Pixabay/Sustainable Downbeach asks, ‘what’s in your tackle box?’

Sustainable Downbeach, a collaboration between green teams in Ventnor, Margate and Longport is educating the public this week about the dangers of lead poisoning. Oct. 25-31 is Lead Poisoning Prevention Week and to protect families, the green teams are urging fishing enthusiasts to check their tackle boxes for potential dangers.

Most fishing sinkers are made of lead and dust generated from them jiggling around in the box can contaminate boxes, tables and other surfaces that may be touched by young children.

Small amounts of lead can hurt a young child’s growth and development if they put sinkers in their mouths, bite or handle lead sinkers or touch a tackle box already contaminated with lead dust.

Another danger is creation of lead fumes when casting lead sinkers. Your home, garage or yard can become contaminated with melted lead. It is not safe to handle melted lead in the home.

Some things fishers can do to protect children are:

  • Keep lead sinkers or split shot sinkers away from children. Lead-free split shot sinkers that are made of tin are safer to use around children.
  • Don’t let children play with or handle lead sinkers
  • Store your tackle box away from the reach of children
  • If your children fish with you, make sure they wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after fishing, especially before eating.

For more information, contact Rutgers Environmental Steward Kelly McLaughlin at 856-675-5307 or email [email protected].

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.