Lead bullets could pose risk for wild game eaters


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Cacique500
November 6, 2008, 04:16 PM
Somebody needs to nip this stuff in the bud before it starts to spread. Lead pellets are *not* dangerous in solid form and if ingested they'll go right through. Getting seriously tired of this junk science crap being touted as legitimate studies...

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/11/05/venison.lead.ap/index.html


BISMARCK, North Dakota (AP) -- North Dakota health officials are recommending that pregnant women and young children avoid eating meat from wild game killed with lead bullets.


Officials in North Dakota have warned about eating venison killed with lead ammunition since the spring.

The recommendation is based on a study released Wednesday that examined the lead levels in the blood of more than 700 state residents. Those who ate wild game killed with lead bullets appeared to have higher lead levels than those who ate little or no wild game.

The elevated lead levels were not considered dangerous, but North Dakota says pregnant women and children younger than 6 should avoid eating venison harvested using lead bullets.

Those groups are considered most at risk from lead poisoning, which can cause learning problems and convulsions, and in severe cases can lead to brain damage and death.

The study, conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state health department, is the first to connect lead traces in game with higher lead levels in the blood of game eaters, said Dr. Stephen Pickard, a CDC epidemiolgist who works with the state health department.

A separate study by Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources previously found that fragments from lead bullets spread as far as 18 inches away from the wound.

"Nobody was in trouble from the lead levels," Pickard said. However, "the effect was small but large enough to be a concern," he said.

Pickard said the study found "the more recent the consumption of wild game harvested with lead bullets, the higher the level of lead in the blood."

Officials in North Dakota and other states have warned about eating venison killed with lead ammunition since the spring, when a physician conducting tests using a CT scanner found lead in samples of donated deer meat.

The findings led North Dakota's health department to order food pantries to throw out donated venison. Some groups that organize venison donations have called such actions premature and unsupported by science.

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RKBABob
November 6, 2008, 04:23 PM
Ummm.. Didn't these "scientists" think that maybe, just maybe, the lead came from handling, loading and firing ammunition (as a hunter would do practicing and sighting in a rifle) and cleaning lead barrel fouling?

Its like saying that oranges grow in Florida, and they're orange... therefore, being in Florida causes orangeness.




NEWSFLASH: If your venison is silvery-gray, shiny, and crunchier than usual... you may want to take the buckshot out next time.

grilledcheese
November 6, 2008, 04:23 PM
Ya know, when we were kids our parents just told us to spit out the pellets...:rolleyes:


Jeffrey

Phil DeGraves
November 6, 2008, 04:26 PM
Those who ate wild game killed with lead bullets appeared to have higher lead levels than those who ate little or no wild game.

That's because people who eat wild game generally shoot more or reload more than those that don't. It has nothing to do with lead levels in the meat. And they come to conclusion based on an "appearance". What nonsense!

rcmodel
November 6, 2008, 04:27 PM
The greatest risk from eating meat with shot in it is a broken tooth!

hso
November 6, 2008, 04:27 PM
The elevated lead levels were not considered dangerous

If they're not considered dangerous for children and pregnant women (acceptable bll levels for children and pregnant women are lower for typical adults) then why the recommendation?

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 6, 2008, 04:39 PM
Officials in North Dakota have warned about eating venison killed with lead ammunition since the spring.

I guess they mean the spring of 2008. Funny since it hasn't been a problem for American hunters and pioneers between the spring of 1708 and the spring of 2008.

Gaffer
November 6, 2008, 04:59 PM
According to a statement at NSSF this lead problem is not true and should be treated as such. Just Google the National Shooting Sports Foundation and it was a headline at near top of page.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 6, 2008, 05:03 PM
I was talking to a guy at the local range. I mentioned how much lead must be in the soil and nearby streams, etc.

He said there was an environmental impact study done and it would take something like 20,000 years for the lead to do anything. It just sits there and does not leach into the soil like some might think.

He said all the years and the millions of shotgun, rifle and pistol loads fired there isn't affecting anything.

Werewolf
November 6, 2008, 05:22 PM
That's because people who eat wild game generally shoot more or reload more than those that don't. Cite?

