EPA says no to lead ammo ban

In a moment of clarity, the EPA doesn’t ban something. But wait, bigger craziness still looks to be on the horizon. See the end of the story.

==========================================

EPA PRESS RELEASE

Brendan Gilfillan giflfillan.brendan@epa.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 27, 2010

EPA Denies Petition Calling for Lead Ammunition Ban

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today denied a petition calling for a ban on the production and distribution of lead hunting ammunition. EPA sent a letter to the petitioners explaining the rejection – that letter can be found here: http://www.epa.gov/oppt/chemtest/pubs/sect21.html
Steve Owens, EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, issued the following statement on the agency’s decision:

“EPA today denied a petition submitted by several outside groups for the agency to implement a ban on the production and distribution of lead hunting ammunition. EPA reached this decision because the agency does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – nor is the agency seeking such authority.

“This petition, which was submitted to EPA at the beginning of this month, is one of hundreds of petitions submitted to EPA by outside groups each year. This petition was filed under TSCA, which requires the agency to review and respond within 90 days.
“EPA is taking action on many fronts to address major sources of lead in our society, such as eliminating childhood exposures to lead; however, EPA was not and is not considering taking action on whether the lead content in hunting ammunition poses an undue threat to wildlife.

“As there are no similar jurisdictional issues relating to the agency’s authority over fishing sinkers, EPA – as required by law – will continue formally reviewing a second part the petition related to lead fishing sinkers.

“Those wishing to comment specifically on the fishing tackle issue can do so by visiting http://www.regulations.gov . EPA will consider comments that are submitted by September 15.”

R286

h/t to WUWT reader Michael C. Roberts

Background:

Lead for Shot, Bullets, and Fishing Sinkers

// <![CDATA[// August 3, 2010 — The American Bird Conservancy, the Association of Avian Veterinarians, and a number of other groups submitted a petition (PDF) (2 pp. 92 kb, About PDF) and attachment (PDF) (100 pp. 901 kb, About PDF) to EPA under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) asking EPA to “prohibit the manufacture, processing, and distribution in commerce of lead for shot, bullets, and fishing sinkers.” Section 21 of TSCA allows citizens to file petitions, such as this one, and requires EPA to respond to any petition within 90 days of receiving it. EPA has just begun its review of this citizens’ petition and has made no determination on the requested action. Read EPA’s letter acknowledging receipt of the petition (PDF). (1 p. 189 kb, About PDF). To send your comments to EPA about this petition, please visit www.regulations.gov and enter Docket ID# EPA-HQ-OPPT-2010-0681.

==============================

In other news:

The EPA is considering banning lead weights used to balance automobile tires:

http://www.greencarreports.com/blog/1021157_green-groups-ask-epa-to-ban-lead-wheel-weights

Thank the Sierra Club who unbelievably puts this in their press release: (PDF)

“1.6 million pounds of lead from wheel weights is left falling off of cars each year where anyone can find and possibly ingest it,” said Jeff Gearhart, Research Director for the Ecology Center.

Yeah, those people sitting by the side of the road looking for lead weights to eat is a real problem, yesssiree. Too late for California though, a ban is already in effect. Full disclosure: I’m a scofflaw. I have lead wheel weights on my car.

Next I think we should ban dirt. Really, it’s full of nasty stuff just sitting around where anyone can find and possibly ingest it.

From the CDC:

How dangerous is eating dirt? My mother was pretty certain about this—damn dangerous. Soils contaminated by industrial or human pollutants pose considerable threat to anyone who eats them. Reports abound of lead poisoning and other toxicities in children eating contaminated soils. Similarly, we do not have to look farther than the last refugee camp or the slums of Calcutta or Tijuana or Basra to find the dangers of soils contaminated with untreated human waste. But the inherent biologic danger of soil is difficult to assess. Soil unaffected by the pressures of overpopulation, industry, and agriculture may be vastly different from the soil most of us encounter routinely.

Yeah ban dirt, that’s the ticket.

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132 thoughts on “EPA says no to lead ammo ban

  1. Maybe this is a subtle admonition of the EPA from the green gang to get the lead out. They have become rather devious of late.

  2. Yep, nothing like deep fried wheel weights. They go real good with truck tire tread, all washed down with nicely aged hi-octane. :)

  3. “EPA was not and is not considering taking action on whether the lead content in hunting ammunition poses an undue threat to wildlife.”

    You just can’t make stuff like this up!!!! Who needs the comedy channel!

    All the best….. Jeff

  4. …however, EPA was not and is not considering taking action on whether the lead content in hunting ammunition poses an undue threat to wildlife.

    I can help them out with this one…I’ve demonstrated via carefully controlled laboratory tests that 170 grains of lead is extremely unhealthy for whitetail deer. If they would like more detail, I’d be happy to accept a large grant to continue my research.

  5. As a user of lead (trap shooter), the stuff is to costly to leave laying around. Gun clubs get a lead recovery firm in about once a year to go through the upper layer of the soil and recover the shot. Other clubs that neglected recover for years and instead plowed the ground are now going down a foot or two in order to recover the deeper lead. The recovered lead is more or less intact and is often sold to reloaders as is for reuse. The remainder is melted and reused for those who would like to make sure their shot is round.
    The dirty little secret is that many shot guns are unable to use steel shot without damage to the gun. These guns cost between 6 and 12 thousand dollars. Other options to replace lead are far more costly than lead and may be good for hunting but not for target shooters where using 300 shells a day.
    The strange part is often there is more wild life at the gun club than there is in the surrounding area. To injure an animal without the gun clubs permission could result in not being permitted to shoot registered targets and the open areas make it easy for predators to see prey make gun clubs a very welcome place for wildlife.

  6. A few years ago , I was reading a post on a shooting blog which dealt with this . A skeet/trap club was concerned about a potential ban on lead shot and had a laboratory test the soil around the facility . It turned out that the soil around the club was well within the acceptable limits , but a test of the dirt along the county road that led to the club was highly contaminated . It seems that the roadside dirt had been contaminated from car exhaust over the many years that lead was added to gasoline . Tire weights did fit into the picture . Solid lead really isn’t much of a problem .

  7. lol, my wife won’t let me read her anymore of this insanity!!!! To much craziness for her!!! You know, does it occur to anyone else but me that there is a high probability of someone in the Sierra club or the Ecology Center that actually ate(ingested) some tire weights to determine it might be hazardous.

  8. “Next I think we should ban dirt. Really, it’s full of nasty stuff just sitting around where anyone can find and possibly ingest it.”

    Obviously, we can’t ban dirt, that would be like banning CO2, so we should regulate and tax the producers of dirt!!!

  9. We’ve gone from a government that’s there to protect each person from the other 310 million nut cases out there, to a government that’ll tell you what to do, when to do it, and how to do it, assuming, of course, that they’ll permit you to do it (permits sold separately).

  10. Umm…… the NRA doesn’t suffer fools…. and every politician knows it.
    Now we need to teach them about tax and……….what ever they are calling it.

