HSE statement on “Lead in ammunition” UK REACH proposals

Announcing the publication today of an analysis setting out the risks from lead in ammunition and the opening of the 60-day consultation on the draft socioeconomic analysis, Dr Richard Daniels, HSE’s Director of Chemicals Regulation Division, said:

“We thank everyone who took part in the initial consultation. We received 2,759  responses, including technical submissions, which we have had to work through carefully to inform our analysis of risk and any proposals to restrict lead in ammunition.

“Following the publication of our analysis, we have today opened a 60-day public consultation on the draft socioeconomic analysis.

“There are already legally binding measures in place to protect Britain’s wildlife in designated wetlands from the use of lead shot and bullets, but it was important that we had a more detailed analysis of the risks to the wider environment and human health.

“The risks from lead are generally well understood, however we are proposing further restrictions to ensure the risks from the use of lead ammunition are adequately managed.

“People will still be able to continue to shoot outdoors, but we are proposing that for some outdoor uses in the future, alternatives to lead ammunition would need to be used.

“We understand that the use of lead shot is required for outdoor target shooting in international competitions – such as the Olympic Games. We are therefore proposing a derogation allowing a limited number of identified athletes to continue training and representing their country.

“Other derogations would allow the use of lead bullets in target shooting at outdoor ranges with appropriate risk management measures in place.”


Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. hse.gov.uk
  2. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in its role as the agency for UK REACH, which is the framework for managing the risks from chemical substances in Great Britain, has worked with the Environment Agency and published its risk assessment opinion registry-of-restriction-intentions.xlsx (live.com).
  3. The published opinion on the risk assessment was developed after considering the responses from last year’s consultation. Additionally, in line with the legal requirements under the UK Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation, HSE also opened a 60-day public consultation on the draft socio-economic opinion. Any comments that will help HSE and the Environment Agency with this draft opinion should be submitted here UK REACH – Public Consultation on Lead in Ammunition – Health and Safety Executive – Citizen Space (hse.gov.uk).
  4. The Agency also met stakeholders to listen to their concerns, gather evidence and discuss the proposals. The Agency opinion has been reviewed by a Challenge Panel made up of independent experts from the REACH Independent Scientific Expert Pool (RISEP), who provide scrutiny and challenge.
  5. In developing the derogation for using lead bullets for target shooting at outdoor ranges with appropriate risk management measures in place, the Agency met with shooting organisations to discuss current practice at ranges. It is estimated that around 95 per cent of outdoor ranges already have sufficient risk management measures in place.
  6. HSE news releases are available at: http://press.hse.gov.uk.