Lead is a naturally occurring metal that has been used in the production of batteries, metal products such as solder and pipes, devices to shield X-rays, explosives, artillery, ammunition, and more.
Because of health concerns, lead use has decreased dramatically in gasoline, ammunition, paints, ceramics, caulking, and pipe solder over the past decades.
If you have health concerns about lead exposure during service, talk to your health care provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.
Veterans may be at risk for elevated lead levels if they:
When lead is inhaled or swallowed, it can affect almost every organ and system in the body, including the nervous system.
Long-term exposure in adults can cause:
High levels of exposure can cause:
Learn more about lead and its health effects from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
If you are concerned about health problems associated with lead exposure during service, talk to your health care provider or local VA Environmental Health Coordinator.
Veterans may file a claim for disability compensation for health problems they believe are related to lead exposure during military service. VA decides these claims on a case-by-case basis. File a claim online.
Learn more about VA benefits.