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QUESTION: Is there any danger of approximately 30 to 40 lead pellets lodged in the abdomen? 18 Dec 2008 Louisiana, USA

I was shot with lead shot from a shotgun about 15 years ago. I have approximately 30 to 40 lead pellets still in my body - mostly in the abdomen and a few in the head. Is there any danger of lead poisoning in my system due to this? If so, how do I check my levels to see if they are high?

ANSWER: 04 Mar 2009

Dear Mark,

I apologise for the late reply. It seems that we do not have enough staff to reply to all the e-mails we get. In order to do a blood test you simply need to go to the doctor and ask for it. It might be a good idea to ask him if the shots could be removed. My advice for u would be to join the Lodged Lead Shot or Bullet Support (LLSBS) Group at: which aims to support people who seek information and advice on the life-long management and monitoring of lead bullets or shot which have become lodged in their body.


Iman Hegazi, MBBS, MD. Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Volunteer

Update 2011: What are the lead poisoning risks of a lead pellet, bullet or shot lodged in the body?

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