I'd like to see the source for your statement because in my experience that statement is far from true. Most of the shooters I know shoot more in a weekend than your average hunter will in a year. However, not knowing every hunter...

Friendly, Don't Fire!
November 6, 2008, 05:25 PM
I know I hunt much more often than I shoot!

JKimball
November 6, 2008, 05:37 PM
Lead pellets are *not* dangerous in solid form and if ingested they'll go right through.

I thought steel shot was required for waterfowl hunting because ducks were getting sick from swallowing lead shot.

Hk91-762mm
November 6, 2008, 05:43 PM
Common anyone can see this is a fraud science story put out by ALF/HSUS/PETA to make hunting bad --get lead poisioning --and need NON lead bullets ---Followed by Shot game is dangerous --Dont need to hunt --No hunting -Dont need guns -AAhh Thats the real reason for this -
we should do a zumbo on the people responsible for this --ND is quite full of animal extreamests!

average_shooter
November 6, 2008, 05:46 PM
I thought steel shot was required for waterfowl hunting because ducks were getting sick from swallowing lead shot.

I'm not a biologist (just a conservationist in training, graduating in May) but as birds, do not ducks also have a gizzard for crushing their food?

If the lead pellets stick in the gizzard or are ground into finer and finer particles, then they could be more readily absorbed and less easily passed through the digestive system.

Also, how much does a duck weigh? Compared to a "typical" 120-150 pound adult human, I would expect increases in blood lead levels would affect waterfowl much sooner than a human.

qwert65
November 6, 2008, 05:47 PM
Lead is bad from eating lead shot though only 5-10% abs usually though stomach acid will increase that remember birds have gizzards so it dosent pass through. but in mammals at least 80% is excreted. further.

blood levels do not always agree with clinical signs which explains the warning for pregnant women and children(crosses into the brain easier in them)

Owen Sparks
November 6, 2008, 06:04 PM
This is just another angle of attack.
After the Heller ruling the anti's may change their strategy and go after ammunition, for "the children" of course.
I am in the printing business and for generations typesetters handled lead all day every day for the length of their careers and I have NEVER heard of anyone in the printing industry having health problems related to lead. We no longer use lead type due to advances in technology but our shop was one of the last to stop. I personally handled Linotype metal (a hardened lead alloy) daily for twenty years and still make home cast bullets out of the left over Linotype metal.

TxState101
November 6, 2008, 06:06 PM
Cite?

I'd like to see the source for your statement because in my experience that statement is far from true. Most of the shooters I know shoot more in a weekend than your average hunter will in a year. However, not knowing every hunter...

I think he was talking about Joe Blow in general, not that hunters were taking the place of "your shooters" of shooting everything to hell in a weekend and workin' a frenzy reloading.

Because think about it, most of the people, like he said, eating wild game, are going to be getting that wild game, with guess what, lead ammunition and are going to be more prone to be around it.

Joe Blow, on the other hand, will not be getting that meat from the field, but rather in a grocery store, and may have no involvement with firearms or ranges or hunting, so they wouldn't have higher levels of lead.

I went slow for easier comprehension and underlined the key word. Besides, the whole thing is bunk anyway.

Mrs. Armoredman
November 6, 2008, 06:06 PM
Let me get this straight. Do wild game eat lead pellets? There is mercury in Tuna fish. Doctors say to refrain from eating to much fish for ladies expecting babies. Please explain why wild game shot with lead pellets would hurt a expectant mother?

Larry E
November 6, 2008, 06:14 PM
The MD in North Dakota who found the lead in deer meat did so by x-raying the meat. Will that show any lead in the meat? Sure. Will it give any idea of how much lead is in the meat? Hardly!

I spent a good bit of my career analyzing various materials for heavy metals including lead. A heavy x-ray absorbing metal like lead will show up like a spotlight in an x-ray. This doesn't give any idea of the level of lead or any other metal in the meat. In order to determine that the meat (a whole representative boned carcass for instance) has to be finely ground, thoroughly mixed, digested with hot acids (nitric and hydrochloric together), then the digest analyzed with proper instrumentation - atomic absorption spectrophotometry usually. THAT will tell how much lead is actually in the meat. It's likely on the level of very low parts per million (ppm) or maybe high parts per billion (ppb).

