View Full Version : Lead in Venison

November 14, 2009, 09:50 AM
Here is a study done by Minnesota DNR. They fired hunting rounds at sheep to see how bad the lead fragmentation really is.
Watch the video, you may be surprised.


November 14, 2009, 10:52 AM
Good info and very interesting Simon. Lead traveling that far inside the body cavity is informing. Makes me feel a bit better about just being able to deer hunt with a shotgun rather than rifle in Ohio:). According to study, my el-cheapo Rem. sluggers work fine out of shotgun but now not so sure about the SST`s in the Encore:eek:. Guess its another reason to get that broadside heart/ lung shot so as to not hit heavy bone. Thanks for info. PS. FWIW, No kids or pregnant women(:eek:) in this house I know of, I won`t be throwing my harvested deer away fearing to much lead from bullet regardless of shot placement.

November 14, 2009, 10:58 AM
I definitely won't be shooting any sheep and eating them. But then I don't own any sheep and don't like mutton anyhow...

I tend to look at articles like this as a continuation of anti hunters attempts to stiffle the sport. If lead in venison was truly a problem we'd have thousands of hunters in the country with lead poisoning issues.

November 14, 2009, 11:12 AM
Sooo thats why we went to steel shot.:p

November 14, 2009, 03:39 PM
If was a problem we would have become extinct many, many years ago. If reading about all these things that are bad worry you....quit reading:rolleyes:

November 14, 2009, 06:21 PM
Elemental lead is a non-issue. Lead compounds are the problem (especially organic compounds and lead salts). While the study may show that using lead bullets leads to some amount of lead ingestion, it would be a faulty conclusion to think that ingestion of bullet fragments could cause lead poisoning.

Like global warming, there is a lot of misinformation about lead poisoning. Most of it is politically motivated.

Andy Griffith
November 14, 2009, 07:21 PM
Sooo thats why we went to steel shot.

And it's the reason the dentist is laughing all the way to the bank too. ;)

November 15, 2009, 11:16 AM
Hey, Andy, did you use to work as a firefighter?

November 15, 2009, 11:52 PM
Did anybody read the part of the study that said that one of the symptoms is responding on thread websites?

The Doc is out now. :cool:


November 16, 2009, 12:17 AM
I CAN tell you that Rem. .44 Mag SJHP's can really come apart. Here's some recovered frags.


November 16, 2009, 03:07 PM
I had an annual check up about 2 weeks ago. Reading all the crap on the WIRE and such places about lead poisoning had me mildly concerned. I asked my doctor if he would schedule a heavy metals test for the next check up. He asked, "What is your concern" I told him that I was a lead shooter(CAS) and did my own casting cleaning and loading.
His response? "A waste of your time and money. An adult has very little reaction to lead, especially injested lead. Lead vapor would be of concern if you were exposed on a daily basis." "Lead in the form of injected(bullet fragments or eaten as in the deer study are essentially harmless."
These conditions do not apply to children as they are more susceptable to lead poisoning. But even in their case the amount of lead found in venison is a non factor.

I frankly am more interested in stories about BigFoot.

November 16, 2009, 03:46 PM
Your doctor's response doesn't surprise me.
He is ignorant about lead poisoning. He probably doesn't even know how to administer the test for it.
His ignorance doesn't keep him from running his mouth, like most docs, he thinks he knows it all, and he thinks that what he doesn't know is of no importance.

Most doctors ignore heavy metal toxicity.
Well, I have suffered very bad health problems due too lead poisoning.
I had no idea what was causing my problem, I went to doctors like yours who are ignorant about the problem, and it took me ten long years of suffering just to get a diagnosis.
I don't know how I got toxic levels of lead, but it wasn't from vapors.

November 16, 2009, 05:33 PM
simon, don`t want to pry into your personal health and understand if you won`t, but could you give some of your symptoms? I wouldn`t ask but there are reason`s I do.

November 16, 2009, 05:55 PM
I don't mind discussing this one bit. Send me a private message I will discuss it with you all day.

I started off having abdominal problems. The lead tends to go to your gut, I had weird prostate problems that wouldn't go away.
Also, fatigue, depression and mental confusion.

Also the lead has caused a lot of damage to my hearing and vision.
I need a hearing aid badly, and I am useless without glasses.

You ought to google it up, lead toxicity can cause all kinds of problems.

