There is no safe level of lead exposure. Correlations suggest that hunters harvesting wild game with lead bullets may be at risk of lead exposure through eating minute lead particles from shrapnel in their wild game. This feasibility study will determine if it is possible to conduct an interventional controlled, blinded study to evaluate if there is a causal relationship between meat harvested with lead bullets and elevated blood lead levels in those who consume the meat. This is an observational case crossover study and the primary outcome is blood lead levels. Individuals will have blood lead levels measured 2–4 days after eating one serving of meat harvested with lead bullets. At three potential washout periods these same individuals will have a subsequent blood lead level analysis. This observational study will provide the data necessary to determine the washout period and sample size for a prospective interventional study to evaluate if meat harvested with lead bullets raises blood-lead levels in those who consume the meat. This study has been approved by the Health and Disabilities Ethics Committees of New Zealand. Trial registration NCT02775890.
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- Heavy metals