Lead

Lead is heavy, dense, soft and malleable. Fresh lead is silver with a hint of blue and tarnishes to dull grey when exposed to air. 

The Mayo Medical Clinic reports that lead poisoning occurs when lead builds up in the body over months or years. Even small amounts of lead can cause serious health problems. Children younger than 6 years are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, which can severely affect mental and physical development.

Breathing lead particles, ingesting lead particles, lead in soil where foods are grown, in manufacturing, the metal’s use has been nearly pervasive since civilization began. Lead is as useful as it is toxic to humans. Before its toxicity was recognized in the 20th century, lead was widely used in cosmetics, paint, solder, pipes, and gasoline. Even the ancient Romans made their water pipes out of lead, causing some to believe that lead poisoning, at least partially, led to the fall of the Roman Empire, according to Livescience.com

In March 2020, Denver Water distributed 100,000 Brita water pitchers and Longlast water filters to homes across Denver as part of the agency’s Lead Reduction Program. Denver Water will replace 64,000-84,000 of the lead service lines serving 20 to 27 percent of the 315,000 active taps in the city, mostly those homes built before 1951. The swap out is expected to take 15 years, so Denver Water has increased the pH of all water intended to strengthen a coating on the insides of pips that prevents lead leaching. The water utility has promised to deliver replacement filters to residents every six month.

Used in paint until 1978 in the U.S., led is still used in:

  • Plumbing
  • Batteries
  • Bullets and shot
  • Weights
  • Solders
  • Pewter
  • Leaded gasoline
  • And radiation shielding.

Lead is non-ferrous. We accept:

  • Sheet
  • Cable
  • Wheel weights.