November 16, 2009, 07:40 PM
FALPhil is right, well documented time and again, and again, and again.... Just like the lead birdshot issue, this is nothing but pure anti-hunting hype! :mad:

Metallic lead passes through the body with little to no effect unless it's sharp and causes a mechanical injury. The BS about digestive acids is just that BS! If lead is dissolved in your intestines, why then is it not dissolved in lead-acid batteries? Better yet, why will you die if you drink sulfuric acid from a battery? Perhaps because the acid will eat your guts out?

November 18, 2009, 01:05 AM
I met a gunsmith who had severe lead poisoning that he said was from cleaning customer's guns with solvents without wearing protective gloves. His symptoms were very severe, long lasting and debilitating.
Another person who ran indoor plate shoots at a commercial range had a blood lead level that exceeded the definition of poisoning. The range was recycling range air without changing the filters on a regular basis, and the water system for the backstop wasn't in operation and he spent a lot time in the range every week.
I met another younger man in his 20's with lead poisoning caused by practicing small bore rifle in his basement where he was shooting a lot beginning as a young teen. There was a home made backstop indoors consisting of a simple steel plate without any ventilation and the poisoning happened over time and he said that it caused sterility issues that should be reversible, but takes time.
Plumbers disease is supposedly caused by lead vapors from soldering it with a torch, and I suppose that bullet casters can possibly be exposed to lead vapors from high heat too.
And there's concern about the lead contained in vapors from fired cartridge primers being inhaled in indoor shooting ranges which being poisoned by is known to occur.
I once had a blood lead level taken and all positive results are required by law to be reported to the state health dept.. At the time the lady doctor said that she shoots indoors too.
Now what about the lead that the condors are eating? Are their bodies absorbing lead because they eat rocks which grinds up the lead in their digestive tract? We all know children can get lead poisoning from eating paint chips, and also some of the paint and vinyl on Chinese toys, crayons etc that contain "lead"...:rolleyes:

November 18, 2009, 08:43 AM
""I started off having abdominal problems. The lead tends to go to your gut, I had weird prostate problems that wouldn't go away.
Also, fatigue, depression and mental confusion.

Also the lead has caused a lot of damage to my hearing and vision.
I need a hearing aid badly, and I am useless without glasses.""

Quote from above post.

Andy, what was your lead level when the symptoms were at their worst?

And the reason why we switched to steel shot was for ammo companies, same as the push for lead free bullets that is gaining momentum as I type.

November 18, 2009, 01:04 PM
I had a neighbor in Louisiana that had lead poisoning, but it was from casting lead sinkers commercially for sale at flea markets. He used a deep fat fryer and a propane turkey fryer with a large pot that he heated til the lead glowed, much too hot and releasing vapor. He worked outdoors but for hrs. at a time in close proximity to the pots as well as handling the sinkers to check for bad ones, he also ate and drank while working. He was fine after chelation therapy, he still casted, but at lower temps and stopped eating and drinking while casting.

November 18, 2009, 05:42 PM

I know a dentist that made a living for many years by convincing people that the mercury in their fillings was killing them. That wasn't true either.

November 19, 2009, 04:40 PM
Noz, how many doctors have you asked the same questions to about lead poisoning. Your comments suggest that you think cause one doctor(yours) happens to think being tested for toxic chemicals is a waste of time and money, it must be so. You only had concerns of the level of heavy metals in your blood with no apparent symptoms. You just had an annual checkup. Maybe if you had actually been sick with symptoms of toxic heavy metals contamination, the response from your doctor may have been different. Especially if you`ve had a life of working/ being around toxic heavy metals. Someone that goes to their doctor with symptoms such as simonkentons and knows themselves that maybe their work and lifestyle could have exposed themselves to toxic heavy metals would be foolish not to get a test. Especially if doctors having a hard time diagnosing their symptoms. A doctor simply disregarding lead poisoning as a possible cause would be the sign of an incompetant doctor. Many chemicals, paints and products used dailey can result in high levels of toxicity. Products of today are better but think of some of the older ones that were full of lead that some of us may have been exposed to most our lives.

November 20, 2009, 02:27 AM
It's just like all of the other toxic things we deal with in our environment in that it adds up. Sure we used to clean parts back on the farm with gasoline and our bare hands but that doesn't mean I'm going to do it today given what I know now. I shoot in good ventilation and I wash my hands after - who wouldn't? I try not to handle lead too much because I know it's not good for me! I don't heat food in plastic for the same reason: plain old good sense.

