Non-lead tackle is just as effective, and it protects wildlife like eagles and ducks.
Lead is a toxic metal that has adverse effects on the nervous and reproductive systems of mammals and birds. Lead is found is most fishing jigs and sinkers. Tackle made of tin, bismuth, steel and tungsten are becoming more and more available and are just as effective as lead.
Wildlife such as waterfowl and raptors can be poisoned when they inadvertently swallow lead tackle.
Waterfowl can ingest lead when they mistake tackle for pebbles (used to grind their food). Sinkers have been found in gizzards of birds like ducks, geese and loons. One lead sinker is enough to kill a bird.
Raptors can ingest lead when they hunt fish who have swallowed lead tackle.
Non-lead fishing tackle is just as effective. Ask for lead-free at your favorite retailer.
Note: Don’t throw old lead tackle in the trash. Instead, take it to your local hazardous waste collection site.
Go here for more resources and a database of non-lead retailers