hunting, limit the President’s ability to invoke the Antiquities Act to designate new protected lands, and prevent the EPA from regulating ammunition containing lead, among other provisions. The bill recently passed a floor vote in the House of Representatives, but political analysts doubt it will make it through the Senate.

CONTACTS: CBD’s “Get the Lead Out,” www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/get_the_lead_out/; Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 on Govtrack, www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr4089.

EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.

###

For advertising and promotion on HealthNewsDigest.com please contact Mike McCurdy: [email protected] or 877-634-9180
HealthNewsDigest.com is syndicated worldwide, to thousands of journalists in all media, and health-related websites. www.HealthNewsDigest.com

Top of Page

HealthNewsDigest.com

Environment
Latest Headlines


+ Volunteers Get Ready for Audubon Christmas Bird Count
+ Raking Leaves This Fall - Tips to Prevent Injury
+ Why Plants Don't Get Sunburn
+ A Fireball in Space Reveals the Nature of Novae
+ Sweden's Environmental Leadership
+ Artificial Turf Issues
+ Dinosaur Breathing Study: Noses Enhanced Smelling and Cooled Brain
+ Plastic Bag Bans
+ How to Create a Greener Hospital
+ Ethanol's Unrealized Promise



Contact Us | Job Listings | Help | Site Map | About Us
Advertising Information | HND Press Release | Submit Information | Disclaimer

Site hosted by Sanchez Productions