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Old 9th Mar 2018, 1:47 pm   #25
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brentwood, Essex, UK.
Posts: 2,998
Default Re: Availability of Leaded Solder?

I don't know if it relates to the same story, but I do remember reading of a case in India where there was severe lead poisoning because one of the locals had, with the best intentions, used the plates from old car batteries to pave the streets in his village to make them more passable in the rainy season. This would have been especially polluting, given that much of the lead in accumulator plates is finely divided and would therefore get into the local water table much more quickly than from solid lead sheet or pipe.

I have seen a tin of lead airgun pellets that includes the warning "This product contains lead, a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects (or other reproductive harm). " While many harmful effects have been attributed to Lead, I can't say I have come across any other references to it causing cancer.

Something that is potentially dangerous due to its hidden nature is the lead pigments that used to be (and possibly still are) used in the insulation of some electric cables on account of their flexibility. Some 15 years ago when I was a first aider, a note appeared in a Red Cross newsletter of a case of severe lead poisoning in Australia. The unfortunate man was an electrician who was trying to give up smoking and found that his craving could be reduced by chewing stripped-off lengths of installation cable insulation (Lead pigments are sweet to the taste). He chewed so much he made himself seriously ill.
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