Do lead fishing sinkers poison the enviroment

I just wish this was required reading for all hunters and fishermen around the world. It was a very enlighting article. Thanks

Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Boards, badgolfer78, we’re glad to have you with us!

When you start a thread, it’s helpful to others if you provide a link to the Staff Report under discussion. Saves searching time, and helps keep us all on the same page. In this case: Do lead sinkers threaten the environment?

No biggie, you’ll know for next time. And, as I say, welcome indeed!

And thank you, for the positive feedback.

So basically, lead is a problem if ingested by birds, or other animals, that grind it into small pieces in their digestive system?

The article makes a good case for banning lead shot and many types of lead sinkers. I’m just concerned about the hysteria concerning lead exposure that has become common in many places. It has been used as a political tool to close many shooting ranges, by portraying them as deadly toxic waste sites.

Well, my article does not address at all the issue of lead poisoning of humans, or large mammals really, from lead. And especially not the issue of lead poisoning in children.

Lead will be used as a political tool, more and more, just as mercury is starting to be used as a political tool with respect to coal power plants. It’s difficult to fight to save ranges once the “lead poisoning” issue comes up, mainly because, IIRC, there is no minimum “safe” level of lead ingestion. So unless a range can legally guarantee 100% capture or removal, they technically are releasing a toxin into the environment.

I’m sure I’ve picked up lead in my system from shooting. Just loading clips of .22 rounds will coat my fingertips with black-grey lead smudges, and you handle lots of lead when you’re hand-loading using wadcutter slugs. Then of course there’s that vapour of lead, copper, antimony, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, neptunium, and other things that comes out of the gun when you fire it, which often gets breathed in.

Why, if I didn’t know otherwise, I’d say that guns sure are deadly!

Oh, wait…

I wonder if there are unseen effects from lead on incubating fish eggs. Salmonid eggs are deposited in the same gravel as the lost fishing weights, losses due to lead contamination during incubation would go undetected unless they were specifically investigated.

It seems like this would be a good argument to use full metal jacket rounds. I’d think you’d get a lot less metal vapor by jacketing the bullet with the harder metal used in such rounds. You’d definitely get less lead vapor.

Does lead harm zombies?

It’s raised its heavy head here locally. A woman who moved into the neighborhood recently managed to get herself on the local community board, then made her agenda of lead-based paint known to all. Seems her child was poisoned by LBP in her last residence. Now she’s on a crusade to close the local community center (which has been in continuous operation since 1920) because she is “sure” that there is LBP everywhere. This is true, of course, but it’s all been encapsulated many times over, and the place is pretty well maintained. She pointed out some peeling paint on pipes that are 20 feet above the floor and claimed, without basis, that this was sure death for children (it turned out to be latex), then went to the city and demanded a full-scale investigation. She quotes iffy research and half-truths and monopolizes every board meeting at which she is present, shouting down anybody who challenges her notions.

At a shooting range, FMJ rounds ricochet jackets back at the shooter if they strike anything hard, like a steel target.

FMJ rounds for hunting would be disastrous leaving wounded animals with through and through wounds. HP and SP hunting rounds allow for dramatic expansion that causes enough tissue damage to make quick kills.

(Sorry for extending this zombie thread’s life)