Monitoring an Ion (Lead)

Monitoring and Management‎> ‎3. Manufactured Products‎ > ‎

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