Terrestrial environments also being polluted with lead ammunition
In a recent report
prepared by ECHA, the Agency recommends that measures are needed to
regulate the use of lead ammunition in terrestrial environments. The
report builds on the earlier proposal to restrict the use of lead shot in wetlands. We take a deeper look at the main findings of the report.
Expanding to non-wetland uses - In
August 2018, the European Commission received the opinion of ECHA’s
scientific committees on restricting the use of gunshot with more than 1
% of lead content that is used over or within wetlands, including at
shooting ranges or on shooting grounds in wetlands.
Now, ECHA has published a report on the impact of lead ammunition on terrestrial environments. This is a response to the Commission’s request
to collect information on assessing the risk and socio-economic impact
of restriction for other uses of lead ammunition, including hunting in
other terrains than wetlands, for target shooting, and for the use of
lead weights for fishing. Military uses of ammunition are not within the scope of the investigation.
Why the focus is on lead - Lead-based
ammunition is considered to be the most significant unregulated source
of lead deliberately emitted into the environment in the EU. Lead
is a toxic heavy metal with no biological function. It is a
non-specific poison affecting most body systems, and has negative
effects on general health, reproduction and behaviour. Absorbed lead affects all animals, from migratory birds to humans. Lead presents risks to wildlife, especially wild birds.
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