Recent studies have shown that lead, even at relatively low levels of exposure, has the potential to harm not only the young and the occupationally-exposed, but also older people. Because they have been alive for a longer period of time, older adults have had more potential exposures to lead. They may have been exposed to lead while working in unregulated occupations, or they may have encountered more lead in the environment on a daily basis. Several large epidemiological studies have found that older people have higher blood and bone lead levels than younger adults. Additionally, sporadic clusters of acute lead exposure among older adults as a result of activities such as ceramic glaze hobby work and consumption of moonshine whiskey continue to be reported. After lead enters the body, it circulates in the blood reaching the soft tissues and bone.
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Residents 'really upset' about high lead levels in water in two Otago towns
Health Problems Caused by Lead | NIOSH | CDC
Lead exposure can cause high blood pressure and brain, kidney and reproductive health issues in adults. Most adults with lead poisoning don't look or feel sick. The most commonly identified source of lead poisoning in non-pregnant adults is occupational exposure to lead in the construction industry. Workers in other industries, as well as hobbyists, may be at risk if they work with metal, paint, pigments, or glazes that contain lead.
Have a question that's not answered on this page? Contact the Safe Drinking Water Hotline. Lead is harmful to health, especially for children. Lead can enter drinking water when plumbing materials that contain lead corrode, especially where the water has high acidity or low mineral content that corrodes pipes and fixtures.
Lead was one of the first metals used by humans and consequently, the cause of the first recorded occupational disease lead colic in a 4th century BC metal worker. In , U. The U. Lead can be used as a pure metal, combined with another metal to form an alloy, or in the form of a chemical compound. The primary use of lead in the U.