Lead

CAS ID#: 7439-92-1

Affected Organ Systems: Neurological (Nervous System), Renal (Urinary System or Kidneys)

Cancer Classification:  Please contact NTP, IARC, or EPA with questions on cancer and cancer classification.

Chemical Classification: Inorganic substances

Summary: Lead is a naturally occurring bluish-gray metal found in small amounts in the earth's crust. Lead can be found in all parts of our environment. Much of it comes from human activities including burning fossil fuels, mining, and manufacturing. Lead has many different uses. It is used in the production of batteries, ammunition, metal products (solder and pipes), and devices to shield X-rays. Because of health concerns, lead from gasoline, paints and ceramic products, caulking, and pipe solder has been dramatically reduced in recent years.

*CDC has updated its recommendations on children’s blood lead levels. Experts now use an upper reference level value of 97.5% of the population distribution for children’s blood lead. In 2012-2015 that value is 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) to identify children with blood lead levels that are much higher than most children’s levels. The information on this page refers to CDC’s previous “blood lead level of concern” of 10 µg/dL. This information will be updated in future ToxProfile and ToxFAQ editions. To learn more about CDC’s updated recommendations on children’s blood lead levels, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/ACCLPP/blood_lead_levels.htm.

Community Members
Community Members

ToxFAQs - Fact sheet that answers the most frequently asked questions about a contaminant and its health effects.

Public Health Statements - Summary about a hazardous substance taken from Chapter One of its respective ATSDR Toxicological Profile.

National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals - Provides an ongoing assessment of the exposure of the U.S. population to environmental chemicals using biomonitoring.

Emergency Responders
Emergency Responders

Medical Management Guidelines (MMG) for Acute Chemical Exposure - Medical Management Guideline (MMG) for Acute Chemical Exposure Publication intended to aid emergency department physicians and other emergency healthcare professionals who manage acute exposures.

Toxicological and Health Professionals
Toxicological and Health Professionals

Toxicological Profile - Succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for a hazardous substance.

ToxGuidepdf icon[79 KB] - Quick reference guide providing information such as chemical and physical properties, sources of exposure, routes of exposure, minimal risk levels, children's health, and health effects for a substance.

Priority List of Hazardous Substances - Prioritization of substances based on a combination of their frequency, toxicity, and potential for human exposure at National Priorities List (NPL) sites.

Interaction Profiles - Succinctly characterizes the toxicologic and adverse health effects information for mixtures of hazardous substances.

Medical Education and Training
Page last reviewed: February 10, 2021