A 2022 review examining lead toxicity from retained bullets found what characteristic of the bullet to influence lead toxicity?
If the bullet is jacketed or unjacketed. “Lead absorption from a RB also depends on the type of bullet present. Bullets are commonly composed of an outer jacket and inner core. The outer jacket can be made of copper, nickel, steel, zinc, iron, or lead, while the inner core is usually lead-based. Lead toxicity can be influenced if the bullet is jacketed or unjacketed. Bullets not fully jacketed will deform or fragment when impacting bone and potentially expose a larger surface area of lead to tissues. Higher tissue levels of lead and zinc were found in gunshot wounds with unjacketed bullets compared to jacketed bullets.”
Kershner EK, Tobarran N, Chambers A, Wills BK, Cumpston KL. Retained bullets and lead toxicity: a systematic review. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2022 Sep 8:1-11. doi: 10.1080/15563650.2022.2116336. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36074021.
Contributed by: Kaitlin Ryan