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Lead (Pb) is a silvery-white metallic element belonging to group IV A of the Periodic Table (atomic number: 82, and relative atomic mass: 207.2). It is dense, malleable, readily fusible, and has a low melting point. Lead exists as metallic lead, inorganic lead compounds and organic lead compounds. Lead is a multi-organ system toxicant that can cause neurological, cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, haematological and reproductive effects. It is accumulated in bone and may serve as a source of exposure later in life. There is presently no known threshold for the effect of lead. Children are especially vulnerable and lead exposure can lower their IQ. Lead is known to bioaccumulate in terrestrial and aquatic environments. Lead-acid battery is the major use of lead, accounting for 78 % of reported global consumption in 2003. Other major application areas are lead compounds, lead sheets, ammunition, and cable sheathing. (Source: UNEP Final Review of Scientific Information on Lead, 2010)
A heavy toxic bluish-white metallic element that is highly malleable; occurs principally as galena and is used in alloys, accumulators, cable sheaths, paints, and as a radiation shield. (Source: GEMET/CED) Lead compounds are present as gasoline additives, in paint, ceramic products, roofing, caulking, electrical applications, tubes, or containers. Lead exposure may be due to air, water, food, or soil. (Source: GEMET/KOREN)