How does lead affect people?

According to the EPA, everyone who ingests lead is susceptible to its effects because it accumulates in the body. At sufficient levels, lead can impair the reproductive and central nervous systems and may interfere with behavioral and emotional development.

In adults, lead can increase blood pressure and interfere with hearing. At high levels of exposure, lead can cause anemia, kidney damage and mental retardation.

Because of their size, children are at even greater risk than adults. Lead can reduce childrens’ IQ, causing them to become slow learners, and it can interfere with the formation of red blood cells. Lead can also delay the physical and mental development of babies and young children and impair the mental abilities of children in general.

Show All Answers

1. Exactly what is lead?
2. How does lead get into a home's water supply?
3. How can I tell what kind of pipes my home has?
4. How does lead affect people?
5. How is lead in our drinking water regulated?
6. How can I tell if my water has lead in it?
7. How can lead exposure be reduced?