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Minimizing lead exposure

Thu., Sept. 15, 2011

Studies have indicated people can be subject to lead exposure by eating certain game meats taken by hunters shooting lead bullets.

Ground meats tend to offer the highest risks if the meat is not carefully taken from the carcass.

Factors that may influence dietary lead exposure from spent lead bullets include:

•Frequency and amount of venison consumption.

•Degree of bullet fragmentation.

•Anatomical path of the bullet.

•Care with which meat surrounding the bullet wound is removed.

•Acidic treatments of the meat that would dissolve lead, such as acidic marinades.

Exposure to lead from spent bullets is preventable if hunters use lead-free copper bullets.

Source: “Lead Bullet Fragments in Venison from Rifle-Killed Deer: Potential for Human Dietary Exposure,” by W. Grainger Hunt, and others.

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