Detection and Quantification of Lead and Copper in Firearm Harvested Ground Venison Intended for Human Consumption

Chris Crown, Manori Perera, Given Harper

Research output: Other contribution


Most White-tailed Deer ( Odocoileus virginianus ) in Illinois are harvested with firearms that use lead or copper shotgun slugs or muzzleloader bullets, which may fragment when they strike bone. Lead is a neurotoxin to both humans and animals that scavenge deer that have escaped from hunters, and excess amounts of copper ingestion can impair lipid and DNA function. In a preliminary study in 2014, packets of ground venison from firearm and bow hunters in Illinois were x-rayed, and six out of ten firearm-harvested packets contained possible metal fragments. The purpose of this study is to utilize Anodic Stripping Voltammetry (ASV) and Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy to identify the presence and concentration of lead and copper in ground venison meat meant for human consumption. Current research and manipulation of test parameters and solutions has yielded ASV standard addition curves for both lead and copper solutions. Using this method we have been able detect lead in solution at levels of 300 µg/L, with predicted detections limits of 50-100 µg/L. This protocol will be used to analyze ground venison collected during the 2013 and 2014 deer hunting seasons.

Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - Apr 18 2015


  • Chemistry

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