Europe and Central Asia

Dead by Lead


Key facts:

  • Lead is extremely toxic, and has no function in living organisms. It is recommended that children and pregnant women do not eat game meat shot with lead.
  • Lead has been banned from everything (paint, fuel, pipes) but every year over 20 000 tonnes of lead is shot out into nature in the EU.
  • Lead shot is particularly problematic in and around wetlands, where waterfowl confuse it for little stones that help them digest.
  • 1 million water birds die poisoned by lead every year in the EU. 67% of birds eating 3 pellets will die in the following 20 days.

Lead ammunition is poisoning nature. Lead shot is particularly problematic in wetlands, where birds ingest it thinking it’s grit to help them digest their food. Millions of birds get poisoned and die, making the wetland ecosystems in which they live a death-trap instead of a home.

Lead ammunition also poisons people, in particular game-eating and hunting communities. Innocent children are at risk of ingesting lead through game meat. Lead is already outlawed in paint, petrol, pipes and pencils.

There are alternatives to lead, and the EU should ban its use.

Niels Kanstrup (1/3)

Niels Kanstrup (2/3)