Lead is a malleable grey-blue metal abundant in our environment, largely due to human activity. Small amounts are naturally found in soil, however combustion of fossil fuels, manufacturing, and mining has increased levels worldwide.
Lead has been found in food and water (via lead solder), toys, cosmetic products, paints, ceramics, batteries, and many other common household items.
The EPA has determined lead to be a probable human carcinogen. Lead mainly inhibits the nervous system. It has been linked to learning disabilities as well ad reduced cognitive capacity in children. High exposure to lead can cause severe damage to the brain and the kidneys, as well as death. It can also cause infertility in men, and miscarriages in pregnant women.
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