Lead is one of the most widespread metals in the world, in a wide range of chemical forms.

Ammunition shot and other projectiles are made from metallic lead. However, they represent a small part of the total range of lead products, which includes compounds, intermediates, oxides and so on. Metallic lead used in ammunition is also a minimal part of total metallic lead consumption, which includes different uses such as the manufacturing of batteries, glass, ceramics and so on.

Lead can enter the human body by contact or through the intake of food (65%), water (20%) and air (15%). However, only bioavailable lead can be absorbed by the human body, when ingested.


Lead which comes from ammunition is in metallic form. Therefore, even if it is accidentally ingested in fine fragments, cannot be absorbed directly by the human body.


Moreover, the fragments of lead in game meat are concentrated in those areas which are regularly and completely eliminated with the usual practices of slaughter.


All food, water, soft drinks, tea, coffee, alcoholic drinks and food supplements contain bioavailable lead ions in varying amounts.


The European Food Safety Authority 2012 report states that “it is foods consumed in the largest quantities like grains, milk products, vegetables, tap water that have the greatest impact on lead dietary exposure”.

The use of lead ammunition is already highly regulated in the EU and its proper management minimizes any possible negative impact on environment and health.


Lead ammunition used both inside and outside shooting ranges is regularly collected, recycled and recyclable an infinite number of times, and the available technologies make this process economically advantageous.


Metallic lead is essential for the manufacturing of ammunition as it ensures excellent ballistic performance and guarantees an optimal balance between performance, cost and safety of use.

Manufacturers of ammunition are continuously working to innovate and diversify their product range and, in this regard, several new materials have already been made available, not as generic substitutes of metallic lead, but as an additional offer aimed at some specific uses.


Since “lead-free” does not necessarily mean “problem-free“, it is important that the new materials proposed undergo and successfully pass the same technical and scientific tests conducted over time on lead so that their impact on both the environment and human health is considered “sustainable“.