Periodic table entry for lead that include the atomic number, abbreviation and mass
CAS Number: 7439-92-1

Lead is a metal that is found in nature and is used in many industries and products. 


Fact Sheet

Lead is widespread in the environment and is found in

  • Peeling paint and dust in and around homes built before 1978 (when lead was banned in house paint).
  • Bare soil around homes built before 1978 and near roadways.
  • Job sites or hobby areas, such as construction and painting sites, shooting ranges, and electronics, battery and scrap metal recycling facilities.
  • Some candies and spices from  Mexico and Asia, and some brightly colored traditional remedies such as Azarcon and Greta.
  • Many consumer products, including:
      • Some ceramic dishes and pottery; some pewter and crystal pitchers and goblets.
      • Some baby bibs, electrical cords, purses, garden hoses and other products made of vinyl or imitation leather.
      • Some toys, art supplies, costume jewelry, cosmetics, and hair dyes.
      • Some brass faucets,  fishing sinkers, and curtain weights.

Possible health concerns of lead

  • Can affect brain development and contribute to learning problems in infants and young children.
  • Can increase blood pressure, decrease kidney and brain function, and cause reproductive problems.
  • May increase cancer risk.

Possible ways to reduce exposure to lead

  • Keep children away from chipped and peeling paint.  Use a certified professional if you plan to permanently remove or seal lead-based paint.
  • Cover bare soil with grass, bark, or gravel, especially near homes built before 1978.
  • If you work with lead or do house renovation, use proper protective gear. Keep work dust out of your home. Shower after working. Wash work clothes separately.
  • Use cold water for drinking or cooking to reduce release of lead from some faucets and old pipes.
  • Wash your and your children’s hands before eating or drinking.
  • Clean your floors regularly, using a wet mop where you can, and dust with a damp cloth.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet with adequate calcium, iron, and vitamin C, which can help reduce the amount of lead that your body absorbs.

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