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Drinking Water Fact Sheet: Lead

Lead is a toxic heavy metal used in batteries, ammunition, pipes and solder, and x-ray shielding devices. People are exposed to lead through air, drinking water, food, and ingesting dust or dirt that contains lead. For most Americans, lead exposure has been significantly reduced in recent decades through bans on leaded gasoline and lead-based paint. However, lead remains a serious public health threat for developing fetuses, infants, and children, who are particularly sensitive to its toxic effects. 

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In the Spotlight

  • October 15, 2016
    Boston Symposium
    A one-day Symposium to examine the catastrophic public health consequences of climate change and the ways that climate change will increase the risk of conflict, including nuclear war.