BISMARCK, N.D., Nov. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say people who eat wild game killed by lead bullets might have higher blood levels of lead than people who don't eat such meat.
Scientists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North Dakota Department of Health earlier this year tested blood collected from 738 North Dakotans.
"In the study, people who ate a lot of wild game tended to have higher lead levels than those who ate little or none," said North Dakota epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Pickard. "The study also showed that the more recent the consumption of wild game harvested with lead bullets, the higher the level of lead in the blood.
"Because we know that lead exposure can cause serious health problems, especially for children and pregnant women, we are providing more definitive guidelines for hunters and others who may eat wild game shot with lead bullets."
The researchers said they recommend pregnant women and children younger than 6 years should not eat any meat from animals harvested with lead bullets. Older children and other adults are advised to minimize their potential exposure to lead, and use their judgment about consuming game that was taken using lead-based ammunition.