A coalition of conservation, hunting and veterinary groups today filed a formal petition with the Environmental Protection Agency requesting a ban on the use of toxic lead in hunting ammunition and fishing tackle. Major efforts to reduce lead exposure to people have greatly reduced the amount of lead in the environment, but toxic lead is still a widespread killer in the wild, harming bald eagles, trumpeter swans, endangered California condors and other wildlife.
An estimated 10 million to 20 million birds and other animals die each year from lead poisoning in the United States….The petition references nearly 500 peer-reviewed scientific studies that starkly illustrate the widespread dangers from lead ammunition and fishing tackle.
Because there are now numerous, commercially available, non-toxic alternatives, the petitioning groups are urging the EPA to develop regulations to require non-lead rifle bullets, shotgun pellets, and fishing weights and lures throughout the nation. Non-toxic steel, copper, and alloy bullets and non-lead fishing tackle are readily available in all 50 states….The Toxic Substances Control Act gives the EPA broad authority to regulate chemical substances that present an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, such as lead. The EPA can prohibit the manufacture, processing, and distribution in commerce of lead for shot, bullets, and fishing sinkers.
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