I've also spent a few hours preparing lead standards from 99.999% pure lead, and let me tell you it requires heat and nitric and hydrochloric acids to get it all into solution (one gram in a liter of liquid). Lead is bad stuff to ingest, especially for children, but it isn't absorbed to any great extent from ingesting the metal. It's like mercury, nasty stuff, but the metal in the stomach is hardly dissolved. Undissolved, it just passes through causing no damage or injury. Soluble salts of lead as was used in lead based paint or of mercury are VERY toxic. The metals are not very toxic at all except in the form of vapor from casting lead bullets for instance, or free metallic mercury from a broken thermometer that's been vacuumed up (it passes through the vacuum bag and is dispersed in the air - bad).

MD's are very good (usually) at repairing broken or sick people, but usually not too hot at other things they have no experience at - just like everybody else. MD doesn't mean LORD GOD KNOW IT ALL, with all due respect to MD's in the crowd.

Walt622
November 6, 2008, 06:25 PM
Refined lead is not a problem. It is so stable they store nuclear waste in the stuff.

Loomis
November 6, 2008, 06:45 PM
If eating animals that were shot with lead bullets is dangerous, then why is it that surviving a gunshot wound doesn't result in lead poisoning?

Hk91-762mm
November 6, 2008, 07:02 PM
Owen Sparks
=>I am in the printing business and for generations typesetters handled lead all day every day for the length of their careers and I have NEVER heard of anyone in the printing industry having health problems related to lead. We no longer use lead type .

I cant agree enough --!
I ran a radiator repair and recoring shop for years.. Always sandblasting radiator tanks to get the coroded solder off the seams ,days spend soldering tanks on rads and cleaning melted solder off most everything-Lead and tin based fluxes and Hydrocloric acids ..
One time I got sick -figured it had to be lead poisioning [was migrane headaches] got tested and the results came back a detable trace No big deal-after all those years!
Trust me your shot deer aint gona poison you and your bullet casting aint gona do it eather.. Oh yea My sister swallowed a 45cal ball when she was a todler passed out in her stool dad found it-thats how we know she ate it--Did not hurt her--Unless her becoming an enviromental wacko liberal,is the results of the lead poisioning..::barf:

distra
November 6, 2008, 07:06 PM
Let me get this straight. Do wild game eat lead pellets? There is mercury in Tuna fish. Doctors say to refrain from eating to much fish for ladies expecting babies. Please explain why wild game shot with lead pellets would hurt a expectant mother?


The fowl eat the lead pellets (like stones) and they end up in the gizzard. From here it can be absorbed into the fowls system. From my reading, it appears the fowl die from lead poisoning. Now if you harvest waterfowl that have ingested lead pellets and have high levels of Pb in their system it could be dangerous to mom and baby. Acute lead exposure (i.e. shooting fowl with lead) would be much less of an issue. Lead ingestion can be dangerous, since Pb will dissolve, albeit not easily, in acidic solutions. Now it does not take much to be toxic (whole blood concentration of >10pg/dL (1.0xe-11g/dL)). Bottom line is to limit lead exposure in pregnant woman and little kids.

Nimble1
November 6, 2008, 07:41 PM
Growing up in south Fla, (before the real estate boom) with a father who lived and breathed quail hunting and consuming many #8 bird shot. I would have to disagree with the study. As a previous poster said"just spit them out" but I am sure that I ate many pellets too.. no effects so far.

.38 Special
November 6, 2008, 07:55 PM
So the CDC came out with an anti gun/shooting/hunting study? I'm shocked, I tell you. :rolleyes:

distra
November 6, 2008, 08:06 PM
I'd like to see the data and do a PCA (principle component analysis) with other meta data about shooting and reloading habits as well as water sources for each individual. There appears to be weak statistics in this study, but I'd have see the raw data to be sure. My guess is they are just trying to be cautious, I don't think there is a CDC conspiracy. ;)

Mrs. Armoredman
November 6, 2008, 08:18 PM
distra, Thank you. I had my son eight years ago and my OBGYN told me to avoid Tuna. I will pass this on to anyone I know thats expecting. I understand now why she told me to 86 the tuna for a while.

