Updated March 1, 2024

Lead is a malleable, blue-gray, heavy metal that occurs naturally in the environment. Lead is found in many forms and can be hazardous when inhaled as a dust or fume, or accidentally ingested after contact directly or with contaminated surfaces.

While inorganic lead does not readily enter the body through the skin, it can enter the body through accidental ingestion (eating, drinking, and smoking) via contaminated hands, clothing, and surfaces.