What is lead & Why is it dangerous?
- Lead is a soft, malleable metal. It is also counted as a heavy metal and a poor metal (which means it is softer, weaker, and has a lower boiling point than other metals). It is poisonous to both humans and animals.
- Lead can damage the nervous system and cause brain disorders.
- Excessive lead also causes blood disorders and is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates both in soft tissues and in the bones.
- The effects of lead are the same whether it enters the body through breathing or swallowing.
- Lead can affect almost every organ and system in the body. The main target for lead toxicity, however, is the nervous system.
- Long-term exposure can cause decreased performance in tests that measure functions of the nervous system, cause weakness in fingers, wrists or ankles, cause small increases in blood pressure, and can cause anemia.
- High exposures to lead levels can severely damage the brain and kidneys, ultimately causing death.
- Lead exposure has also been linked to learning disabilities.
- Lead that is emitted into the atmosphere, for example, sanding a painted area, can be inhaled or it can be ingested after it settles out of the air. It is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.
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