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Under the Radar: Lead Exposure via Hunted Meat

Totoni, Samantha (2020) Under the Radar: Lead Exposure via Hunted Meat. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Primary prevention is a crucial strategy for addressing lead exposure, which has no safe exposure threshold. Over nine million people in the United States (U.S.) hunted wild game and upland birds in 2016; the majority used lead ammunition. Scientific evidence of an association between consumption of lead-shot meat and increased blood lead levels (BLLs) continues to build. However, the topic is omitted from lead screening protocols and lead exposure prevention information in the U.S. This omission is a matter of public health importance, ignoring not only a potential source of lead exposure for families of hunters, but also for low-income recipients of uninspected donated game meat. Consumption of lead-shot meat is also a matter of environmental reproductive justice for women who may regularly and unknowingly ingest a contaminant that becomes stored in the skeleton and is released during life events including pregnancy and lactation.
To inform education efforts about lead in hunted meat, three focus groups were conducted with deer hunters. Focus groups explored participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about lead, their communication preferences, and their opinions about a tip sheet on lead that was produced by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Across all groups, participants overwhelmingly indicated no concern about the issue of lead in hunted meat, but expressed curiosity about the topic, and responded positively to having access to a tip sheet. To improve primary prevention of lead exposure, donated game meat should be inspected for lead, questions about consumption of hunted meat should be incorporated into questionnaires used to identify people at high risk of lead exposure, and preventative information should be made more accessible to people who eat hunted meat. Preventative information should take into consideration what people in the hunting community will find to be most useful, and whom they trust to communicate that information.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Totoni, Samanthaskc35@pitt.eduskc35
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPeterson, Jamesjimmyp@pitt.edujimmypUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberTerry, Marthamaterry@pitt.edumaterryUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberBain, Dandabain@pitt.edudbainUNSPECIFIED
Date: 29 June 2020
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 48
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Environmental and Occupational Health
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2020 21:05
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2020 21:05


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