Over 7 tons of lead was dredged up in one area of Miami recently. Source? Lead fishing tackle.
It's not only an environmental problem. It's a health issue.
Going lead-free makes sense. And it's trivially easy, with no real added cost. The Minnesota Pollution Control agency has a good list of suppliers, here.
I'm still researching the subject, but have contacted a couple of manufacturers, First Mate Lures and Timmy Toms, who both assure me that they use only non-lead materials and lead-free paint.
I will also cover the problem of lead in fishing poles and rods in my next blog post.
Tampa Bay Conservation League