By: Kilee Smith and Kaytee Grider

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Background Facts:

Lead is a chemical element in the carbon group, and it is soft. The symbol for led is Pb, atomic number is 82, melting point is 621.5°F or 327.5°C, discovered in 7000 BC, Atomic Mass 207.2, and its place on the periodic table is Group 14; Period 6.
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what is a heavy medal and why is it one?

A heavy metal is a metallic element which is toxic and has a high density, specific gravity or atomic weight. It is considered to be a heavy medal because it is toxic and has a high mass.

Ways humans can come in to contact with Lead:

You can come into contact by breathing in dust particles, swallowing particles, and cigarette smoke which contains lead.

Where can lead be found naturally and synthetically?

It is Naturally found in plants, animals, air, water, dust, and soil. It is Synthetically found in electronics
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Why is it harmful to humans and what are the effects?

When lead gets inside the body, the body confuses it with calcium and other essential nutrients. This confusion can cause permanent damage to the health of both children and adults. That is why it is so harmful to humans.


Adults can have fertility problems in both men and women, high blood pressure, digestive issues, nerve disorders, memory and concentration problems, muscle and joint pain


Children can have learning disabilities resulting in a decreased intelligence (decreased IQ), attention deficit disorder, behavior issues, nervous system damage, speech and language impairment, decreased muscle growth, decreased bone growth, and kidney damage

The effects on the environment:

Not only has gasoline lead concentrations in the environment raised.
Lead can end up in water and soils through corrosion of leaded pipelines in a water transporting system and through corrosion of leaded paints. It cannot be broken down.

Lead accumulates in the bodies of water organism and soil organisms. These will experience health effects from lead poisoning. Health effects on shellfish can take place even when only very small concentrations of lead are present. Body functions of phytoplankton can be disturbed when lead interferes. Phytoplankton is an important source of oxygen production in seas and many larger sea-animals eat it.
Soil functions are disturbed by lead intervention, especially near highways and farmlands, where extreme concentrations may be present. Soil organisms than suffer from lead poisoning, too.

It can accumulate in individual organisms, but also in entire food chains.

An exposure to lead can be by coming in contact with lead pencils

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Case Study:

On March 29, 2000, a 2-year-old girl was seen at a community hospital emergency department with a low-grade fever and vomiting of approximately 1 day's duration. The child had been well since arriving in New Hampshire from Egypt with her Sudanese refugee family 3 weeks earlier. A throat swab streptococcal antigen screening test was positive. She was discharged from the emergency department with prescriptions for an antibiotic and antiemetic to treat presumed strep throat. However, her vomiting worsened, and she was admitted to the same hospital on April 17, and then transferred to a tertiary-care hospital the next day. On April 19, approximately 5 hours after the transfer, she became unresponsive. She was placed on a ventilator. Later that day, the results of a blood test drawn on April 18 showed a BLL of 391 µg/dL and an erythrocyte protoporphyrin level of 541 µg/dL. Despite a decrease in her BLL to 72 µg/dL and treatment for increased intracranial pressure, including surgical ventricular drainage, she remained unresponsive without spontaneous respirations, brain activity, and blood flow. She was pronounced brain dead on April 21.

How has exposure been reduced?

It has been reduced by if the house was built before 1978 the person selling that house has to let the new owners know that their may be lead paint or in this case paint exposure. Before remodeling, ask a trained professional to test the paint in your house, If lead is in the paint then you can learn how to handle it safely. If the paint in the home starts to chip pick it up so your child or children do not ingest it.

where is it used?

It is used in Bullets, Batteries, Pipes, and Roofing Materials. In the past it was used in Gasoline, Paint, and Pencils.

How can you protect yourself and your family from exposure to Lead?

You can protect yourself by talking to a local health department about testing paint and dust from your home, regularly wipe down components, prevent children from playing in bare soil, and keeping children and pregnant women out of houses built before 1978.