June 27, 2019 | Center for Biological Diversity

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— On Monday California will become the first state to ban all lead ammunition for hunting — the culmination of years of efforts to phase out toxic lead ammunition in the environment.

The statewide ban will significantly decrease the risk that leftover fragments of spent lead bullets and shot will poison wildlife such as hawks, owls, eagles and critically endangered California condors.

“Switching to nontoxic ammunition will save the lives of thousands birds and other wildlife and prevent hunting families from being exposed to toxic lead,” said Jonathan Evans, environmental health legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity.

Top scientists, doctors and public-health experts from around the country have long called for a ban on lead hunting ammunition, citing overwhelming scientific evidence of the toxic dangers posed to people and wildlife.

Comprehensive scientific research led by University of California at Santa Cruz environmental toxicologists Donald Smith and Myra Finkelstein found that lead poisoning from spent ammunition is preventing the recovery of the endangered California condor.

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