Center for Biological Diversity

Stop the NRA's Lead Poisoning Legislation

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The Center for Biological Diversity has organized 120 allied groups representing birders, hunters, scientists, American Indians and public employees that are calling for a ban on lead in ammunition and fishing tackle. The Center recently teamed up with a hunting organization to sue the EPA under the Toxic Substances Control Act to force the agency to take action to prevent further lead poisonings.

Now, the NRA has pushed the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus to introduce legislation aimed at eviscerating the Toxic Substances Control Act and preventing the EPA from regulating toxic lead exposure to wildlife. Help us stop the cruel and misguided "Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Sports Protection Act."

There is simply no reason to continue to use toxic lead materials for hunting or fishing. Effective, nontoxic bullets, shot and fishing weights are widely available and in many cases, comparable in price to lead. Yet the well-heeled NRA gun lobby argues that removing toxic materials from the sporting marketplace is "extreme" and somehow anti-hunting or fishing. What's so "extreme" about insisting that bald eagles not starve to death because their digestive system has been shut down by lead poisoning?

Help us stop the NRA's toxic legislation by contacting your senators today and urging them to oppose this harmful bill.

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Please take action by December 1, 2011.

Golden eagle photo courtesy Flickr Commons/mattknoth.

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Although toxic lead has been taken out of paint and gasoline, tons of lead are shot or left in the wild every year from hunting and fishing, entering the food chain and endangering wildlife. Bald eagles, golden eagles, peregrine falcons, loons, cranes, condors, herons and doves die incredibly painful deaths from lead poisoning. Wolves, bears and panthers are also poisoned.

Use of lead ammunition also poses health risks to people. Lead bullets explode and fragment into minute particles in shot game and can spread throughout meat that humans eat. Studies using radiographs show that numerous, imperceptible, dust-sized particles of lead can infect meat up to a foot and a half away from the bullet wound, causing a greater health risk to humans who consume lead-shot game than previously thought. State health agencies have had to recall venison donated to feed the hungry because of lead contamination from lead bullet fragments.