  11. wow, that was swift and unexpected.

    obama has steered remarkably clear of any issue remotely 2nd amendment

  12. Lead in ammunition is dangerous when used in an inside target range. Enough of it makes it into the air that if you are in the range for significant lengths of time, e.g. a firearms instructor in the military, you can inhale enough to actually effect you if you do not filter the air. That is why all responsible indoor ranges have air filtration units to remove any of the lead dust that is created on the range. My sportsman’s club has such a setup. For trap shooting, it is an open question as to what the effect of the lead shot is on the ground. Many places have gone over to bismuth shot for actual hunting to prevent the waterfowl from eating the lead shot. But for the rest of rifle and pistol, it really does not matter. Lead is like aluminum. It forms an oxide coating that prevents further release of the metal into the environment. You can get some ball shot that was used in the civil war and if you so desire scar it with a knife. You will find nice bright metallic lead under the oxide coating. Lead is a hazard when it is chemically combined with other materials to make paints, used as tetraethyl lead (now banned for many years) and other such uses or when you create fumes from melting it to form stuff if you are not careful. But as for bullets, you gotta be kidding me. On general principles, I would not want to build a housing project on an old firing range. Kids are kids and everything goes into the mouth. When you consider the amount of lead bullets around in Europe after 2 world wars, if lead in the bullets was a hazard, all of Europe would have been long since dead. Although thinking about it, it may explain how they have become brain damaged enough to buy off on the AGW hype.

  13. Why stop at dirt? Surely dangerous fruits and nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, apples, apricots and peaches all known to contain poisons such as arsenic and prussic acid (hydrocyanic acid) should also be banned.

  14. I can understand the problem with lead shot building up in wetlands a result to hunting. That said, most of the remainder of this kind of stuff is simply someone attempting to tell me how I should live. Tell someone who cares. I have no interest in living my life by some advocacy groups standards, since I have enough to do meeting my own. It is a nice day here in Calgary so I’ll go sit in my back yard, naked and smoke my pipe and have a nice glass of whiskey, while I get my lead sinkers ready for some late summer fishing.

  15. “This petition, which was submitted to EPA at the beginning of this month, is one of hundreds of petitions submitted to EPA by outside groups each year.”

    Wow. Those groups have a lot of nerve, swamping a bunch of poor bureaucrats with all those legally allowed requests. What are they trying to do, be vexatious or something?

  16. In a moment of clarity, the EPA doesn’t ban something.

    It’s sad when it’s newsworthy that the EPA didn’t take any action. Must be an election approaching.

  17. The NRA lobby is more important than the enviro wacko lobby. Get the NRA to start campaigning against any sort of energy bill and bingo, away it goes!! After all, when one fires a gun, some sort of carbon has to be released. The next thing you know, the enviro wackos are trying to slap controls on guns to “save the world”. We’ve found a pressure point!!

    And Anthony, I laughed whole hardheartedly when I read about the lead weights. Thank you very much.

  18. Whatever happened to mothers who keep gardens and told us, “We must all eat a peck of dirt before we die”?

  19. The NRA lobby is more important than the enviro wacko lobby.

    Which is why you didn’t hear about gun control while the Obamanites were in the process of transforming America. After the election, you will see some major gun bashing as they work to rally the lefty troops back into the fight.

  20. Anthony Watts says:
    “Yeah, those people sitting by the side of the road looking for lead weights to eat is a real problem, yesssiree.”

    “Yeah ban dirt, that’s the ticket.”
    =======
    ROFLOL — thanks, I needed a laugh — have a great weekend!

    PS Can’t we just ban the Sierra Club and call it a day?

  21. I fear I am not internally consistent on this issue. I feel bad every time I lose a hook on a submerged stump or something, and my lead sinker pollutes the environment. The non-lead sinkers just don’t seem to work as well, though.

    On the other hand, I don’t feel bad at all about leaving the lead from a bullet wherever it lodges.

    I don’t normally shoot fish, though.

  22. Maybe we can save the lead and use the depleted uranium like the army?
    Should work, can’t be as toxic as CO2 is?

  23. This is a sad state of affairs, everything boils down to votes and politics….

    Entirely too close to Nov to rock all those boats now. Ram it through, never let a good crisis go to waste, unless it’s time to vote.

    Don’t kid yourselves, if these clowns win again you can kiss your shot and sinkers good bye in January.

  24. K says:
    August 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    The NRA lobby is more important than the enviro wacko lobby.

    Much better armed also. :) Actually the NSSF was more involved in this than the NRA. They represent over 5500 manufacturers, distributors, etc. http://www.nssf.org/Industry/

    “Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 5,500 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers.”

    Check out their Board of Governors: A who’s who of major arms manufacturers’. S&W, Ruger, Taurus, Remington, Winchester, Colt, Glock, Beretta etc. This petition didn’t stand a snowballs chance in hell of getting anyplace.

  25. Some people want to ban the lead for bullets because it’s bad for the wildlife and environment. Meanwhile the Nuclear Power industry give their used uranium to the weapons producers to make Depleted Uranium Armour Piercing shells. These are so effective but unfortunately leave behind hazards that make lead look as dangerous as strawberries and cream.

  26. The EPA didn’t ban it because they didn’t have the authority. If they did…….
    As far as fishing weights, Environment Canada has already banned lead in federal parks and they are working on a complete ban Canada wide. There is no substitute for lead in bullets for rifles and hand guns. Bisimuth might work but there isn’t enough in existance.
    On a final note I am certain that lead bullets are harmful to wildlife. My freezer is full of evidence of this fact ;)

  27. As far as banning dirt. When I was a youngin’ they saying was ‘a dirty kid is ahealthy kid’. All these kids being brought up in sterile accident free environments today are doomed.

  28. Yeah, those people sitting by the side of the road looking for lead weights to eat is a real problem, yesssiree.

    Well, if I figure it correctly enough, there’s a significant contingent of those lead weight consumers from California land, who’ve moved to Seattle and environs, and they currently infest our public schools and offices — both elected and appointed.

    Of course, there’s also that other contingent from the U.S. east coast who’ve suffered that lead weight brain damage as well, and who’ve move here, foisting their harebrained socialistic schemes upon the rest of us.

    I don’t know what it is about western Washington, in that it seems to attract all the brain-dead zombies …

    Must be all that lead content which causes them to migrate as a result of the Earth’s spin. But that doesn’t explain California …

    Maybe it’s Canada’s socialistic pull which causes them to get here, but then they realize that not even the Great White North wants them!!!

    Sure wish they’d find the Pacific ocean and float on towards China where they’d surely be more appreciated!!

  29. Is anyone petitioning for the removal or restrictions of Mercury from domestic lighting sources on public health grounds?
    In the part of Scotland I live in, glass is no longer to be collected as domestic refuse ie it can’t, on Health and Safety grounds, be disposed of other than centrally!
    Certainly there are “bottle-banks” if you’re mobile enough to get to one. But bottles make up only a portion of glass containers so I guess we’ll have dirty jam jars, light bulbs and the like disposed of haphazardly rather than managed effectively.
    Apart from the short-term effects of more broken glass lying around, cheaper for some to dump at street level than risk a fine by binning it, we can look forward to the environmental effects of enhanced levels of Hg thanks to the gradual outlawing of incandescent bulbs.
    A little learning is a dangerous thing!

