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What is Lead and How Does It Affect Me?
Listed below provide general information about lead and how it effects our environment and our health. The Introduction to Lead explains the basics about what is lead and where we can be exposed in our home. Here are examples of sources in the home:
- Lead-Based Paint - Present on many surfaces in homes not recently rebuilt or remodeled
- Lead Pipes - More common in older homes
- Lead Solder - On pipes and water heaters
- Enameled or Ceramic Pots and Dishware - Improper glazing can leech lead into foods
- Paper Wrappings - Holiday paper and party decorations (10g/kg)
- Food Packages - Polythene plastic bags, flour bags(20mg/kg), cardboard boxes with dyes (50mg/kg)
- Candy Packaging - Candy bar wrappers(7g/kg), Colored sports trading cards packaged with gum(88mg/kg)
The Lead Toxicity link goes into detail and provides additional links on how lead can be toxic (poisonous) to people and the environment. Lead poisoning has been a significant public health problem for centuries since lead is a cumulative poison. Exposure to lead and lead compounds can be toxic to humans and wildlife. Potential effects in humans are abdominal cramps, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, constipation, anemia, tiredness, nerve damage, vomiting, convulsions, anorexia, and brain damage. Wildlife and waterfowl are also frequently poisoned through the ingestion of lead and lead shot. Toxic effects occur to the central nervous system and resulting long-term neurobehavioral and cognitive deficits occur even with mildly elevated blood lead levels.