Joshua Hunter: Lead bullets contaminate game meat – vtdigger.org | Gmx Pharm

This comment comes from Joshua Hunter, a resident of South Royalton.

In a 2020 article titled “Lead in Hunting Meat: Who Tells Hunters and Their Families?” — Environmental Health News reported that “Dr. William Cornatzer … led a project to x-ray venison wrappers donated to state charity. The images showed lead contamination in 60% of the samples. “I almost fell out of my chair,” he told EHN. He realized that his children and pregnant wife were likely exposed to lead from his own venison.”

The truth is that millions of Americans feed their families lead-contaminated meat caused by the use of lead bullets. According to the Fish & Wildlife Department’s performance-based budget report, more than 3.5 million meals were prepared from game meat in Vermont alone in 2018, and most of those were likely contaminated with lead.

Well-meaning individuals who try to provide for their families and donate food to those in need are slowly poisoning the very people they are trying to provide for.

How does exposure to lead from lead ammunition affect human health? It is well known that there is no safe level of lead consumption, particularly for pregnant women and young children, who metabolize lead at a much faster rate than the average adult male.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, lead causes a variety of irreversible health problems and side effects, including lowering IQ and causing learning disabilities in children and unborn fetuses; it can cause infertility, miscarriages, congenital disabilities, cancer, brain and nervous system disorders, kidney disease, and in large quantities, death, coma, or stroke.

Additionally, if you continue to eat lead-contaminated meat, lead can build up in bones and become worse over time.

Just as lead from bullets affects humans, it can also negatively impact wildlife. In fact, the Center for Biological Diversity states, “Each year in the United States, an estimated 3,000 tons of lead are released into the environment from hunting, another 80,000 tons are released at shooting ranges…while up to 20 million birds and other animals die each year.” subsequent lead poisoning.”

Lead shatters when it hits flesh, spreading dust particles and lead fragments throughout the carcass. Wild animals that are killed and left behind through wanton waste — coyotes are a good example — and gut heaps left when wild carcasses are disguised in the field are often contaminated with lead.

Birds of prey such as goshawks, eagles and vultures are most affected by lead-contaminated carcasses and often die from lead poisoning. In addition, lead bullets that miss their target and lead ammunition improperly disposed of by shooting ranges can contaminate soil or drinking water and devastate the local environment.

The good news is that lead exposure from bullets can be prevented entirely, not by giving up hunting or by purchasing more expensive ammo, but simply by switching to one of the many affordable and highly efficient lead-free bullets available in Vermont.

It is my hope that in the near future the state fish and wildlife departments, including Vermont, will require only lead-free shot for hunting. The science is out there.

Protect your families, the environment, and the animals you care about by switching to lead-free bullets and reaching out to your local legislature to lobby for a ban on lead ammunition for hunting.

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Keywords: Joshua Hunter, lead bullets, lead contaminated meat, lead-free bullets, game meat

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