Spent Lead Shot and the Environment: A Topical Environmental Education Issue for Schoolchildren, Especially Rural Canadians and Native North Americans

Leonard J. S. Tsuji, Jim D. Karagatzides, Evert Nieboer


On August 19, 1997, the Canadian Wildlife Service announced that the use of lead shot will be prohibited for the harvesting of migratory game birds, nation-wide, beginning on September 1, 1999. This paper presents some useful information with respect to the spent lead shot issue, as well as its most common replacement steel, and takes a holistic viewpoint. Hands-on activities are introduced that can be used at the elementary or secondary school level. The spent lead shot issue is a topical environmental education issue of particular interest to rural Canadians and Native North Americans for social, cultural, and economic reasons. The non-toxic shotshell issue will remain topical because concerns have been raised about the safety of substitutes, other than steel, with respect to the environment and human health.

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