Lead is a bioaccumulative heavy metal found in a variety of consumer and building products because it provides flexibility and machineability to the material. Lead is a common ingredient in copper alloys, such as brass and bronze.
What Can I Do On My Project?
• Specify lead-free piping, fittings and fixtures where metal piping will be used to deliver water intended for human consumption.
• Specify lead-free solder and flux.
• Specify Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS)-compliant controls, wire, cable, electronic and electrical equipment, including lighting fixtures.
The European RoHS restricts the use of six hazardous materials (including mercury, lead, and cadmium) in the manufacture of electronic and electrical equipment.
• Set tight goals for electricity use.
Lead is released when goal is burned, so each kilowatt hour saved is a reduction in emissions which are hazardous to human health.
• Ingestion of lead which has leached into drinking water.
• Copper alloy plumbing components leach lead into drinking water over time, especially when corrosion occurs. Lead is also a common component of solder and flux.
• Ingestion of lead-containing dust particulates is still a risk in pre-1978 buildings, especially to children. Lead as an additive in most paints has been banned for many years, but exposure to lead dust remains a risk where older buildings are being renovated.
Lead is a neurotoxin which can damage the developing brain and nervous system, lowering IQ and increasing hyperactivity. While adults are susceptible to lead poisoning, children are most at risk.