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Ryan Zinke Ammunition Policy Poisons Hunters

When Ryan Zinke was appointed as Secretary of the Interior, one of the first things he did was sign an order destroying a ban on the use of ammunition containing lead in national wildlife refuges. Lead ammunition kills millions of wild animals every year – not just when the animals are shot, but when the animals ingest lead ammunition that has been left behind in the wilderness after hunters are done firing their guns.

The scientific research establishing the role of lead ammunition in poisoning wildlife is clear. There’s even research specifically identifying dangers from lead ammunition of poisoning of America’s official bird of patriotism, the bald eagle. Zinke just shrugged off the scientific research, and declared that the more important thing is that ammunition companies should be able to sell people cheap bullets.

What kind of kook would want to protect wildlife in a national wildlife refuge, after all?

Hunters benefit from cheap bullets, Zinke said. What Zinke didn’t mention is that cheap lead ammunition also makes hunters sick. The problem is that lead bullets tend to shatter more than other bullets when they hit their targets. That means that fragments of lead are spread throughout the bodies of the animals that hunters kill and eat. Cutting away the area immediately around the bullet wound doesn’t get rid of the lead contamination. Scientists who scanned meat processed from their kills by hunters found lead contamination in one third of the samples. The researchers wrote, “We conclude that people risk exposure to bioavailable lead from bullet fragments when they eat venison from deer killed with standard lead-based rifle bullets and processed under normal procedures. At risk in the U.S. are some ten million hunters, their families, and low-income beneficiaries of venison donations.”

That research was conducted in 2009. Ryan Zinke simply pretended the scientific analysis didn’t exist.

How far will Zinke go to deny that his policy allowing hunters to fire lead ammunition endangers hunters’ health? Will he ignore a new study published this week, which finds that people who fire guns using lead ammunition have levels of lead in their blood several times greater than the threshold that is typically regarded as dangerous? The study concluded that clouds of lead dust and gas are created when people fire guns using lead ammunition. So, hunters using lead bullets become poisoned even if they don’t eat the animals that they kill.

The study’s authors warn that, “The kind of blood-lead levels found among shooters can lead to essential tremor, hypertension, cardiovascular-related mortality, electrocardiography abnormalities, decreased kidney function, psychiatric effects, decreased hearing, decreased cognitive function, decreased fertility, incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, adverse sperm parameters, increased spontaneous abortion, and reduced foetal growth in children.”

Are you paying attention to these details, Republicans? Firing lead bullets leads to “decreased fertility” and “adverse sperm parameters”. Lead bullets are taking sapping American hunters of their virility!

There has been no comment about the study from Ryan Zinke. It is unknown if the reason for his silence on the subject has anything to do with “psychiatric effects” or “decreased cognitive function” resulting from long-term use of lead ammunition.

8 thoughts on “Ryan Zinke Ammunition Policy Poisons Hunters”

  1. Al Hopfmann says:

    Soluble lead compounds are the real environmental danger and can cause health problems. The danger from elemental lead in the environment is less than the danger from brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste or drinking fluoridated water from municipal water supplies. It is pathetic that today’s high school science students of the “snowflake generation” are afraid to touch a piece of lead metal. Yet, most of them have already been poisoned far more by the 20+ vaccinations that are commonly prescribed or mandated by Establishment medical “authorities”.

    1. Green Man says:

      Al, what part of levels of lead in the blood many times higher than the danger threshold do you not understand?

      When lead is in the blood, it’s … soluble …

      This isn’t about snowflakes, Al. It’s about an ammunition industry poisoning huge numbers of Americans, and Ryan Zinke going along with it because they’ve got him in their pocket.


      1. Al Hopfmann says:

        The ammunition industry is not poisoning Americans. The most common poisoner of Americans is the federal government and their “favored” industries who are allowed to pollute while private businesses are harassed and regulated excessively. If you carefully research the sources of dissolved lead or bioprecipitated lead present in human blood and body tissues, you will discover that they do not come from ammunition. Don’t be mislead by the PETA people who know very little about science.

        1. Green Man says:

          Al, have you read the scientific studies linked to in this article? They contradict you.

          These studies were not conducted by PETA. The study released this week wasn’t even conducted in America. It’s Australian. It’s a meta-analysis of 36 different scientific studies, none of which were conducted by PETA.

          You aren’t even bothering to read, Al. You just come on here and spurt your ideology, regardless of the facts.

          1. Al Hopfmann says:

            You are missing several points, the first of which is that lead oxide or lead sulfate (think automotive batteries) can be quite toxic, but elemental lead is not a problem until it is changed into a compound. That is not the situation you have when firing ammunition unless many rounds are fired in an enclosed room with poor circulation, in which case small amounts of lead oxide can be made by surface oxidation of the bullets by barrel friction. Even then, without MANY repetitions of this situation the shooter would not likely pick up any measurable amount of lead compound exposure. Hunters would have almost absolutely zero exposure to lead compounds from shooting because they are shooting outdoors. You would get far more lead chemical exposure as a cigarette smoker.
            More important points deal with the liberty issues involved here. Unlimited government advocates are using anti-ammunition propaganda and similar false-flag “environmental” issues to further their cause of controlling and enslaving the sheeple. Sincere environmentalists need to b wary of such perfidy.

  2. J Clifford says:







    1. Juniper says:

      Al, this is not a false flag. It is a peer reviewed scientific study. Using copper bullets instead of lead bullets is not a good example of enslaving the people. Your political ideology seems to be set to maximum hyperbole, while your scientific literacy is in the basement. When you are unable to accept scientific research because it differs with your political opinion, your arguments or persuasive to nobody.

      1. Al Hopfmann says:

        I suggest that you enlist the help of an editor and an objective researcher. Best wishes.

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