Lead bullets taint game meat

Lead is toxic everywhere else, why would it be any different in bullets ? That’s not enough to keep some from being skeptical about the anti-lead people’s agenda :

Study: Lead bullets taint game meat – Rocky Barker Idaho Statesman

The side-bar has interesting information on lead spreading in deer

Posted in Deer, Elk. Tags: . 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Lead bullets taint game meat”

  1. Salle Says:

    Hmmm…

    At first, having heard this story on the radio this morning, I had to wonder how they figure wild game meat was a pathogen for lead poisoning when evaluations were based on a study of birds. I was skeptical about the leap from avian poisoning to ungulates. Birds eat pebbles and I can see where they might get lead fragments in that way, as well as in eating carcasses of animals that were shot but not tracked and harvested.

    I could see where actually ingesting the fragments would be of concern but just how common is that?

    Not to mention game fowl that was blasted with shotgun pellets… whether you eat it or something else does, it seems lead is one of those gifts that just goes on giving.

    Hard call. I shoot guns and eat wild game ~ though I don’t hunt. Can’t imagine shooting my black powder gun without the lead ball component…

  2. Mike Post Says:

    This has been a long running issue in California which has now banned lead in the entire California condor range. The lead issue is a real one but unfortunately some ill-advised anti-gun and anti-hunting folks have jumped on this band wagon and thus provoked some resistance from otherwise cooperative hunters and shooters. For any skeptics out there, you can perform a simple test. Determine the factory weight of the bullet you shoot (160 grains for example) and then recover the projectile from a game animal and you find a 10-20% weight loss. Yes, a bit of that may be copper jacket loss but much of it is lead.
    All that said, this “excitement” over lead contaimination in game meat is a bit over blown. Comparing the fate of a condor who has lumps of lead in its gut with a clear immediate danger to humans eating game meat with microscopic lead particles is a real stretch in my book.
    The consumption of game meat killed with lead projectiles has been going on for hundreds of years and I am not aware of any citable study showing negative effects on humans from this source or even just a higher incidence of illness of any type in populations who regularly consume game meat. In fact, the facts are just the opposite with game meat eaters generally judged to being and eating healthier than their super market foraging cousins. I am not suggesting that we should not move to eliminate this condition but the mindless dumping of donated game meat that sends those needy folks to the store to buy hormone and antibiotic laced commercial meat does not seem to make all that much sense.

  3. TPageCO Says:

    Good points, Mike. I’m also kind of skeptical…I mean if you hit where you should be aiming, it’s a pretty long way to most of the edible parts. It seems to me that there’s more risk to some coyote or bear that comes to eat the gutpile and the bones (I’m not implying that that risk is a good thing) than to me.

  4. mikarooni Says:

    Lead is not a good material in any product, not gas nor batteries nor fishing sinkers nor toys from China nor bullets, and should not be used unless absolutely necessary. The silly thing about the lead in ammunition debate is that there are a number of very good alternatives to lead in ammunition and, given the amount of money that these spoiled children spend on ammunition already, there is no reason, not any significant cost difference, to not use legislation to nudge the industry forward on the issue. In fact, some of the Barnes bullets that have already been converted to “green” (yes, I know; but, it is the vernacular term being used.) composition are actually much superior in performance. At this point, the argument over lead in ammunition is somewhat like the push to allow guns in Yellowstone, just a political ruse to rouse the trailer trash and cause trouble.

  5. Nathan Hobbs Says:

    Other industry’s that use lead are required to clean up there own mess, I know one example being the optical world, Leaded glass does wonders for optical preformance but it was discontinued years ago because of the environmental costs associated with creating it, one reason why high preformance lenses are so expensive today has been creating a alternative to leaded glass.

    What are the implications on lead content in ground water and plants that grow in areas that are ‘target shooting’ spots?, Judging by the spent casings and broken tv’s and washing machines you can find along side roads in BLM land you would have to think there is enough lead in the ground to have implications.

  6. TPageCO Says:

    OK, OK…I’ll buy new shells this year and find a place to safely get rid of the old ones. But I’m keeping some of my fishing weights b/c the substitutes are terrible and I very rarely lose them anyway.

    As for the guns in Yellowstone – A little bird told me that the whole point of that tempest in a teapot was to force Hillary and Barack to vote on a “gun issue” in an election year. That’s why Harry Reid wouldn’t bring it to the floor.

  7. POGO Says:

    EVERYTHING I READ ABOUT THE HAZARDS OF LEAD IN GAME POINT OUT THE OBVIOUS: LEAD INGESTION IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU. BUT, ARE THERE ANY MEDICAL RECORDS SHOWING A DIRECT LINK OF LEAD POISONING TO EATING GAME MEAT? THE FOLLOWING SITE COMPARES LEAD CONTENT OF BLOOD FROM GAME EATING PEOPLE WITH NON-GAME EATERS.

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/bfpm6clj036w3vkw/

    HAS ANYONE IN THE U.S. COMPARED THE HAZARDS OF LEAD IN GAME MEAT WITH CARCINOGENS FOUND IN DIESEL EXHAUST? IN 1990, CALIFORNIA DECLARED DIESEL EXHAUST A CARCINOGEN. HAVE THEY BANNED DIESEL AUTOMOBILES AND TRUCKS? SO MANY MORE COMMONLY AVAILABLE HAZARDOUS THINGS OUT THERE. DOES SEEM TO POINT TO AN AGENDA FOR ANTI-FIREARMS PROGRAMS.


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