  30. Gold and platinum have physical properties very similar to those of lead. Obviously they are poor choices as a substitute for lead in bullets or in wheel balancing. I haven’t checked the BATF poop sheet lately but I’m reasonably certain that tungsten or tungsten/tin alloys would be prohibited due to their “armor piercing” capabilities. We know steel or steel core bullets are already outlawed. Bismuth might do in a pinch as a replacement for lead shot, but it is unacceptable as a high velocity handgun or rifle bullet.

    But let’s wonder for a moment…suppose all lead ammunition were banned tomorrow. Does anyone honestly think there would be a measurable attenuation in environmental lead levels 3-5 years from now? Of course not!

    I was surprised to hear about the lead weights for wheel balancing. This has been one of my favorite arguments for years and I never heard it anywhere else. About 3-4 years ago I bought 50 lbs of lead (melted and poured into muffin tins) on eBay. The guy selling it worked at a tire shop and saved all used lead weights, melted them down and sold them on eBay. I can’t tell you how handy this shoe box of lead “muffins” has been around my workshop. I keep it near my 2 kg bottle of elemental mercury.

  31. I think the banning of lead has more to do with the consumption of shot by water fowl.
    I’ve read were far more animals dye from lead poisoning then are ever killed by hunters.

  32. Well just wth element on the periodic table does the EPA like?

    Oh right, Mercury in CFLs. I forgot.

  33. So if we eliminate 1.6 million pounds of lead weights and do nothing to keep the new improved weights on the wheels, we will lose 1.6 million pounds of some other less dense so much larger, heavy stuff. Tires won’t magically need less weight to be in balance, and lead is the king of affordable dense. Replace the lead with any other metal and you have ballistic objects that will puncture the tires they’re supposed to protect.

    Can you imagine how much shrapnel is going to be flying around? Lead, at least, is malleable and will not bend into a boomerang and prang down the road every time the family Prius rolls over it.

    One last question: Where are all the dead bodies created by indiscriminate lead weight ingestion? Surely over my own 64 years the piles of lead accumulated in the gutters must be capable of generating data – I’ll even accept a 1200 km square grid analysis.

  34. It is a backdoor attack on the US Constitution. Unable to get a ban through the congress on ammuition and guns they intend to do it by regulation and bypass the people. It nothing short of dictatorial exercise of power.

  35. Dennis Nikols, P. Geol. says:
    August 27, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    “….It is a nice day here in Calgary so I’ll go sit in my back yard, naked and smoke my pipe and have a nice glass of whiskey, while I get my lead sinkers ready for some late summer fishing.”

    A little off topic, but Dennis, when I lived and worked in Calgary (in 1962), they had a bylaw that prohibited hanging out men’s and women’s underwear on the same clothesline. You sure came a long way in cow-town.

  36. If the NRA continues their course, they will be the equivalent to the AARP speaking for the elderly.

  37. I wonder where lead comes from. Perhaps there’s an alchemist somewhere busily turning gold into lead. Or maybe -gasp- we dig it out of the ground!!!!!

    Just got back from a road trip through Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. We played the “spot the farm dust!” game. We’re all going to get awfully hungry if the EPA goes down that rabbit hole.

  38. reminds me of a conversation i had on another forum:

    “There has to be something, other than Au & Ag that would preserve our wealth
    during a period of hyperinflation?.”

    Pb & a bunch of it.

    if someone wants my lead, i will gladly turn it over – 250 grains at a time, at 3025fps ;)

    unless of course it’s up close, in which case it might come 1oz at a time at ~1600fps

  39. From the CDC:

    How dangerous is eating dirt? My mother was pretty certain about this—damn dangerous.
    =============
    yet, everyone reading this, knows what dirt tastes like, and stopped eating it long ago.

  40. ha ha ha – lead weights just sitting at the side of the road ready for someone to come along and eat. Yes, I’ve seen these people scouring the road sides – pretending to be picking up bottles where they’re really searching for those little lead weights to scarf. Who’d a thunk it?

    Do these people ever blush when they recall the inane nonsense that issues from their mouths? Good grief.

  41. Anyone who actually believes that shooting any number of ounce and an eigth lead shotgun shells (most common load) into any/all wetlands (of which I’ve unloaded countless thousands), will have any appreciable effect on anything, probably also believes that the CO2 that people exhale has a similar deleterious effect on the air we breathe.

    God save us from ourselves…

  42. Here, I once related an anecdote once about lead poisoning. Weird how everything is a cycle.

  43. @Bob of Castlemaine says:
    August 27, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    ‘Why stop at dirt? Surely dangerous fruits and nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, apples, apricots and peaches all known to contain poisons such as arsenic and prussic acid (hydrocyanic acid) should also be banned.’

    Yes, we know that and we also know why these foods are not normally dangerous when eaten. But check out the literature; you’d be pretty stupid to ingest lead, a very nasty accumulative poison, in any form.

    I don’t know whether the use of lead shot poses a significant risk to animal and human life in the long run. But is sneering at the possibility a sensible response?

  44. I’ve heard of someone ingesting a whole car over a long span of time. Just add a few sprinkles of metal/glass/rubber/lead battery/etc. to your food every day, and before you know it, you’re in the Guinness Book of World Records – or Urban Myths – at least until the next guy comes along and ingests a whole locomotive or airplane.

  45. I don’t know what you are all complaining about. As far as I’m aware Australia banned lead shot and bullets over a decade ago and the end of the world has not arrived yet. And yes, the problem was waterfowl.

    Of course, Australia also banned the bulb and now has houses full of CF lamps, where the cleanup instructions for a broken lamp ARE NOT widely disseminated, probably because it might actually scare off the punters.

    Here are the instructions off the official government web site:

    “The short term nature of the potential exposure (particularly after effective clean-up of broken CFL material) does not constitute a significant health risk to exposed adults (including pregnant women) or children.

    However, following these simple and straightforward clean up and disposal instructions as a cautionary approach will further reduce risk:

    1. Open nearby windows and doors to allow the room to ventilate for 15 minutes before cleaning up the broken lamp. Do not leave on any air conditioning or heating equipment which could recirculate mercury vapours back into the room.

    2. Do not use a vacuum cleaner or broom on hard surfaces because this can spread the contents of the lamp and contaminate the cleaner. Instead scoop up broken material (e.g. using stiff paper or cardboard), if possible into a glass container which can be sealed with a metal lid.

    3. Use disposable rubber gloves rather than bare hands.

    4. Use a disposable brush to carefully sweep up the pieces.

    5. Use sticky tape and/or a damp cloth to wipe up any remaining glass fragments and/or powders.

    6. On carpets or fabrics, carefully remove as much glass and/or powdered material using a scoop and sticky tape; if vacuuming of the surface is needed to remove residual material, ensure that the vacuum bag is discarded or the canister is wiped thoroughly clean.

    7. Dispose of cleanup equipment (i.e. gloves, brush, damp paper) and sealed containers containing pieces of the broken lamp in your outside rubbish bin – never in your recycling bin.

    8. While not all of the recommended cleanup and disposal equipment described above may be available (particularly a suitably sealed glass container), it is important to emphasise that the transfer of the broken CFL and clean-up materials to an outside rubbish bin (preferably sealed) as soon as possible is the most effective way of reducing potential contamination of the indoor environment.

