Lead is a naturally occurring element; however most lead concentrations that are found in the environment are as a result of human activities such as former lead smelters, application of lead in petrol or car batteries or from old lead-based paint.
Lead may be taken into the body as a result of hand-to-mouth activity that is common for young children or from eating vegetables that may have taken up lead from the soil in which they were grown. Lead in soil may also be inhaled if re-suspended in the air, or spread by tracking soil onto shoes into your house.
Many factors affect how lead affects the body including age and gender, but it is considered likely that there is no ‘safe’ level of lead in the human body.
The potential for lead contamination to be present on a proposed site can be flagged up early during the site investigation process, through a phase 1 desk study and site conceptual model, whilst targeted intrusive investigation allows the formulation of appropriate remediation measures.