Difference in concentration of lead (Pb) in meat from pheasants killed using lead and iron (Fe) shotgun ammunition

Rhys E. Green, Mark A. Taggart, Maider Guiu, Hayley Waller, Sabolc Pap, Rob Sheldon, Deborah J. Pain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

The use of lead shotgun ammunition for hunting has been banned in a few jurisdictions and habitats, principally to protect wild birds from poisoning by ingestion of spent lead shot. The EU and UK REACH processes have recently considered bans on lead ammunition throughout the European Union and United Kingdom, including assessments of possible health benefits from reduced human dietary exposure to lead from game meat. Comparisons of the mean lead concentrations in meat from gamebirds killed using lead and non‑lead shotgun ammunition have not been published. We compared lead concentrations in meat from wild-shot pheasants from which lead shotgun pellets were recovered (n = 27) with those from which iron pellets were recovered (n = 20), having removed all pellets from the meat before analysis. The mean concentration of lead in meat from pheasants killed using lead shot was 2.10 mg/kg w.w., which is >20 times the European Union's maximum permitted level for the lead concentration in meat from domesticated animals. For pheasants killed using iron shot the mean was 0.07 mg/kg w.w., which is below the maximum permitted level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170356
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume916
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Bismuth
  • Dietary exposure
  • Human health
  • Hunting
  • Shotgun pellets
  • Zinc

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