Lead is considered a toxic chemical that can be lead to lead poisoning through ingestion or through airborne particles. Lead can cause severe damage to the brain, slow growth in children and reproductive problems in adults. It is highly important to handle lead carefully and help children avoid contact with lead at all times. Never bite down on lead split shot or any other lead fishing sinker to close them.
If you absolutely must handle lead there are some steps to take to minimize your exposure. A few things to keep in mind are to use gloves when handling lead or to wash your hands well after handling lead. If making your own lead fishing weights and jigs be sure to wear a respirator with a filter and use a fume hood to capture airborne particles. It’s not advised to work with lead at home because the particles can attach themselves to clothes and can move themselves around your work space and into your home, affecting your family.
The best way to avoid lead poisoning of any kind is to use lead alternative fishing weights and sinkers. There are many alternatives to using lead sinkers that are readily available on the market now. Bismuth, Tin, Tungsten, Brass, Steel, and Lead Free compounds are all available in various sizes of fishing weights and sinkers. Split shot often be found in tin or bismuth and Tungsten fishing weights make excellent worm weights for bass. The South Bend company makes ECO biodegradable fishing weights and sinkers which are completely nontoxic and decompose over time if lost in the water.
The bottom line is that not only is lead bad for the environment, fish, and wildlife, but it’s highly toxic to humans and should be avoided.