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Why must the Olympics use lead shots?

Lead shots
Lead shots

Lead causes pollution and leads to pollution. When ingested, it can cause damage to wildlife animals and aquatic fauna that mistake it for food and ingest it.

Lead is known to be a serious pollutant and can impair many body functions such as heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems. It can also interfere with the development of the nervous system.

Lead bullets have a very wide range and they break into tiny little fragments which thus increases the amount of lead available. Each such tiny piece is a poisonous one that can affect animals.

But wildlife isn’t the only reason why lead bullets must be done away with. Studies have shown that eating game affected by such lead bullets can also affect humans.  If consumed on a regular basis, it can shoot up lead levels to more than half in the blood stream.

There is not a very significant difference in the cost of a lead-free bullet for most popular weapon calibres and so the decision to ban lead bullets is not a very difficult one to implement.

“Thousands of tonnes of lead shot, discharged every year during training by Olympic shooters, pose a threat to birds and mammals and water resources,” said Vernon Thomas (professor emeritus at University of Guelph in Ontario) Canada in a report published in the journal Environmental Policy and Law.

Using alternatives such as steel would perhaps make the Olympic charter more meaningful that states, “to encourage and support a responsible concern for environmental issues, to promote sustainable development in sport and to require that the Olympic Games are held accordingly…”

Read more at official website of National Park Service (NPS)

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