This isn't hard math so with modern, excellent performing copper or surrounded lead core bullets & ammo available why would I use the same old Remington Core-Lokt ammo my grandpa used? If something possibly better is available then I'm all for it. Not all change is bad.


November 20, 2009, 07:04 AM
There's a very important point getting missed in this discussion:

Metallic lead is completely different from lead oxides and vapors. I am no expert on this but I have done a lot of research on the matter consulting a vast number of sources. My former business required that I comply with all OSHA/MSHA regulations for every type of industrial/commercial business I dealt with.

First things first - shooting a critter with a lead projectile does not make for lead oxide or lead vapors, the displaced lead of the projectile remains in its metallic form. If you ingest metallic lead, it will pass through your system and out the waste vent without incident unless it's sharp/pointed and causes some type of mechanical damage such as a cut or perforation within the intestinal tract.

Lead oxide is the toxin, this is what's contained in lead-base paint and similar coating products - the white powdery substance covering metallic lead - "white lead" sold for use as an oil drying agent.

The vapors (free molecules) or airborne dust given off by overheating, boiling, sanding or grinding metallic lead are brought into the body primarily via the lungs where it transfers to the bloodstream.

The lead solvents, such as those used to clean guns, are a problem as the solvents becomes the skin penetrating carrier bringing lead into the bloodstream.

I have been handling used lead and casting since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and while my old man didn't know or care about exposure to lead dust/vapors, chopping up corroded old lead pipes and casting was done in an enclosed basement for many years. As time went on and I learned about the potential dangers, I used an exhaust fan to keep the fumes out of my face. The most important things you can do when casting are:
Don't make dust. Don't stick your fingers in your mouth/eyes/nose. Don't stick your face over the pot. Don't overheat the melt. Wash your body and your clothes without dragging lead dust/oxides through the house. Not only for exposure but also for safety reasons, cover all exposed skin with non-flammable & non-melting clothing. Common sense goes a long way, there's plenty of information and equipment available these days so there's no reason why casting cannot be done safely by anyone wishing to do so.

I've gone through several full-body scans and heavy metal tests related to my work. No problem with lead at all but let me tell you, if you're worried about lead, do yourself a favor and worry more about zinc because it's a helluva lot more toxic and dangerous than lead! Ask me, I know. Once you get zinc poisoning, it never really goes away. You'll get so sick of chugging down buttermilk, you'll never want to see it again as long as you live and even the slightest exposure to zinc in other than solid form will bring on an almost instant relapse. I've burned tons of welding wire & stick electrode, welding/cutting fumes are a whole lot more dangerous than casting lead. BTW, two hours of exposure to city traffic puts more toxins in your body than a year's worth of bullet casting done right.

Below were pulled from two different sources - it's just basic information but perhaps it will help clarify a few things but most importantly, use common sense.

The leading cause of lead poisoning in adults is through inhalation of lead dust or lead vapor and through skin contact while working with certain chemicals and solvents. Lead dissolved in chemicals or solvents, enters the bloodstream primarily through exposed skin coming in contact with the chemical or solvent and is distributed to all tissues throughout the body via the bloodstream. The mean life of lead vapors is extremely short since they will: condense in the nuclei which are unstable and transform into smoke; rapidly react with oxygen forming lead oxide fumes which may contain strings of submicron particles; attach to the surface of or be absorbed within other dust particles. Lead vapors and aerosols remain in the airborne for a very short period of time as compared to other airborne contaminants. People within very close proximity to the source, or within a strong downstream airflow, of airborne lead are most at risk of inhalation exposure and at a moderate risk of ingestion exposure. Use of a mouth and nose respirator in combination with lead dust approved eye protection or the use of a full-face respirator, both utilizing lead vapor/dust filters, will reduce the likelihood of lead inhalation/ingestion to near zero provided proper decontamination methods are followed before removing protective equipment.

Mitigating the risks of poisoning via airborne lead hazards is both simple and cost effective as it requires little more than properly filtered full-face respirator combined with a basic washdown decontamination area for workers. Before leaving the contaminated area, workers enter a suitable decontamination chamber where all clothing is removed and placed into lidded solid container or covered bag. Worker then enters the washdown area to fully shower with soap prior to removing respirator. Upon removal of respirator, worker is to remove the outer particulate filter placing it into a covered container within the washdown chamber then use soap to thoroughly wash and rinse respirator assembly before repeating the personal washdown the process. Where a large volume of workers are involved, a method of passing contaminated respirators from the washdown chamber to a separate cleaning room should be employed so as to expedite the flow of workers through the washdown chamber. Soiled clothing should be thoroughly wetter to saturation before removing from container or bag for washing. All drains from washdown, decontamination and laundering areas should be fitted with removable lead filter traps to facilitate proper recycling or disposal. Worker's adherence to proper personal protective and decontamination procedures have proven 99.99% effective at mitigating exposure to lead.