    My reaction to this is: OMG. The environmental impact of proper cleanup of a broken CFL must be enormous (all that stuff to be disposed of). I bet nobody factored that into their clever calculations.

    Of course this raises the question: how many CFLs break when in service? So far I’ve had 1 explode on me, out of about 30 used so far. A quick survey a couple years back indicated that for those using CFLs about 1 in5 people have had a lamp explode at some time. I don’t regard any of that as being a very acceptable risk, or rate of failure.

    FWIW.

  46. Pops says:
    August 27, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    You are one of the few who gets it. Lead is an element. It comes from mines, most of them on the surface. It is an element, not manufactured. It is present in soil and water. There is the same amount of lead on the surface of the earth as was present before man came along (except for a little we shot into space). A person (or a duck) could swallow the occasional lead shot and the blood levels will not increase. It passes unchanged in the feces.

    Don’t eat lead in soluble form, though, as one of the lead salts or manufactured lead oxide pigments. Don’t lick red minerals, or yellow snow, for that matter. Lead pigments were rightfully banned. Elemental lead is relatively innocuous compared with mercury because mercury can exist in vapor form and it has more water-soluble salt forms. Ask the Mad Hatter about the squiggly new light bulbs. “Stick with tungsten filament bulbs”, he recommends.

  47. Have you heard about the newest hunting regulation in California? You’re only allowed to shoot the male squirrels. :-)

  48. Lead has been banned for waterfowl hunting for several decades now. You must use steel, tungsten or Bismuth type shot.

    A lot of red snapper died in Florida this last winter. Along with many other warm water species. Maybe that has something to do with it.

    We sure have a lot of dangerous volcanoes percolating right now. Ban them before they go off and make yourself useful, EPA.

  49. “1.6 million pounds of lead from wheel weights is left falling off of cars each year where anyone can find and possibly ingest it,” said Jeff Gearhart, Research Director for the Ecology Center.”

    I have to be honest with you guys. I was walking down the street the other day and saw a lead weight that had fallen off of a tire. My first thought was, ‘why don’t I ingest it?’

  50. A ban on the funding of the EPA would be a most benifical first solution. That orginization has been trying to destroy our industrial civilization since it’s creation.

    A prime demonstration of a bureaucracy that works tirelessly to crush the civilization that it is supposed to protect. pg

  51. Wait a minute.

    EPA banning lead wheel weights in the US won’t do squat. See that alarming Sierra Club figure of “1.6 million pounds of lead from wheel weights…”

    http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/wastemin/nlfwwi.htm

    (emphasis added)

    National Lead Free Wheel Weight Initiative (NLFWWI)
    (…)
    Lead Wheel Weight Quick Facts
    * There are 200 million autos and light trucks on the nation’s roadways.
    * Sixteen million new autos are produced annually in the United States.
    * An average of 4.5 ounces of lead is clipped to the wheel rims of every automobile in the United States.
    * Approximately 50 million pounds of lead is used annually to produce tire weights worldwide in autos and light trucks.
    * 75% is recycled by secondary lead smelters.
    * 25% (or 12.5 million pounds annually) is uncontrolled or unmanaged in the environment.
    * 13% of the 12.5 million pounds (1.6 million pounds) is lost when wheel weights fall off during normal driving conditions (e.g., hitting a pot hole).
    * 87% of the 12.5 millions pounds (10.9 million pounds) is sold or given to hobbyists for recreational purposes (e.g., melting down to make fishing sinkers).

    (…)

    Did you notice that one word, “worldwide”? It sounds above like that’s 1.6 million pounds of lead lost in the USA, when it’s that much spread out across the planet. Which makes the amount actually lost in the US, where the EPA could possibly regulate it, a small percentage of that total.

    (And with that worldwide loss, I will freely speculate, given the prices paid for good scrap lead, that a sizable portion of that loss is due to enterprising poor people with pliers or just a flathead screwdriver. Some places, they might sell “recovered” weights directly to the tire shops.)

    Looks like the Sierra Club lifted their figure from the EPA site I linked to. However, apparently that’s not alarming enough. From the other link given above in the piece:

    Green Groups Ask EPA To Ban Lead Wheel Weights
    (…)
    The coalition estimates that 3.5 million pounds of lead weights are shed every year. While lead has been banned in most other consumer uses–including leaded gasoline, plumbing, and paint–the tire weights remain legal in most of the US.
    (…)

    So not only does this “coalition” have an “estimate” more than twice the EPA (and Sierra Club) number, going by the juxtaposition in at least this particular article, it is being implied this loss is in the US only, when it is not.

    I just reviewed that Sierra Club press release. They talk about the voluntary program I linked to, also use the “12.5 million pounds” number, and “worldwide” does not appear in that document but a lot of talking about how and why the EPA should act while brandishing those numbers does appear.

    It’s GREEN, and it SMELLS. Better to just toss it out than risk trying it to find out just how bad it really is.

  52. Wally the Walrus – Australia has certainly not banned lead in bullets. The .22LR we fire at the local small bore club is all lead bullets.

    On banning lead even more uselessly search for “lead free solder”. This disaster was imposed on the electronics industry world wide some years ago at vast expense despite no evidence that there was a problem. Solder now contains no lead even though the industry must have greatly reduced its use of lead when CRTs gave way to LCD screens (no leaded glass in LCDs but of course it isn’t a huge problem in leaded glass either as the lead is safely locked up in the glass) and surface mount components means much less lead to solder the parts to the circuit boards along with larger scale integration meaning even fewer components.

    But no, the idiot EUroweenies in Brussels went and banned lead from electronics when it really is only a recycling/waste collection problem.

    The bad effects of the ban? There is no good substitute. Solder is now tin and silver with maybe a few other minor components. The lead free solder is much less shock resistant than leaded solder. I’ve seen 5% the shock resistance. A good lead free joint looks just like a bad one – dull and grey. The solder melts at considerably higher temperature imposing greater thermal shock on components which may adversely impact reliability. Component leads are now pure tin plated, not lead -tin alloy plated. Pure tin grows “whiskers” causing shorts to adjacent leads again adversely impacting reliability.

    The military, aviation , safety equipment in cars(ABS, ESC) and medical equipment was exempt (that alone tells you something) but the EU are now proposing to remove the exemption for all but the military.

    The side effects? Less reliable equipment with a shorter useful life resulting in more electronic waste. Possible deaths due to critical safety equipment failures.
    Yup, that’s a great environMENTAL policy.

    One last thing – about 1% of the lead mined went into electronics. 80% was in lead acid batteries, 5% in ammunition, the rest in industrial uses. A tiny amount still goes into tetraethyl lead for use in 100LL avgas (that’s about to be banned also).

  53. able says:
    August 27, 2010 at 6:30 pm
    I think the banning of lead has more to do with the consumption of shot by water fowl.
    I’ve read were far more animals dye from lead poisoning then are ever killed by hunters.

    That was justification when they banned lead shot for waterfowl hunting around here (along the Mississippi flyway) many years ago. Many species of ducks and geese dive to the bottom to rummage for food and the theory was that they were consuming spent shot and dying from lead poisoning. I gave up hunting when my father became too frail to go,which was quite a few years ago, so I don’t now what the current regs are, but AFAIK lead shot is still banned along the river and probably elsewhere.

