The EU-wide ban on using lead gunshots in wetland areas is in effect from 16 February 2023. The restriction is expected to protect the health of EU wetlands by reducing lead pollution and preventing the death of around one million waterbirds every year from lead poisoning. Each year, around 4000 Tonnes of lead end up in the EU wetland from the use of lead gunshots


• Lead is a toxic substance that contaminates both soil and water when released into the environment.
• Exposure to lead is associated with a wide range of negative health effects and is especially harmful to children


• The use of lead shots within 100 meters of wetlands is prohibited by regulation, ensuring the use of non-toxic ammunition as an alternative.

Broader restrictions covering the use of lead in ammunition and fishing are in preparation. The scientific committees’ opinions on possible restrictions will soon be sent to the European Chemical Agency for decision-making. This also goes in hand with the mission of “Chemical Strategy for Sustainability” and the “Zero Pollution Action Plan”.

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