November 22, 2009, 08:40 PM
But lead dust is composed of the same solid lead particles that can be ingested from game only it's smaller and airborne. So is the only difference that it's entering the lungs rather than the stomach?
Of course nothing that I've read so far states that it is safe to eat lead.
Please show us a reference that states that it is safe to eat lead.
The scientists don't want the condors to eat lead because it poisons them. Are we to believe that it's safe for humans to eat lead or only that it's only okay in small amounts, dependent on one's body weight, chemistry or such?
How much is okay to eat and at what point is it not desirable and becomes a toxic danger with consequences?
I would also like to ask why lead in drinking water that originates from newly lead soldiered water pipes is dangerous for so many years after being installed in new homes?
Isn't it a fact that hot water also contributes to the leaching of lead into the household if used for ingested drinking & cooking water too?
Is this source of this form of water borne toxic lead vapor, oxide or a solid? Well it seems that lead soldier starts off as a solid. So why can't it be agreed to about whether it's safe to eat solid lead or not?
Who wants to feed lead to their kids?
I hunt, feed my family deer meat and don't want to feed them lead if it isn't necessary. Maybe there's some form of leeching in the stomach or intestines, I don't know. But let's put how much is safe and how much isn't safe to eat into some sort of context beginning with whether solid lead is toxic or not? Why is there this controversy over it?
Solid lead probably contains some oxides right? If it does then it's not purely safe, it's only as safe as the relative amount ingested.
But let's not say that eating solid lead is harmless if it truely isn't. If it was harmless then people could start selling it for lunch and who would be healthier eating that everyday? Doing that would probably be considered a crime... :rolleyes:

November 22, 2009, 09:27 PM
Many chemicals, paints and products used dailey can result in high levels of toxicity. Products of today are better but think of some of the older ones that were full of lead that some of us may have been exposed to most our lives.

Yes, this "quote" is VERY true... But, the type of lead in those kind of products is not the same as the lead in bullets. While there are different types of lead exposure, the Topic of This Thread is "Lead in Venison". I was raised on Squirrels and Rabbits killed with a ShotGun, and have bit down on MANY Lead Shot while eating these small Game Animals, and still do.

I also grew up fishing, and again, still do. Different fishing presentations, we'd use Split Shot that had the little "ears" so they were removeable. For most of my years, I used my teeth to "open up" the Split Shot putting them on the line and taking them off. I've grown to now use Pliers for this, because of all the "Lead Poison" talk, but I have YET to have any problems.

It's just not the same type of lead...IMHO.

November 23, 2009, 10:23 AM
"The scientists don't want the condors to eat lead because it poisons them."

Not sure it's scientists that are concerned but more California anti gunners who find that a good argument to further limit hunting but controling areas where hunters can use lead bullets (or even possess them for that matter).

November 23, 2009, 07:52 PM
Metalic lead is competely different from lead oxides and vapors... But the type of lead in those kind of products is not the same as the lead bullets... These statements are very true but how many people here would give their children lead toys(made from bullet lead) to play with everyday. Kids hands would be black at the end of the day. I`m to believe if same child licked his hands clean the ingested bullet lead would never hurt that child.:barf: I`ve done the same sinker smashing with teeth, boolit and sinker casting, ate as much lead shot game as the next guy. That doesn`t prove or diss-prove doing those things didn`t hurt me. Like arcticap, I`d like to see studies done the states "its ok to digest lead". Probably every person on this forum would test positive for lead. Regardless of how it got in our bodies. Some higher, some lower, but positive never the less. At what level of lead toxicity is your body going to start showing signs? Its just not the same type of lead...IMHO. You may be right about not being the SAME type of lead but are you sure enough to let your kids play marbles all day using lead 50 cal. roundballs

November 23, 2009, 08:33 PM
There's a toxic warning on every box of .22lr ammo to wash one's hands after handling because of what "may happen", especially for pregnant women.
And analysis showed that condors have died from eating too much lead for their body weight.
BTW what kind of lead is in lead crystal, as in wine decanters? :rolleyes: