Updated March 1, 2024

Lead is a malleable, blue-gray, heavy metal that occurs naturally in the environment. Lead is found in many forms and can be hazardous when inhaled as a dust or fume, or accidentally ingested after contact directly or with contaminated surfaces.

While inorganic lead does not readily enter the body through the skin, it can enter the body through accidental ingestion (eating, drinking, and smoking) via contaminated hands, clothing, and surfaces.

Emergency Washing Equipment


Emergency washing equipment (EWE) is provided in UW facilities for the purpose of rinsing chemicals or other harmful agents from the eyes or skin. It is an important safety tool that can prevent or limit damage to the body from exposure to harmful agents. Examples include:


Eyewashes are required in areas where any of the following agents are used: corrosives; strong irritants; or toxic chemicals of concern.