How contaminated with ammunition-derived lead is meat from European small game animals? Assessing and reducing risks to human health.
Green, Rhys E
Taggart, Mark A
Springer Science and Business Media LLC
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Pain, D. J., Green, R. E., Taggart, M. A., & Kanstrup, N. (2022). How contaminated with ammunition-derived lead is meat from European small game animals? Assessing and reducing risks to human health.. Ambio, 51 (8), 1772-1785. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-022-01737-9
Small game animals are generally hunted with lead gunshot which often fragments causing elevated lead concentrations in meat and presenting health risks to frequent consumers and vulnerable groups. We reviewed three decades of European data on lead concentrations in the meat of gamebirds, rabbits and hares across countries with various restrictions on lead gunshot use. Mean meat lead concentrations decreased to a low level in Denmark, the only country in the study with a total ban on lead gunshot use. In contrast, elsewhere in Europe meat lead concentrations increased over time, an unexplained and previously undescribed finding. The only regulatory restriction associated with a decrease in meat lead concentrations was the Danish total ban on lead gunshot use. We calculated an arithmetic mean lead concentration in small game meat of 5.205 ppm w.w. (2011-2021) from across Europe. EU and UK regulators are considering banning lead ammunition for all hunting to protect human and wildlife health. The mean value we found for small game meat (2011-2021) was fourteen times higher than that used in a recent EU-wide risk assessment.
Review, Europe, Game, Human health risk assessment, Lead gunshot, Meat, Regulation
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-022-01737-9
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/338123