Environmental lead is ubiquitous worldwide in most part due to the historic widespread use of compounded industrial lead products like paint, gasoline and pesticides. Lead poisoning (toxicity) has been documented throughout history. Since Roman times, lead poisoning has been known by humans. It was widely used by the Romans in constructing aqueducts, piping, cookware and for sweetening food and wine. Lead poisoning in ancient Rome was largely found in those who consumed foods and wine sweetened by lead acetate. Lead acetate is a toxic compounded form of lead, which is far more soluble than metallic forms of lead.
In the modern era, instances of lead poisoning are mainly attributed to the ingestion of highly soluble forms of lead in industrial products such as leaded paint, gasoline and pesticides. These legacy forms of compounded industrial lead residues still persist in our environment, threatening both humans and animals.