Lead is one of the oldest known work and environmental hazards, but it wasn’t until recent decades that it was understood how small of a quantity can cause issues. While lead paint is the most common source for lead to be found, there are a number of industrial products which can also contain the heavy metal. Older plumbing, batteries, ceramic glazes, and circuit boards can possibly all contain lead. The prolonged exposure to lead contaminants can lead to neurological issues and is toxic to many organs.
What is Lead and where is it found?
Lead is a naturally occurring resource and is found in the air, soil, and water. In oil natural levels of lead can range between 50-400 parts per million. Mining, smelting and refining activities have resulted in a substantial increase in lead levels in the environment. Lead can also be found in our building in various products containing lead include paint, ceramics and plumbing materials, gasoline, batteries, and cosmetics. Our exposure to it mainly comes from human activities including the use of fossil fuels, past use of leaded gasoline, some types of industrial facilities, and past use of lead-based paint in buildings. While lead has its benefits, it can be poisonous to both humans and animals. As lead is so commonly found, buildings may be free of lead-based hazards, but you can still be exposed to it elsewhere, particularly if they were built before 1978. Here is a list of places to look:
- Exterior painted areas
- Surrounding areas
- Dirty Dishes
– Play areas/playground equipment
– Painted toys and furniture
– Drinking water outlets