How Does Lead Contaminate Food

Although lead is primarily known as an environmental contaminant that is ingested in paint chips by young children in urban slums or from contaminated soil or inhaled in the form of house dust or automobile exhaust, it may also enter the food and water supply. Ways in which this can occur include fuel exhaust emissions from automobiles that may contaminate crops and be retained by them, especially green leafy vegetables. Animals used for food may graze on contaminated crops and thus may also be a potential source of lead. Moreover, lead from soldered water pipes may contaminate tap water used for drink or for food production.

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