Q&A: Lead pollution of fish/waterways from duck shooting
Q: Are there any studies of lead pollution of fish/waterways from duck shooting in Victoria?
Question from a concerned citizen, Prahran, Victoria, Australia, on January 30, 2017.
Hi Team, Has there been any more recent study into the impact of lead in fish / waterways where duck shooting still takes place? Who monitors lead levels in this way? What is a safe/unsafe level?
Answer emailed February 1, 2017.
you ask some excellent questions but sadly The LEAD Group is not resourced to carry out this research so I have registered to report pollution incidents at the Victorian EPA portal and forwarded your questions to them.
I shall forward you their response when it arrives.
There are no current guidelines on how much lead is safe to eat in fish; the World Health Organisation simply recommends minimising lead exposure from food. It is expensive to test for lead in fish so that is normally done at government labs by government and the results are rarely released. Australia has standards/guidelines for pollution levels in recreational waters/drinking water/stock water, and you could purchase a LEAD Group Kit (at www.leadsafeworld.com/shop) and test duck-shooting waterway water samples for lead at a lab, then we would interpret the result/s for you, according to those standards/guidelines. If you've been eating fish/shellfish from duck shooting waterways, the best and cheapest test would be a blood lead test. Just ask the doctor for a pathology referral and send the result to me and I'll interpret it for you and make further recommendations.
Thanks for thinking about people who eat fish, the fish and other aquatic life!
Winner of the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) Award for Outstanding Service to the Environment
2016 Volcano Art Prize (VAP) Entry. Title: Duck, duckling, fish & bulrushes. Lead-Safety Message: Ducks need to eat stones so they can digest their food. Don’t let lead shot or bullets get into their water. http://volcanoartprize.com/portfolio-item/duck-duckling-fish-&-bulrushes/ Artist: Li-Ke Shi, Age: 9 years.