Health Info : Lead (Plumbum) in Prunes (dried fruit made in China) - From Ministry of Health (Malaysia) Lead is used in building construction, lead-acid batteries, bulletsand shot, weights, and is part of solder, pewter, fusible alloys andradiation shields. Lead has the highest atomic number of all stableelements, although the next element, bismuth, has a half-life so long(longer than the estimated age of the universe) it can be consideredstable. Like mercury, another heavy metal, lead is a potent neurotoxinthat accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time. Lead poisoningwas documented in ancient Rome, Greece, and China. Lead is a poisonous metal that can damage nervous connections(especially in young children) and cause blood and brain disorders.Lead poisoning typically results from ingestion of food or watercontaminated with lead; but may also occur after accidental ingestionof contaminated soil, dust, or lead based paint. Long-term exposure tolead or its salts (especially soluble salts or the strong oxidantPbO2) can cause nephropathy, and colic-like abdominal pains. Theeffects of lead are the same whether it enters the body throughbreathing or swallowing. Lead can affect almost every organ and systemin the body. The main target for lead toxicity is the nervous system,both in adults and children. Long-term exposure of adults can resultin decreased performance in some tests that measure functions of thenervous system. It may also cause weakness in fingers, wrists, orankles. Lead exposure also causes small increases in blood pressure,particularly in middle-aged and older people and can cause anemia.Exposure to high lead levels can severely damage the brain and kidneysin adults or children and ultimately cause death. In pregnant women,high levels of exposure to lead may cause miscarriage. Chronic,high-level exposure in men can damage the organs responsible for spermproduction.