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How Does Lead Affect Our Environment?

Agency: Environmental Quality

Lead released into the environment makes its way into the air, soils, and water. Lead can remain in the environment as dust indefinitely. The lead in fuels contribute to air pollution, especially in urban areas. Soils near highways, freeways, and smelting facilities have higher levels of lead than soils in other areas because of their exposure to lead dust, which accumulates over time. Plants exposed to lead can absorb the metal dust through their leaves. Plants can also take up minimal amounts of lead from the soil.  Other ways lead can enter the environment are through mining practices, steel industry, crop enhancers, improperly disposed of batteries, or improperly stored metal parts such as machinery that can break and leave pieces or shavings which may leech into the environment. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Michigan is a high-risk state for lead hazards.

Links to DEQ's Public Outreach to Reduce Exposure to Lead in Water
Actions You Can Take To Reduce Lead in Your Drinking Water
Requirements for Community Public Water Systems

Requirements for Noncommunity Public Water Systems

Links to DEQ's Information About Lead in the Air
Ambient Air Data from AQD Annual Report

Lead Hazard Report: Michigan

Links to DEQ's Information About Lead in the Soil
Best Management Practices at Active Shooting Ranges