Lead 101: Use of lead and its harmful effects
Over the last decade lead has become a major health concern. Studies have associated lead with a variety of ailments, including reproductive difficulties, kidney failure, high blood pressure, and a permanent impairment of IQ in developing children. Unfortunately, lead can be found everywhere in our environment, including our homes and workplaces. Historically, lead was added to gasoline, pipe solder, pottery glazes and more. Worst of all, lead was heavily employed in residential and industrial paints throughout most of the 20th century. It is estimated over 70% of the housing stock built before 1978 is contaminated with lead. In commercial applications, surface coatings often contained as much as 40% lead by weight and were used to cover everything from water tanks to floors and railings.
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