Monitoring an Ion (Lead)

Gather, process and present information to describe and explain evidence for the need to monitor levels of one of the above ions in substances used in society

  • Lead is toxic to all living creatures, including humans.
  • Lead is a cumulative poison that affects every system of the body.
  • Lead is of particular concern with children, as they have a greater tendency to absorb the metal than adults.
  • In particular, lead poisoning can lead to the retardation of intellectual development in children, brain damage and neurological disorders.
  • Thus, it is important to monitor the levels of lead in certain areas in order to ensure that people are not exposed to excessive concentrations.
  • Lead is the most widely used heavy metal, and is chiefly used as:
    • A petrol additive in older vehicles, acting as an octane enhancer and a valve lubricant (now banned in many nations, including Australia).
    • A pigment, especially in paints (now banned in many nations, including Australia).
  • Areas that may require monitoring of lead levels include:
    • The air.
    • Waterways.
    • Drinking water.
    • Surface soils (especially beside highways).
    • Landfill containing lead products.
    • Certain foods.

Peeling lead paint

Easychem - Monitoring an Ion (Lead)