Since March, when North Dakota dermatologist William Cornatzer’s now famous CT scans and X-rays showed lead fragments sprinkled throughout hunter-killed venison, subsequent studies have confirmed high levels of the metal in donated meat and shown that material from big-game bullets can spread as much as 18 inches from a wound channel. Now, the study everyone has been waiting for, the one designed to finally answer whether all this lead actually poses a significant health risk to hunters and their families, is in.
From the CDC report:
While this study suggests that consumption of wild game meat can adversely affect PbB,no participant had PbB higher than the CDC recommended threshold of 10μg/dl―the level at which CDC recommends case management; and the geometric mean PbB among this study population (1.17μg/dl) was lower than the overall population geometric mean PbB in the United States (1.60 μg/dl) (CDC 2005).
Also, from the National Shooting Sports Foundation:
The CDC report on human lead levels of hunters in North Dakota has confirmed what hunters throughout the world have known for hundreds of years, that traditional ammunition poses no health risk to people and that the call to ban lead ammunition was nothing more than a scare tactic being pushed by anti-hunting groups.
In looking at the study results, the average lead level of the hunters tested was lower than that of the average American. In other words, if you were to randomly pick someone on the street, chances are they would have a higher blood lead level than the hunters in this study.
Be sure to check out the full press release.