  54. ShrNfr points out the real problem with lead shot. Waterfowl ingest small pebbles to help with digestion (think of them as miniature millstones.) When they ingest lead shot instead the lead is digested by stomach acid, and lead poisoning follows.

    It’s no big deal for hunters. There are perfectly good alternatives.

  55. I am afraid there is a case to answer using lead shot and lead fishing weights. Research here in the UK has shown that water birds, swans, ducks etc., do get jead poisoning from areas where wild duck shooting takes place, mainly wetlands. Fishing weights are also a problem, not the large sinkers but the small split shot used by many fisherman. Lead shot is ingested by the filter feeding birds and the shot lodges in the birds crops and lead poisoning follows. There are ways round the problem using other materials. These are mandatory in the UK but are also more expensive and the bismuth shot used for shooting is less effective than lead but at least the lead poisoning is less prevalent.

  56. @Alleagra says: August 27, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    “I don’t know whether the use of lead shot poses a significant risk to animal and human life in the long run. But is sneering at the possibility a sensible response?”

    Hmmmm.

    I suggest that sneering at a bunch of interfering Greenies who jump out of bed every morning just busting to think of something else to ban, (based usually on zero scientific evidence), is a pretty fair response.

    It would actually be more sensible to rise up and slaughter the lot of them but I guess it would be considered a little inhumane.

  57. UK’s already done some of this-

    http://www.basc.org.uk//en/departments/game-and-gamekeeping/game-shooting/lead-and-nonlead-shot.cfm

    In England the lead shot regulations ban the use of lead shot over all foreshore, over specified SSSIs, and for the shooting of all ducks and geese, coot and moorhen – wherever they occur.

    DEFRA (the Department for Elimination of Farming and Rural Activities) is currently reviewing lead again at the behest of the RSPB. Initial meetings seem to show similar problems to global warming salesmanship-

    http://www.leadammunitiongroup.co.uk/LAG%20-%20minutes%20-%206%20July%202010.html

    The Group then discussed once again a misunderstanding that had arisen due to the proposed inclusion of non-peer reviewed references in the primary evidence base.

    Rumours that a push to use steel shot for all game shooting has been sponsored by the British Dental Assosciation are unproven.

  58. WTF: August 27, 2010 at 5:42 pm
    The EPA didn’t ban it because they didn’t have the authority. If they did…….

    They pretty much got their way with the military. In 1994, an outfit called Glaser Safety Slug, Inc., developed an effective frangible bullet suitable for use in military rifles during SWAT hostage rescue situations involving storming buildings. It was still a high velocity round, but it’d break up before it penetrated a wall, theoretically eliminating injury for innocent folk on the opposite side of those walls.

    It was made of polymers — no lead. In 1995, the EPA caught wind of the new “lead-free bullet” and issued a writ of compliance to the military, which required the use of frangible rounds during all marksmanship training by 2002. The intent was clearly stated — eliminating the hazard of wildlife wandering on the ranges inadvertently ingesting lead.

    Wildlife is stupid that way, yanno — deer will risk being shot just for the chance to gulp down a couple of fresh 5.56mm bullets.
    (/sarc font)

    Long story short, rather than mix two types of rounds with different ballistic characteristics (it gets downright annoying when you’re continuously readjusting your battle-sights in combat), both the Army and Marine Corps dropped the standard NATO 5.56mm and 7.62mm in 2003 and went with the new, shiny, “Green Bullet.”

    In a firefight, they work fine within the first 50% of the NATO rounds’ effective range, but beyond that, you might just as well be launching harsh language at the other team. In 2002, the Sergeant-Major of the Army announced in a PIO release that he’d seen Taliban dispatched at 1,000 meters by troops firing “Green Bullets” from the M-4 — it was the funniest thing any of us had heard in months. Even using NATO standard rounds, the M-4’s max effective range is less than 600 meters…

  59. Alleagra comments, August 27, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    “Yes, we know that and we also know why these foods are not normally dangerous when eaten. But check out the literature; you’d be pretty stupid to ingest lead, a very nasty accumulative poison, in any form.
    I don’t know whether the use of lead shot poses a significant risk to animal and human life in the long run. But is sneering at the possibility a sensible response?”

    Firstly, I would have thought that after two or three hundred years of hunting game using lead projectiles it is fairly obvious that there is no significant downside to that tradition.
    Secondly, I strongly suspect that many/most people do not realise that common fruits and nuts contain quite deadly poisons.
    Thirdly, I think it most unlikely that anyone would perceive lead balance weights, sinkers or bullets to be a potential food source.
    But on a more fundamental level, I don’t consider it to be a role of democratic government to tell me that if I want to I cannot eat the potentially poisonous parts of say the rhubarb plant. Invoking the precautionary principle is all very well, but if our forefathers had accepted that nihilist doctrine we would all still be living in caves.
    Best regards and thanks for expressing your thoughts Alleagra.

  60. I heard of a French man who would find car parts anywhere an ingest them. He ate a bike once too, and was going to eat a Concorde.

  61. Yeah, those people sitting by the side of the road looking for lead weights to eat is a real problem, yesssiree.

    If the lead weights are run over, turned into powder and blown around, yeah, it’s a major problem.

    The ban on tetraethyl lead in gasoline reduced the amount of lead breathed in by enough people that it measurably raised our national IQ — much more for kids who lived within about a half-mile of a major road.

    Lead is nasty stuff, in human bodies.

    REPLY:

    I see you left out the important part, selectively quoting, which is what you’ll probably do on that half baked humorless hatefest blog of yours so here’s the whole context.

    “1.6 million pounds of lead from wheel weights is left falling off of cars each year where anyone can find and possibly ingest it,” said Jeff Gearhart, Research Director for the Ecology Center.

    And my response to this idiotic statement that you ignored:

    Yeah, those people sitting by the side of the road looking for lead weights to eat is a real problem, yesssiree.

    This is an imagined problem. Lead powder isn’t a real threat. Ed, like gold, lead sinks to the bottom of most anything moving it, being air or water, it doesn’t remain airborne or suspended in water. Mass. Lead in gas was a real problem. People “ingesting” lead weights and even the supposed lead dust isn’t. – Anthony

  62. It has long been recognised by responsible shooters that there is a specific problem with water fowl ( ducks geese etc) ingesting spent lead shot. The various jurisdictions in the UK have brought in regulations prohibiting the use of lead shot over wetlands, most recently last year here in Northern Ireland. There are various alterntives available ( bismuth, steel, tungsten), each with its own drawback compared to lead.
    However we are still shooting, and we now can dine on lead free mallard!

    Those who want to know more including, analysis of the shot types, would do worse than to browse the British Association for Shooting and Conservation website. http://www.basc.org.uk.

    There is no evidence that other uses of lead ammunition causes any significant toxicity problem.

  63. All kinds of wierd and crazy stuff have been put into shells for soldiers to use.
    I’d prefer lead to some of this stuff.