BHP FAN
November 6, 2008, 08:37 PM
This is actually the first step in outlawing lead ammo,that you can easily and cheaply make yourself. Half the state of California can't use lead ammo anymore,because of a similar ''study'' on Condors.

Zane
November 6, 2008, 08:38 PM
My job involves dealing with a fair amount of children with severe lead poisoning. I'm actually writing a research protocol that looks at lead levels in women of child bearing age, so this is a topic that I am quite familiar with.


Lead pellets are *not* dangerous in solid form and if ingested they'll go right through.

This is generally true, but not entirely so. It depends greatly on how "dangerous" is defined. There will be some absorption when elemental lead is eaten. For an adult, when action levels are 50 mcg/dL, unless the ingestion is massive, or there is extremely high surface area, the amount of absorbed is probably not significant.

That may not be true for a child. Levels of 5 mcg/dL and above are associated with IQ reductions. Will a single pellet of bullet fragment yield lead poisoning? Unlikely. Will even a dozen? Probably not. Could repeated ingestions? Possibly. Especially is the lead is cooked with other things and leaves the elemental state. That isn't to say that there is a huge risk, however repeated meals of small fragments could potentially push a child's lead level up.

If they're not considered dangerous for children and pregnant women (acceptable bll levels for children and pregnant women are lower for typical adults) then why the recommendation?

The summary says that the peak levels they found were a hair below 10 mcg/dL. Those levels are high enough to be of concern for children or pregnant women. Of course, you have to wonder how much of that is from leaded ammunition and how much is from other environmental exposure. It also isn't clear is the highest level was even in someone who ate game. They are playing CYA.

If eating animals that were shot with lead bullets is dangerous, then why is it that surviving a gunshot wound doesn't result in lead poisoning?

Actually, people who are shot, especially with pellets do have elevated lead levels. The levels are generally below the occupation action levels and are thus deemed "non-toxic." Since adults do not have a developing nervous system the lead is less toxic. Bullets in joints, around fractures, and in a few other circumstances actually can cause significant elevations in blood lead levels.

The CDC is trying to be cautious. They can't say it is all "safe," even though there is very little evidence for toxicity. When it comes to kids and pregnant women, they can't say it is safe as there will be one person who gets lead poisoning and, even if erroneous, blames it on eating a lead pellet. So they have to put the caveat.

That all being said, it does make a certain amount of sense to cut away and discard the bloodshot meat before grinding and to attempting to remove pellets.

ranger335v
November 6, 2008, 08:52 PM
"Getting seriously tired of this junk science crap being touted as legitimate studies..."

Me too.

The "danger" from any mammal ingesting solid lead in game meat is so small as to be irrelivant to anyone except professional Chicken Littles, running after study grant money while shouting, "The sky may be falling, the sky may be falling!"

Guns and more
November 6, 2008, 11:13 PM
Growing up on a farm I ate lots of squirrels and rabbits. I was always spitting out a pellet from my dad's 16ga. (which is in my safe now).
I didn't die from lead.

SoCalShooter
November 6, 2008, 11:14 PM
Everyone definitely needs to nip this in the bud here in California we have a ban on lead bullets in certain areas of the state for hunting. So other states beware it can happen to you.

shiftyer1
November 7, 2008, 12:20 AM
So I guess the folks who shot their meat since firearms were invented were all dying off from lead poisoning? But then again remember, bycicles have been safe up until 10 - 15 years ago when every kid needed a helmet to ride them. But I guess if it's possible to sue McDonalds for serving hot coffee then it's possible to sue remington for lead shot.

Kind of Blued
November 7, 2008, 04:59 AM
Should we let them know that it's still a lot safer than trying to eat the wild game without shooting it?

The "danger" from any mammal ingesting solid lead in game meat is so small as to be irrelivant to anyone except professional Chicken Littles, running after study grant money while shouting, "The sky may be falling, the sky may be falling!"

*waving hands* "...give me some money and I'll try to give you something else to worry about!"

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