Late last week, a group of prominent, nationally-renowned scientists in field of lead poisoning released a statement of consensus agreeing that lead from ammunition poses a significant threat to both wildlife and people. The letter opens:
We, the undersigned, with scientific expertise in lead and environmental health, endorse the overwhelming scientific evidence on the toxic effects of lead on human and wildlife health. In light of this evidence, we support the reduction and eventual elimination of lead released to the environment through the discharge of lead-based ammunition, in order to protect human and environmental health.
Although the researchers support “reducing and eventually eliminating the introduction of lead into the environment from lead-based ammunition,” they do not specifically refer to Assembly Bill 711, which Audubon California, Humane Society of the United States and Defenders of Wildlife are sponsoring to require nonlead ammunition for hunting in California. We support this legislation because of the well-documented threat to the California Condor, Golden Eagle, Mourning Dove, and many other birds.
The lead author of AB 711, Assemblymember Anthony Rendon, joined with principle co-author Assemblymember Richard Pan, to welcome the statement from the scientists.
“We’ve banned lead in everything from paint to toys to gasoline, and today’s letter from the scientific community shows that we simply can’t ignore the lasting toxic effects of lead-based ammunition,” said Rendon.
(photo by Golden Eagle by Peter LaTourrette)