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Bill for European lead ban

Bill for European lead ban

The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) has proposed banning the use of lead for hunting and fishing within the European Union. This proposal is the result of research and evaluation of the health and environmental risks posed by the use of lead in these sectors. The proposal to the European Commission is to ban both the sale and the use of lead in angling (as weights and lures) within the next few years.

In July 2019, the European Commission asked the ECHA to study the use of lead in hunting and fishing, and to submit a proposal for limitations if necessary. Lead is toxic to humans, animals and the environment, and it is vital that its use be restricted. The ECHA has come to the conclusion that a ban on lead in hunting and fishing is justified. In late January 2020, the European Commission accepted a similar proposal by the ECHA to ban the use of lead in hunting and fishing in and around natural wetlands.

Proposal for lead ban in angling

The ECHA suggests prohibiting the sale and use of lead in fishing weights and artificial lures, with a transitional period of three years for weights up to 50 g and five years for weights over 50 g. The proposal also suggests immediately prohibiting the use of lead for techniques involving the intentional loss of the lead, such as ‘drop-off’ techniques. These periods will go into effect starting from the moment that the European Commission makes a decision on the matter. On 24 March 2021, the ECHA will begin a six-month public consultation period, and then a risk assessment and socio-economic analysis will be conducted. The ECHA will then issue a definitive recommendation to the member states, and the European Commission will decide on the proposal. This process is expected to be complete by early 2023.

Green Deal Sportvisserij Loodvrij

The Green Deal Sportvisserij Loodvrij (Green Deal for Lead-free Angling) unites Sportvisserij Nederland (the Dutch angling association) with the national government, the Water Authority Union, Natuurmonumenten (Dutch Society for Nature Conservation) and Dibevo in their efforts to reduce the use of lead in angling and to encourage the use of environmentally friendly alternatives. The goal is to reduce the use of lead in angling by 30% in 2021, and to eliminate lead from angling entirely by 2027. The ECHA’s proposal reflects the agreements already made in the Netherlands. Later this year, all of the partners will evaluate the progress of the Green Deal Sportvisserij Loodvrij, including the latest European developments. Sportvisserij Nederland and other angling federations and associations will continue to encourage the use of lead-free alternatives over the coming years, and to raise awareness of the risks presented by fishing leads.
For more information about the Green Deal Sportvisserij Loodvrij, environmentally friendly lead-free alternatives, lead-free pilot areas, the health risks of fishing lead, and articles about lead-free fishing, please visit

The full ECHA press release is available here.

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