Monday, August 28, 2006

Lead : (Pb) (Latin: plumbum) Atomic # 82 Atomic Wt 207

Lead, the heaviest and softest of common metals, is a bluish-white, silvery, gray metal that is very soft, malleable easily melted, cast, resists corrosion, ductile, high luster, rolled and extruded. Lead is a metal of bright luster, is very soft, highly malleable, ductile, a poor conductor of electricity and is very resistant to corrosion. Lead takes its greatest toll on small children. Even very low levels of lead can cause reduced IQs, learning disabilities and behavioral problems such as hypertension and reduced attention span in children. The effects of lead are often life long and irreversible.

Lead is a common contaminant found in tap water. Lead in drinking water usually originates between the water main in the street and the household faucet, so treatment from a central point outside of the home is neither logical or practical. Most lead in drinking water comes from lead lined pipes, lead solder and brass plumbing fixtures inside your home. In 1991, the U.S. EPA lowered the federal standard for the allowable level of lead in drinking water from 50 ppb (parts per billion) to 15 ppb.

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