EU – ECHA Proposes Restrictions on Lead Using in Outdoor Shooting and Fishing

​The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) brings forward a proposal for further EU-wide restrictions on the use of lead in ammunition for hunting and outdoor sports shooting as well as in fishing. The proposal aims to address the risks of lead in these activities to protect people, particularly children, wildlife and the environment. At the request of the European Commission, ECHA has assessed the health and environmental risks posed by the use of lead projectiles for hunting and outdoor sports shooting as well as lead used in fishing sinkers and lures. ECHA concluded that an EU-wide restriction would be justified. ECHA’s proposal is as follows: 1. Lead sold and used in hunting, sports shooting and other outdoor shooting​ – ​ban on the sale and use of lead gunshot (with a five-year transition period). As current Olympic rules specify the use of lead ammunition for certain disciplines, ECHA also considered an optional derogation for use of lead gunshot for sports shooting only under strict conditions (i.e. when releases to the environment are minimized). – ban on the use of lead in bullets and other projectiles (small calibre: five-year; large calibre: 18-month transition periods). Derogations for continued use if releases to the environment are minimized (i.e. when sports shooting ranges are equipped with bullet traps). 2. Lead sold and used in fishing – ban on the sale and use of lead sinkers and lures (with transition periods depending on weight: ≤ 50 g three years; > 50 g five years​). – immediate ban on the use of lead sinkers when the sinker is delibrately dropped to water (lead drop off techniques).​ Military uses of lead ammunition, along with other non-civilian uses of lead ammunition such as by police, security and customs forces, are outside of the scope of the investigation. Indoor uses of lead ammunition are also excluded. ECHA’s scientific Committees for Risk Assessment and Socio-Economic Analysis will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of ECHA’s proposal. In their evaluation, they will take into account the scientific evidence received during the consultations. The opinions of the two committees are expected by mid-2022.