Most cartridges and bullets used for hunting in Eeyou Istchee are made with a metal called lead. Lead is toxic, and for that reason, the government has banned its use in paint, gasoline, and water pipes.
Even small amounts of lead can impair a child's development and behavior. Lead pellets and ammunition can also poison birds like geese and loons.
Studies have shown that some people in Eeyou Istchee have lead in their blood at levels higher than recommended (see page 22 in this document).
The CBHSSJB's Public Health Department is working with the Cree Trappers' Association and the Cree Nation Government to promote the use of alternative ammunition, like steel and copper.
Game meats and traditional foods are very healthy for adults and children. To be on the safe side, pregnant and breastfeeding women, babies and young children should avoid swallowing lead pellets and should eat parts of the meat that are furthest from the bullet or pellet wound.