Intake of lead from game meat – a risk to consumers' health?
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Game meat may contain variable amounts of lead in the form of fine metallic residues originating from hunting ammunition. The effect of frequent game meat consumption on the blood lead levels of hunters, who are a high-risk lead exposure group, was studied. Blood lead levels of hunters and control subjects were measured using isotope dilution ICP-MS. Dietary information about game meat consumption was obtained from a questionnaire. The blood lead concentrations ranged from 21–171 ng/mL with a geometric mean of 57 ng/mL (n=25). However, the individual blood lead concentrations of the hunters did not correlate with the number of their weekly game meat meals (r=0.046). The blood lead levels were compared with a control group (n=21), which consisted of voluntary blood donors from the same region. Analysis of variance, adjusted for age, did not reveal a significant difference between the two populations (p=0.89). Thus, it was concluded that frequent consumption of wild game meat has no significant effect on blood lead levels.
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