- Enviromysteries: Inside Stories: Maggie's Story - Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Is There Lead in My Drinking Water? - Environmental Protection Agency
- Lead Is All Around Us - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
- Lead Toxicity - Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
- Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- HUD's Office of Lead Hazard Control - Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Humans and Lead Fishing Sinkers - Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water
- Introduction to Indoor Air Quality: Lead (Pb) - Environmental Protection Agency, Indoor Environments Division
- KidsHealth for Parents: How Do I Get My Child Tested for Lead? - KidsHealth/Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media
- KidsHealth for Parents: Lead Poisoning - KidsHealth/Nemours Foundation's Center for Children's Health Media
- Lead in Drinking Water - Environmental Protection Agency
- Lead in Drinking Water from Private Wells - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Lead in the Workplace - Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- Lead Poisoning: Prevention - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Lead Poisoning: Treatments - LabTestsOnline
- Lead Recalls - U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
- MedlinePlus: Lead Poisoning - National Library of Medicine
- MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia - National Library of Medicine
- Rapid Lead Screening Test - Food and Drug Administration
- Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools - Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances
- Ten Tips to Protect Children from Pesticide and Lead Poisoning - Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs
- Testing Your Home for Lead in Paint, Dust, and Soil - Environmental Protection Agency
- ToxMap - National Library of Medicine
ToxTown - National Library of Medicine
- Where is Lead Found?- Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances
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What is Lead?
Lead is a naturally occurring element found in small amounts in the earth’s crust. While it has some beneficial uses, it can be toxic to humans and animals causing of health effects.
Where is Lead Found?
Lead can be found in all parts of our environment – the air, the soil, the water, and even inside our homes. Much of our exposure comes from human activities including the use of fossil fuels including past use of leaded gasoline, some types of industrial facilities, and past use of lead-based paint in homes. Lead and lead compounds have been used in a wide variety of products found in and around our homes, including paint, ceramics, pipes and plumbing materials, solders, gasoline, batteries, ammunition, and cosmetics.
Lead may enter the environment from these past and current uses. Lead can also be emitted into the environment from industrial sources and contaminated sites, such as former lead smelters. While natural levels of lead in soil range between 50 and 400 parts per million, mining, smelting, and refining activities have resulted in substantial increases in lead levels in the environment, especially near mining and smelting sites.
When lead is released to the air from industrial sources or vehicles, it may travel long distances before settling to the ground, where it usually sticks to soil particles. Lead may move from soil into ground water depending on the type of lead compound and the characteristics of the soil.
Federal and state regulatory standards have helped to minimize or eliminate the amount of lead in air, drinking water, soil, consumer products, food, and occupational settings.
Read the rest of this article at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).