  64. Kevin says:
    August 27, 2010 at 11:24 pm
    “1.6 million pounds of lead from wheel weights is left falling off of cars each year where anyone can find and possibly ingest it,” said Jeff Gearhart, Research Director for the Ecology Center.”

    I have to be honest with you guys. I was walking down the street the other day and saw a lead weight that had fallen off of a tire. My first thought was, ‘why don’t I ingest it?’

    Put enough ketchup on it and you can eat anything.

  65. Lead wheel weights are being phases out now. The replacements take up twice the space and are a pain to deal with.

  66. Al Gore’s Holy Hologram says:
    August 28, 2010 at 2:45 am

    I heard of a French man who would find car parts anywhere an ingest them. He ate a bike once too, and was going to eat a Concorde.

    And I heard that the Concorde has 26 cargo bays, each designated by a letter of the alphabet…

    …and the French guy went right for the S cargo compartment. :)

  67. It looks like the morons in the federal government are seriously trying to create the type of situation John Ross warns about in the excellent book “Unintended Consequences”.

    Anyone who’s into guns, shooting, civil rights, military history, or, hell, just wants a really good read – check it out!

    I’d recommend buying it, since the author is amazing, but it seems to be out of print, with even used versions going for EIGHTY bucks (http://www.amazon.com/Unintended-Consequences-John-Ross/dp/1888118040)

    So… for those of us not willing to pay $ 81 – $ 240 for a book, here’s a PDF (749 pages):

    http://www.shtfinfo.com/shtffiles/books_and_reading/Unintended_Consequences.pdf

  68. I have stopped randomly picking up and nibble on left over tire lead from the streets when it was pointed out that the brown flecks on the lead usually meant another kind of soil. Now I smell and taste it before I pick it up to nibble on it.

  69. Larry Fields says:
    August 27, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    “Have you heard about the newest hunting regulation in California? You’re only allowed to shoot the male squirrels. :-)”

    That must be quite alarming for the people of San Fran.

    Mod, feel free to snip, but I thought it funny.

  70. The conventional wisdom is that the conventional wisdom is often conventional stupidity.

    “Everybody knows” that man made CO2 is going to end life on earth as we know it. It’s a proven fact and the debate is over.

    “Everybody knows” that real butter is bad for you and the saturated fats and trans-fats in margarine are good for you. The debate is over.

    “Everybody knows” that more waterfowl die from ingesting lead shot than from being harvested by hunters. The debate is over.

    It MAY BE TRUE.

    But…does anybody know of any “peer reviewed scholarly works” that support this hypothesis??

    Befuddled in Texas

    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  71. The problem with lead bullets is when hunters leave their kill in the field.

    Other animals and birds feed on the carrion and die horrible deaths from lead poisoning.

    I’m not a big fan of the EPA, but their is a problem with lead shot. I would like to see it addressed.

  72. Mike Borgelt says:
    August 28, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Derryman says:
    August 28, 2010 at 3:48 am

    I don’t believe any of it. What are the odds of a duck ingesting a lead shot? For one thing, they are 5 times as dense as pebbles and sink deep into the mud. I raise all types of birds, and they prefer quartz, gravel, stones—hard stuff—not soft stuff. They need to grind their food up in the crop, and lead cannot function for this purpose! If the occasional lead shot is swallowed by a bird, so what? I doubt if much lead could mobilize from the dry (not acidic) crop. What could possibly be the prevalence of this urban myth? Another lie perpetrated by the ecofreaks, I reckon. As they said in the movie, “Show me the money”. Where’s the data on lead-in-crop prevalence, and lead poisoning in waterfowl, or was the data “modeled” or “simulated” or “extrapolated”?

    Remember, Green is the new Red. Everything they have told you is bogus. Question everything. Demand proof.

  73. I am an 85 yearold from the “Greatest Generation”. Let me see, we made toy soldiers with molds sold as toys. We melted the lead and poured it into the molds to make whole armies. We then painted the souldiers with lead paint. Also we took mercury from thermomiters to coat on coins to make them beautiful and shiney. Our six year old cribs were painted with lead paint. I can assure anyone that the top rails of said cribs were well chewed with those new teath. Strange we all grew up, fought in the Great War came home to build a great society and many of us are still here. Is this present hysteria perhaps overdone. By the way every kid in our group participated. Also I am still very healthy!

  74. I can’t imagine a world without lead/tin solder. Ah…the smell of rosin flux. It’s right up there with the aroma produced by a freshly cut sheet of plywood.

    Personally, I don’t believe the BS about waterfowl ingesting lead and developing lead poisoning. I’m sure it could happen…in theory…but has it been demonstrated as fact in situ? Elemental lead is not particularly reactive. Human live for years and years with fragments of lead or entire lead bullets in their bodies and never develop lead poisoning.

    Banning lead from ammo used to hunt waterfowl seems to be based on “science” about as sound as that used to ban CFCs. Yeah…in THEORY this could be a problem…but has it ever been proven? How many other ways might a waterfowl contract lead poisoning? I don’t hunt so it really doesn’t affect me. Further, I don’t care for wild fowl (pheasant, duck, goose, etc…although quail ain’t too bad). All of my guns are for targets or two-legged varmints and in these cases lead poisoning is not a concern.

  75. I wonder how they expect to prevent the earth from exposing lead?

    Probably the same way they plan on stopping the earth from leaking oil in the oceans.

    Nuts are easy to find, and define.

  76. Dirt is only dangerous if you don’t follow the 5 second rule. Food dropping on the floor may be eaten provided the floor residence time is <5sec.
    The evidence for this assertion is as strong as that for CAGW

  77. Duncan says:
    August 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm
    “I fear I am not internally consistent on this issue. I feel bad every time I lose a hook on a submerged stump or something, and my lead sinker pollutes the environment. The non-lead sinkers just don’t seem to work as well, though.

    On the other hand, I don’t feel bad at all about leaving the lead from a bullet wherever it lodges.”

    I learned a long time ago that a rifle or pistol will get you more trout out of a stream than a hook. The only problem is that the game warden car HEAR you fishing! Not very “sporting” but works great, though, in a situation where you really need something to eat.

    I don’t normally shoot fish, though.

  78. These are all weapons ban strategies. I buy lead wheelweights and cast my own pistol (and some rifle) bullets. Five years ago I could get 50 to 100 pounds of ww for $40 to $50 dollars and make bullets that cost about 3 to 5 cents each. It’s becoming harder and harder to get ww already and the price is going up. A ban like this could shut off yet another avenue to be able to shoot inexpesively.

  79. Under the US Constitution, Congress is the legislative body of the Federal government and the Constitution does not give Congress the authority to delegate its power to the EPA. But apparently the EPA now passes regulations which carry the force of law without congressional legislation. Clearly this is unconstitutional, but our government no longer gives a hoot about the Constitution. This article demonstrates the potential dangers of allowing a bunch of unelected bureaucrats to create regulations.

    The EPA needs to be put on a short leash and told that they may propose regulations but those regulations cannot become effective unless they are enacted into law by congress. They also need to have their budget cut by 90%… or maybe 100%.

  80. Some time ago now, there was a programme on British TV about the practice of eating earth (“geophagy”), surprisingly not that rare. I can remember a seemingly affluent lady praising the relative merits of the tastes and textures different kinds of earth, and comments about trace minerals that could be beneficial for human health.

