What it’s used for:
Lead’s been used to make things like pipes, roofing, and paint. It’s also in the heavy apron used to shield people from extra radiation during an x-ray.
How it affects the body:
Two words: Lead poisoning. Lead is known to cause both immediate and long-term health problems, especially in kids. It’s toxic when swallowed, eaten, or inhaled, and can lead to nerve damage, issues with your digestive system, and death1. In young people, significant exposure has been shown to cause a drop in IQ level.2.