Because of the extreme danger lead poses to people and the environment, it’s no longer used in a wide range of products, including gasoline and paint. But this dangerous heavy metal is still found in hunting ammunition and fishing tackle — and that’s a problem.
Animals who ingest spent lead bullets or lead fishing tackle can suffer for years from poisoning before dying painfully. This phenomenon is widespread and heartbreaking: A 2022 study found that half of all bald eagles and golden eagles suffer from chronic, toxic levels of lead. Swans, endangered whooping cranes and endangered California condors are also at risk, as well as people, who can be poisoned from consuming game contaminated by bullet fragments and lead dust.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is phasing out lead ammunition and fishing tackle on several wildlife refuges throughout the United States. It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough.
Tell the Service to get toxic lead out of all national wildlife refuges — for wildlife, endangered species, and people.