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Lead in Seafood and Wild Game

9 min read

Most hunters might not be conscious of the health dangers associated to consuming meat from animals shot with lead ammunition.

I’m typically requested in lectures whether or not microwaves are protected. Not for those who drop them in your foot! But, in any other case, it issues what you’re placing in them—candy potatoes and broccoli, or scorching pockets and pop tarts? Similarly, once I was exploring the security of scorching sauces in my video Flashback Friday: Lead Contamination in Hot Sauces, given their potential for lead contamination, I had an identical response: It issues what you’re placing them on.

When I take into consideration poisonous pollution, the very first thing I consider is the aquatic food chain. We know, for instance, that giving folks a seven-ounce portion of a fish excessive in mercury, like tuna or swordfish, simply as soon as per week, which is a couple of can and a half of tuna per week, can quadruple mercury ranges in the blood inside just a few months. What about lead?

A dietary intervention with not one however 5 parts per week considerably elevated blood concentrations of poisonous metals, together with lead. Even although “the background intake of lead was already disturbingly high,” the seafood consumption “increased the intake of lead by approximately 25%.” From a public health perspective, you will need to acknowledge that the quantity of seafood researchers used in the examine “far exceed[ed] the intake of most populations.”

Lead also can bioaccumulate in different animals, however half of our dietary publicity to steer most likely comes from plant meals. Animals shot with lead ammunition, although, could present a particular case. I discover this in my video Lead Contamination in Fish and Game.

We know lead is poisonous and banned from most home items in developed international locations—aside from lead ammunition, which “is now likely the greatest, largely unregulated source of lead that is knowingly discharged into the environment in the USA.” But, it’s not simply discharged into the atmosphere. It’s additionally discharged into the meat itself. “People typically reject the concept of injecting poisonous substances into food, besides when it includes searching wild recreation.”

Eighty % of floor venison was discovered to comprise lead, which isn’t shocking given the a whole bunch of metallic fragments that find yourself in deer carcasses after being shot with commonplace lead-based rifle bullets—“an impossible number of fragments to pick out by hand, especially because some of these fragments are microscopic.”

As you’ll be able to see at 2:23 in my video, researchers have proven utilizing x-rays that in penetration, increasing lead core bullets sometimes launch a whole bunch or hundreds of fragments—and even tens of millions or tens of tens of millions of microscopic lead particles per gram. So, one serving may have a billion particles, although they’re nanoparticles, extraordinarily tiny, in regards to the dimension of viruses. 

The solely good lead, although, is not any lead. Even very low ranges of lead publicity can consequence in mind and nerve injury, but most hunters might not be conscious of health dangers associated to consuming meat from animals killed with lead ammunition.

Children could also be liable to shedding IQ factors, which may cut back their future prospects. “Often when I explain to hunters the risk associated with lead exposure, especially when considering their children,” writes a physicians, “their response is, ‘I have been hunting for years and I am fine.’ My response to them is, “but just imagine how smart you could have been.”

Bone broth is one other situation, which I cowl in Lead Contamination in Bone Broth.

I lately did a deep dive into lead for those who’re in a complete overview:

  • How the Lead Paint Industry Got Away with It 
  • Lead in Drinking Water
  • How the Leaded Gas Industry Got Away with It
  • “Normal” Blood Lead Levels Can Be Toxic
  • The Effects of Low-Level Lead Exposure in Adults
  • How to Lower Lead Levels with Diet: Thiamine, Fiber, Iron, Fat, Fasting?
  • How to Lower Lead Levels with Diet: Breakfast, Whole Grains, Milk, Tofu?
  • Best Foods for Lead Poisoning: Chlorella, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Moringa?
  • Best Food for Lead Poisoning: Garlic
  • Can Vitamin C Help with Lead Poisoning?
  • Yellow Bell Peppers for Male Infertility and Lead Poisoning?
  • Is Lipstick Safe Given the Lead Contamination?
  • Flashback Friday: Can Saunas Detoxify Lead from the Body?
  • How Much Lead Is in Organic Chicken Soup (Bone Broth)?
  • Lead in Calcium Supplements
  • Should Pregnant Women Take Calcium Supplements to Lower Lead Levels?
  • The Rise in Blood Lead Levels at Pregnancy and Menopause
  • Some Ayurvedic Medicine Worse than Lead Paint Exposure
  • Are Aluminum Pots, Bottles, and Foil Safe?
  • How to Lower Heavy Metal Levels with Diet
  • Heavy Metal Urine Testing & Chelation for Autism
  • Lead Contamination of Tea
  • Filled Full of Lead
  • Get the Lead Out

In health, 

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t but, you’ll be able to subscribe to my free movies right here and watch my reside displays:

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