Tales Told in Lead

Science  11 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5383, pp. 1622-1623
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5383.1622

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Although there was no Lead Age to compare with humankind's Bronze and Iron ages, the element lead is one of the most extensively produced and emitted materials known. Understanding the past and present emission of lead is an important public health issue. In his Perspective, Nriagu discusses results reported in the same issue by Shotyk et al. in which lead was measured in Swiss bogs in the Jura Mountains and used to construct a history of lead emission from 4000 B.C. to the present.