    Never been tempted myself, but live and let live, I say.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geophagy#Current_practice

  81. Most Barnes bullets are made of a copper alloy of some kind, no lead, and work great on larger game. Cost more but are worth it. The Obamanations will be going after all firearms and ammunition one way or the other, soon.

  82. Some years ago, I visited the city of Bath in England. A few hundred years ago an abandoned Roman temple was discovered there, and some 20 feet below ground level was found the hot spring the Romans built there temple/spa around.

    The interesting thing is that the Romans had lined the spring with lead, perhaps to channel it to where it was needed. The lead lining was about 1/2 inch thick and looks perfectly intact now. 2000 years of hot water has not disolved it.

    Solid lead is quite inert, and it is heavy. If you put lead pellets or sinkers in a pond they are not going to stay on the top surface of the bottom of the pond – they are going to sink into slime and at a higher rate than other debris falling into the pond.

  83. The EPA has an incredible for-side, after demanding to convert ever more food crops to ethanol and grow fuel for biomass powerplant’s and eliminating livestock production due to there known greenhouse gas emitting animals.
    There will be not much more left to eat than mud pie, a staple died already in some places of the world like Haiti.
    In the EPA’s Utopian version of our future we will run a great risk having lead wheel weights contaminating our food supply.

  84. This was already opened for comment before it was shut down. In other words the EPA did accept the request ( a single letter from a far left environmental front group). It was only after it was made political did the Obama administration back off. I think the bureaucrats had intended to make a prearranged finding of devastating harm in an attempt to pressure congress. As for the comment period, this was undoubtedly a set-up. There were no doubt dozens of “concerned” scientists and “environmental” groups with prearranged materials ready for submission. For example, from Fox:

    “According to the petitioners, who include the Center for Biological Diversity and the American Bird Conservancy, up to 20 million birds and other animals are killed each year due to lead poisoning in the United States, and at least 75 wild bird species — including bald eagles, ravens and endangered California condors — are poisoned by spent lead ammunition.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/08/27/epa-rejects-calls-ban-lead-ammo-fishing-tackle/?test=latestnews

    Now that is simply nonsense. Other than the condor, with its barely surviving population, there is no evidence whatsoever of mass avian death anywhere in the world due to lead ingestion. As for the condors, 2 have died. Because they eat birds that have been shot. Find me a woodpecker that does the same!
    This is a hoax and a lie. It is designed to destroy the Second Amendment and the scheme was concocted right after the Heller decision. Congress should immediately order Browner (unfortunately a woman who in the past had no compunction to destroy incriminating evidence), to freeze any and all communications between her Department and the petitioners. A conspiracy of sorts will be found.

  85. Christian Bultmann says: “. . .eliminating livestock production due to there known greenhouse gas emitting animals.”

    In future the history books will record that the vast herds of American Bison (a single species that alone had numbers equal to at least two thirds of the US domestic cattle population) were slaughtered to “maintain the balance of nature,” and to “save the planet.” Double Think knows no bounds.

    Or perhaps, perhaps even more likely, they will record that only AUs (Anthropogenic Ungulates) farted greenhouse gases and that the wild variety only farted sunshine and rainbows.

    In any case the food supply can be further cut back by turning a generation to work rooting up the Great Plains in order to sift it for the bullets; and feeding them on dust pies

  86. “calling for a ban on the production and distribution of lead hunting ammunition”

    and not one word about velocity………

  87. Pat – IIrc , the ban on lead shot for waterfowl used that particular line of reasoning ,ie that birds of prey would succumb to lead poisoniong after ingesting birds that had either been shot or had ingested lead shot from river or lake beds . The theory was that while the aforementioned birds would not get lead poisoning themselves but that any predator or scavenger that ate them would . It sounded specious at the time and still does .

  88. This post bugged me last night — it has legs (can be interpreted in many ways).

    Is the EPA a “few bricks shy of a fully load” on this issue?

    It’s pretty easy to answer YES but what’s the alternative?

    Based on the table of weight ( http://www.simetric.co.uk/si_metals.htm ) and environmental impact in relation to cost of manufacturing and ROI:

    lead is 11,340 kg/cu.m
    tungsten is 19,600 kg/cu.m

    melting point of lead: 327.46°C or 621.43 °F
    melting point of tungsten: 3422 °C or 6192 °F <– 10x the energy needed…

    Health effects:
    Lead:
    – Disruption of the biosynthesis of haemoglobin and anaemia
    – A rise in blood pressure
    – Kidney damage
    – Miscarriages and subtle abortions
    – Disruption of nervous systems
    – Brain damage
    – Declined fertility of men through sperm damage
    – Diminished learning abilities of children
    – Behavioural disruptions of children, such as aggression, impulsive behavior and hyperactivity
    Read more: http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/pb.htm#ixzz0xvdaVKZQ

    Tungsten:
    "Tungsten metal powder administered to animals has been shown in several studies as not altogether inert. One study found that guinea pigs treated orally or intravenously with tungsten suffered from anorexia, colic, incoordination of movement, trembling, dyspnea and weight loss. This product is not expected to be hazardous for the environment. No specific ecotoxicity data is available for this product."
    Read more: http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/elements/w.htm#ixzz0xvcdNXhF

    Design Problem:
    Select the best alternative to the use of Lead which can be used in manufacture with the same or better ROI and does not negatively impact the environment.

    Handing Lead to a group of loons who like to blast the stuffing out of any forest furry that moves is a great idea? No, but what is the solution that corrects the problem?

    Give them the solution and the EPA will do the right thing? Probably not but at least the consumer has the option.

  89. People tend to forget why lead is used in bullets. It’s physics, not tradition. Lead is very dense and affords an excellent transfer of energy. Lead is also a very soft metal. Deformability makes it an excellent choice as a projectile. Lead is neither hard nor brittle. What are the options? Ever try to smooth out an iron file with another iron file?

    About the only metal I can think of as an acceptable physical replacement for lead would be gold (and we know this ain’t gonna happen). Firearms are amazing machines that have been developed and refined over centuries. I reload my own ammo and have an appreciation of the complex physics that go into the process.

    In the practical sense there is no suitable substitute for lead…and the eco-geeks know this.

  90. Dave: August 28, 2010 at 7:11 am
    The problem with lead bullets is when hunters leave their kill in the field.
    Other animals and birds feed on the carrion and die horrible deaths from lead poisoning.

    I have never heard of any hunter leaving his kill in the field, even those only going after trophy heads.

  91. Evidently, someone needs to explain to Jeff Gearhart what the colloquialism, “eat lead,” actually means. He seems to be taking it literally.

    I doubt if anyone here underestimates the inanity of the EPA, but I remember one story about the toxic clean-up of a site in southern Louisiana. The natural levels of lead in the soil of the entire area exceeded EPA maximum levels for the restoration of a contaminated waste site, so dirt had to be hauled in from hundreds of miles away. So just how much benefit did society get from that added expense?

  92. @Dr Dave, bubbagyro and others.

    The ingestion and absorption of lead by ducks has been known for a long long time. The definitive study relating to the US being published by Belrose in 1959.

