One of the oldest metals known to humans, lead (Pb) compounds were used by Egyptians to glaze pottery as far back as 7000 BC. The toxic effects of lead also have been known for many centuries. In fact, the Romans limited the amount of time slaves could work in lead mines because of the element's harmful effects. Some consequences of lead poisoning are anemia, headaches, convulsions, and damage to the kidneys and central nervous system.

See also Lead poisoning .



Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program. San Diego, CA.: Health and Human Services Agency, County of San Diego, 2006.

Denworth, Lydia. Toxic Truth: A Scientist, a Doctor, and the Battle Over Lead. Boston: Beacon Press, 2008.

Lead Poisoning. Oklahoma City: Oklahoma State Dept. of Health, 2007.

Lew, Kristi. Lead. Understanding the elements of the periodic table. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2009.

Oregon. Lead and Lead Poisoning. Salem: Oregon OSHA, Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Division, Dept. of Consumer and Business Services, 2006.

Toxicological Profile for Lead. Atlanta, GA: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 2007.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Lead.” http://www.cdc.gov/lead/ (accessed October 25, 2010).

Protect Your Child from Lead Poisoning. Health Bulletin (New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene) vol. 6, no. 3. New York: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2007.

  This information is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for professional care.