Lead is a metal that is found naturally around us. This means it is in soil, rock, air and water in different amounts depending on where you live. In the past, it was used to make lots of things, like petrol, paint, pipes, toys and even food tins, cooking pots and make-up. The good news is that lead was banned from products such as paint and petrol many years ago. But, there are still sources of lead in and around the places where we live and play, in layers of old paint or water pipes. There is no safe level of lead exposure and even low levels of lead have been shown to affect IQ, ability to concentrate and to learn in young children. Lead can also affect the brain and nervous system.