Lead is a heavy metal found naturally in the environment and manufactured products such as lead-acid batteries, lead-based paints, leaded glass, solder, chemicals, and older water distribution systems with lead pipes, solders, and fittings. Lead is a persistent chemical that accumulates in soils, aquatic systems, sediments, and some plants, animals, and other organisms.

Since 1990, more than 6,000 studies on the adverse effects of lead on human health and the environment have shown that lead can cause serious health issues in children. Impacts include lowered IQ, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and memory and attention problems. Infants and small children age 6 or younger are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning. Lead can enter their rapidly developing bodies from the air, soil, lead-based paint, or drinking water. Adults may also experience adverse health effects from lead exposure, including increased blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, decreased kidney function, and impaired immune systems.

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