Counterpoint: CDC Study Says Lead Ammo OK

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study on human lead levels
of hunters in North Dakota has confirmed what hunters throughout the world have known
for hundreds of years: consuming game harvested with traditional ammunition poses
absolutely no health risk to people, including children, and that the call to ban
lead ammunition was and remains a scare tactic being pushed by anti-hunting groups
to forward their political agenda.

Today, additional information became available about the CDC study, originally released
yesterday, that is important to disseminate to hunters, their families and the general
public about the total and complete lack of any evidence of a human health risk from
consuming game harvested using traditional ammunition.

For instance, in the study the average lead level of the hunters tested was lower
than that of the average American. 

In the CDC’s study, children’s lead levels had a mean of just 0.88 micrograms per
deciliter, which is less than half the national average for children and an infinitesimally
small fraction of the level that the CDC considers to be of concern for children (10
micrograms per deciliter).

Yet, despite the total and complete lack of any evidence from this study of the existence
of a human health risk, the Department of Health nevertheless urges that children
under 6 and pregnant women not eat venison harvested using traditional ammunition.

The North Dakota Department of Health’s recommendation is based on a “zero tolerance”
approach to the issue of blood lead levels that is not supported by science or the
CDC’s guidelines.

To further put in perspective the claims concerning the safety of game harvested using
traditional ammunition, consider this statement from the Iowa Department of Public
Health (IDPH) — a state agency that has conducted an extensive panel of blood-lead
testing for more than 15 years: “IDPH maintains that if lead in venison were a serious
health risk, it would likely have surfaced within extensive blood-lead testing since
1992 with 500,000 youth under 6 and 25,000 adults having been screened.” It has not.

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