The human health impacts of lead have been known for millennia but the environmental impacts of lead ammunition have only received attention during the past 100 years. To a large extent the United States provided leadership in identifying and researching these effects and then spearheading campaigns to transition away from lead shotgun ammunition for waterfowl hunting. However, the appetite for further federal transition has largely stalled in the U.S. except for apparently limited action linked to individual states, charismatic species, and specific sites. Europe, on the other hand, though generally rather late to the table with regard to lead shotgun ammunition and waterfowl hunting, is now pushing ahead with several initiatives that are likely to see substantial partial, if not total, restrictions on the use of all lead ammunition (for shotguns and rifles) within 5 to 10 years. We discuss the policy drivers behind these moves, summarize the key attitudes and perceived constraints to transition, and provide (cautious) timetables and limited recommendations for future changes. Our discussion will include comparisons between efforts in the U.S. and those in Europe.
- United States
- lead ammunition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nature and Landscape Conservation