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Lead (Pb)

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Lead is a heavy metal that is common in our everyday environment. Historically it has been used in paints, pipes (including connectors/fittings), and gasoline among other places. Today, most industrial uses are limited to lead-acid batteries, a growing market.

Lead is a known toxin for humans. Health effects range from mild health irritations and decreased fertility at low amounts, lower IQ and emotional/behavioral issues in milder amounts, and seizures, coma, and even death at higher amounts.

Top exposure pathways (aka: sources of lead) include:

  • Paint
  • Soil
  • Dust (created by soil, paint, or emissions)
  • Water / Plumbing

Lead may also be in toys, cosmetics, food containers, and other places, but the above are the top 4 pathways. Paint is generally recognized as the predominant source of lead. People talk quite a bit about lead in water, in part because of the crisis in Flint Michigan. Soil is a pathway that gets less attention; however, there is growing evidence that soil -- and in particular the dust that gets kicked up -- is a significant source of lead.

There are no safe levels of lead for humans; any amount is a bad amount. Lead is also bioaccumulate which means that it doesn't leave your body. Small amounts add up in your body over time.

Top Resources on Related to this Topic

Research Notes on Related to this Topic

Title Author Updated Likes Comments
Article comparing the effectiveness of recently passed lead exposure reduction laws @liz about 3 years ago 0
Evaluating Low-cost Lead Screening Products @read_holman about 3 years ago 3
How to interpret soil test results @DanielleS over 3 years ago 0
How to Test For Lead in your Environment @read_holman over 3 years ago 3
Using the Wheestat in a real time device @klplum almost 4 years ago 0
Soil Contaminant Testing @DanielleS almost 4 years ago 10
Seeking GIS / Data folks: Help us create a nation Lead Exposure Risk map. @read_holman almost 4 years ago 7
Partnering with a Local College for Environmental Testing @read_holman almost 4 years ago 0
Chemical/Analytical Methods Used When Testing for Lead @read_holman over 3 years ago 6
Treating policy as code @liz almost 4 years ago 3
Crowdsourcing lead testing in NYC parks and playgrounds @smmontgom about 4 years ago 5
Help us test public water fountains in NYC for lead!? @read_holman over 4 years ago 11
Designing a soil sampling tool kit for community science /environmental justice applications @jjcreedon over 4 years ago 6
Testing Water For Specific Polluting Compounds @rajanzaveri over 5 years ago 2
Mapping Lead-Free Water @smmontgom over 6 years ago 0
Pencil lead works well as an electrode material in lead analysis @JSummers almost 7 years ago 0
Update on Stockton Harbor, Maine waste site: Media Coverage and heavy metals list @ronhuber over 8 years ago 2
Testing a Penobscot Bay, Maine beach and clamflat for heavy metals & other contaminants @ronhuber over 8 years ago 2
Mississippi Phosphates: Better air for Alice @stevie over 8 years ago 16
$0.75 lead testing color strips @warren over 8 years ago 10
lead in brass snap swivels @mathew almost 11 years ago 0

Questions posted on Related to this Topic