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Nationally Renowned Scientists Release Statement about Toxic Health Effects of Lead-Based Ammunition

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Assemblymembers Anthony Rendon and Richard Pan Say Scientific Evidence Shows Need for AB 711 to Phase Out Lead Ammunition

Sacramento – Assemblymembers Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) today touted a report published by the leading scientists in the field of lead poisoning who say that “overwhelming scientific evidence” shows the toxic effect of lead-based ammunition on human health and the environment. 

"Environmental exposure to lead is known to cause neurological deficits in intelligence and behavior in children.  Lead ammunition is now the second largest use of lead in the United States," said Dr. Pan, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee. "As a pediatrician, I am proud to cosponsor AB711 to phase out use of lead-based ammunition and reduce lead in our environment."

“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 Assemblymember Rendon.

The report, “Health Risks from Lead-Based Ammunition in the Environment - A Consensus Statement of Scientists,” which was published on the University of California’s eScholarship web site on Friday, was authored by 30 scientists from across the country, including the leading scientists in the field of lead poisoning, with extensive peer-reviewed publications.  Below are some of the report’s key findings:

“Lead-based ammunition is likely the greatest, largely unregulated source of lead knowingly discharged into the environment in the United States. In contrast, other significant sources of lead in the environment, such as leaded gasoline, lead-based paint, and lead-based solder, are recognized as harmful and have been significantly reduced or eliminated over the past 50 years.”

“Lead-based ammunition production is the second largest annual use of lead in the United States, accounting for over 60,000 metric tons consumed in 2012, second only to the consumption of lead in the manufacture of storage batteries (USGS, 2013).”

The report also concludes that lead-based bullets used to shoot wildlife can fragment into hundreds of small pieces that can be easily ingested by other animals or processed into meat for human consumption. 

Attached please find a complete copy of the report.  For more information, visit http://escholarship.org.

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