    AFAIK the US Federal Govt banned lead shot over wetlands many years ago.Before the lead ban was introduced it was estimated that lead poisioning accounted for up to 3% of mortality in a hunted population as opposed to roughly 50 % due to hunting. The argument from the shooting community has always been over a practical and safe ( in all senses) alternative. Belrose himself argued against a prohibition as at the time there was no alternative. Personally, I use Bismuth shot where lead is now banned, but it is expensive.

    What seems to be happening now is that some groups are attempting to take the real and signifcant (though far from catastrophic) issue that previously existed with wildfowl and are trying to extend it into other areas where, in reality, there is no problem.

    Incidently, I do eat what I shoot.

  93. The lead cleanup issues posed by training sites absolutely dwarf any concerns over the use of lead projectiles in hunting, but the danger there is not environmental contamination in situ, it’s exposure when the range is being worked on and/or the lead is being salvaged. Simple protective equipment and the right procedures make it a non-issue, and it’s a cost borne by the facility operators and users.

    Finding replacements for lead shot in shotshells is not a serious problem. People have been using alternatives for years. This issue really has nothing to do with hunting, it’s simply a convenient method of legal attack, much like the attempt to ban normal primers and replace them with ones that have a limited shelf life.

    When I pull out a round of buckshot, I need it to put holes in things like cars, bad guys, bears, and any number of other things I might lawfully use a 12ga for, and all of which I’ve grabbed weapons for the purpose of shooting. No wildlife is going to come eat any of these things and get lead poisoning.

    They want to keep lead out of wildlife, fine. They can regulate birdshot, and butt out of things they don’t understand.

  94. The ban on lead shot was misguided and agenda driven.
    Years ago in my hunting days WI banned lead shot. Our first trip out found us wounding a lot more birds than we were dropping with steel shot. The guys not too far away still shooting lead were dropping birds right and left, our shots moved them in flight and they flew away wounded. Lead simply carried the energy better.

    To their credit the ninnies are right that a lot less ducks died of lead poisoning from the shot, at least the ones that were destined for my table. Instead they flew off wounded. That is not better. I haven’t been duck hunting since. Maybe if they open a bow hunting season on them where I could actually kill one at 50 yards I’d consider it.

    As the gentleman from the Greatest Generation pointed out, they used to have lead toy soldiers. I know, I actually have some dies for them.

    There are a generation of people now that think that they simply know better than the generation before them. They think that they have a better way than what evolved the 10 or 20 generations before them, and are simply smarter. There is a huge generational loss of knowledge because of this, and a long path of their failures.

  95. “The problem with lead bullets is when hunters leave their kill in the field.

    Other animals and birds feed on the carrion and die horrible deaths from lead poisoning.”

    Dave,

    Does that mean I got double the results while protecting my vegetable garden from woodchucks?

    I left the hole riddled carcases out on the back forty away from my chickens?

    If so, I also likely reduced the local chicken eater population.

  96. This is an imagined problem. Lead powder isn’t a real threat. Ed, like gold, lead sinks to the bottom of most anything moving it, being air or water, it doesn’t remain airborne or suspended in water. Mass. Lead in gas was a real problem. People “ingesting” lead weights and even the supposed lead dust isn’t. – Anthony

    Your making light of lead poisoning doesn’t make lead poisoning easier to bear.

    This is the height of irresponsibility, IMHO. Lead poisoning is dangerous to kids. If you have a good case to make that lead weights are required for tire balancing, make it — but your failure to understand the problem, and someone else’s inarticulate framing of it, doesn’t make lead any safer.

    A good case in favor of lead, or against regulating lead for public health, is not made by bad reporting and poking fun at it.

    REPLY: You are purposely conflating different problems just so you can say things like “This is the height of irresponsibility” .

    Conflating lead problems with roads/wheels to one of paint and kids ingesting it is the issue.

    The whole point of the paragraph is this sentence which you ignore twice because you want to pin “irresponsibility” when it is you who is the irresponsible one:

    ““1.6 million pounds of lead from wheel weights is left falling off of cars each year where anyone can find and possibly ingest it,” said Jeff Gearhart, Research Director for the Ecology Center.”

    The whole point you ignore is this. Show a single case of wheel weight lead harming adults or children by ingestion. Show me how the lead travels beyond the roadway as dust, weights, whatever. Show a peer reviewed study that clearly links wheel weights to a health problem (sorry Sierra Club and other activist NGO studies don’t count).

    Yes lead paint and children is a real health problem, one that is mostly fixed now.

    People “ingesting” (quoting Sierra Club’s PR) lead wheel weights and even the supposed lead dust isn’t a real problem, but an imagined one. Lead is soft and malleable, mostly it smears into the roadway. You can draw on concrete or asphalt with a lead weight. Try it.

    But that won’t stop you in your imagined righteousness, I feel another famous Ed Darrell libel coming on. – Anthony

  97. Derryman says:
    August 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm
    re the effects of lead shot
    “…The definitive study relating to the US being published by Belrose in 1959. ”
    ****************************
    Thanks for the information.
    Since the study was in 1959, there is a higher degree of probability that it is actually meaningful and not some agenda driven horse puckey.

    But…..Can anyone confirm the validity of this report?? (I have become cynical in my old age. I used to believe the so called “scientists”, but I got burned.)

    Regards,

    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  98. Lead from bullets in coyotes and in other dead animals is supposed to have contributed to the near-demise of the California Condor. Ditto for power lines, although no lead there, obviously.

    A little-known fact is that commercial airlines were a part of the valiant rescue effort to save the California Condor. When pickings were slim in one part of the condors’ range, the airlines would transport some of these magnificent birds to an area with more dead animals to nosh on. However this worthwhile program was discontinued after a short time. It seems that there was a problem with the carrion baggage. :-)

    Reply: Ouch, and I think you told it incorrectly. I think the airlines were transporting food to the habitats if you’re joke is going to work. ~ ctm

  99. Not to worry! We’re so broke we can’t afford to let the Federal Government go on growing the way it has for the past 60 years. The EPA will be among the first agencies to disappear. Great Depressions do achieve some good in the long run. Now all we need to do is ‘can’ the two major parties and come up with two better ones. Neither one is very good at what they claim to be their function in life – representing the American People. What we need is Voter Imposed Term Limits (VITL) – a max of two terms and it’s Up or Out. (It’ll save a heck of a lot of money on perks and retirement benefits;-)

    PS: Pssst… we also need to cut back on courts to. Let’s get rid of the Ninth Circuit for starters and make the ACLU pay their own way. After we scrap the EPA, of course!

  100. like gold, lead sinks to the bottom of most anything moving it, being air or water, it doesn’t remain airborne or suspended in water.

    I can’t find any corroboration of that. But let’s give you the benefit of the doubt — what’s your source? Why doesn’t lead go into solution in water? Why doesn’t lead dust get blown around like all other dust?

    REPLY: My point that you are STILL ignoring is that Sierra Club passage about human ingestion by the roadside where “anyone can find it”. Admit that is ridiculous and I’ll be happy to explain the rest, but your history has shown you generally to be a waste of time trying to explain something to.

    I don’t disagree with your points about lead and kids, but as I said that’s a different problem.

    – Anthony

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