Lead absorption from an implanted bullet should be minimal. Blood is not extremely acidic, thus it must dissolve before it can be absorbed. Stomach acid, on the other hand, is powerful enough to dissolve some lead. The acidity of stomach fluid is low, however; only about 1 part per million (ppm). This is well below the concentration needed to dissolve lead.
Stomach acids are strong enough to break down bullets that contain iron or copper. These metals are found in many common objects such as knives, scissors, and brass knuckles. The acids also affect zinc and silver coins. Lead is the only metal that cannot be destroyed by stomach acid.
When you digest food, enzymes present in your saliva and digestive juices break down the nutrients into molecules that can be absorbed through your intestinal wall. Enzymes also break down any foreign materials that may be ingested with the food you eat. One type of enzyme, protease, is responsible for breaking down proteins. Proteases are found in saliva, milk, tears, urine, feces, and various organs of animals including pigs, cows, and chickens.
Your body quickly removes most enzymes when you vomit. Some chemicals in foods can cause enzymes to react prematurely, resulting in undigested foods within your body. Such substances include alcohol, caffeine, and tart fruits such as cherries, strawberries, and tomatoes.
You'll ruin the bullet. Bullets are often made of metal, and if the acid is an oxidizing acid (such as nitric or sulfuric acid), it will corrode the bullet fast. Even if the acid isn't very aggressive toward metals, just being in contact with it for a long time will cause oxidation. That means the bullet will no longer be stable and could break down further as well.
The best way to deal with a lost bullet is to be careful not to lose it in the first place. If you do happen to lose one, try not to worry about it too much. A few pieces of debris in some soil might be all that's left of your bullet. It might even help things if you can tell which direction it went in because then you know where not to look.
If you do get worried about a missing bullet, don't try to recover it from the ground. The area you're likely to find it is probably contaminated by toxic chemicals so don't eat anything there or wash your hands after looking for it.
If you have access to a gunsmith, they may be able to replace your bullet without charging you a lot of money. But usually, bullets are cheap enough that this isn't an issue.
Despite scientific evidence, eating lead-contaminated meat is routinely overlooked, despite the fact that breathing airborne lead from gun smoke created by a weapon is a recognized risk factor for lead exposure. Several investigations have revealed a direct correlation between animals harvested using lead ammunition and blood lead elevations. Lead bullets can remain dangerous after they are removed from their casing and become embedded in meat during hunting or shooting range practices. The degree of contamination depends on how recently the animal was shot.
In one study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, all of the lead bullets recovered from deer shots were found to be contaminated. Each sample contained at least one lead bullet. Some samples contained as many as five lead bullets. All of the animals studied had detectable levels of lead in their bodies. The level of exposure increased with each additional bullet found in the carcass. In other words, hunters should assume that every animal they shoot contains a lead bullet and act accordingly.
If you eat game meat that has been contaminated with lead, you will also be exposed to this toxic metal. The only way to be sure that you are not harming yourself by consuming lead-contaminated game is by following common sense safety guidelines. If you are unsure about the quality of the meat you are buying, do not consume it. Lead bullets can lie deep within the body of an animal and not be apparent until long after the kill.
Of obviously, bullets fired at high speeds into the body are harmful. However, it has been shown that bullets may cause injury in other ways, including lead poisoning. Although the presence of lead in bullets is not surprising, it was only lately that a research looked into bullets as a probable source of lead poisoning. They found that bullets sold over the internet without any information about their composition contain between 4 and 100 percent lead.
The most common type of ammunition used by hunters is.22 caliber rimfire cartridges. These bullets are made of brass (the term for any soft metal) which contains copper and zinc to provide strength. When these bullets hit flesh they break off pieces of the brass jacket, which remain inside the body. If enough tissue is damaged by many small fragments then the risk of lead poisoning increases even if you eat all of the meat from one animal that was shot with these bullets.
If you hunt with dogs there is a danger that they will eat contaminated food and become sick too. The best way to prevent this is to keep them away from old bones and other remains of animals.
Children should never play with bullets as they could end up swallowing them. If you find bullets while you are out hunting then leave them where they are not likely to be reached by children or animals.
It is important to wash hands after handling bullets as lead dust can be inhaled. This dust is very toxic if enough is breathed in.
Hunters and their families who use lead bullets or shot are at risk of lead poisoning in several ways, including ingesting lead shot pellets or lead bullet fragments or residues in game meat, ingesting lead residue from handling lead bullets, and inhaling airborne lead during ammunition reloading or at shooting ranges (Carey et al. 2016). Children especially are at risk for lead poisoning because they can be curious about what happens after they shoot a gun and may put objects that contain lead out on their face or eat them. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children not be exposed to lead in any form, including lead in toys and lead in drinking water.