Lead in wild game

 
We recommend that children and pregnant women do not eat any game harvested with lead ammunition.
Eating game meat harvested with lead bullets increases the risk of lead poisoning. Lead "bio-accumulates" in the body, which means it stays and builds up over time, so ongoing exposure, even at low levels, may cause health effects over time. Low lead exposure can decrease IQ, cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems in children, and is not safe for pregnant women. Higher lead levels can have serious health effects in children and adults. The consensus among medical researchers is that there is no safe level of lead exposure in young children. The information below may help decrease that risk to you and your family.
 
Bullet selection can minimize your exposure to lead
A study by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture found that all bullets fragmented during controlled tests, leaving small pieces of metal in the meat. However, 100% copper bullets fragmented less than bullets containing lead. Copper bullets, unlike bullets that contain lead, do not have the same health effects as lead. US Department of Health and Human Services recommends using non-lead ammunition as the simplest and most effective solution to lead poisoning, in both humans and wildlife.
 
Firearm type can minimize your exposure to lead
Rifle bullets containing lead have been shown to fragment much further from the wound channel, up to 14 inches, than previously thought. Choosing a firearm, such as a muzzle-loader, with lower velocity bullets may decrease your risk from exposure to lead due to less fragmentation.
 
Ground game meat tends to contain the most lead
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture study also found higher levels of lead contamination in ground meat versus whole muscle cuts. If you do not process game meat yourself and use a commercial processor, speak with them about their procedure for cleaning equipment between animals to avoid lead contamination in your meat. Eating game meat harvested with lead bullets increases the risk of lead poisoning. Lead "bio-accumulates" in the body, which means it stays and builds up over time, so ongoing exposure, even at low levels, may cause health effects over time. Low lead exposure can decrease IQ, cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems in children, and is not safe for pregnant women. Higher lead levels can have serious health effects in children and adults. The consensus among medical researchers is that there is no safe level of lead exposure in young children. 

Recommendations
If you are concerned that you or your family have consumed lead, contact your physician to get a blood test for lead.
 
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303-692-2606