Recently, there has been much controversy and advocation for the total ban of lead and lead products in the U.S. Since lead is a known carcinogen and can cause several other health problems in children, this may seem like a good idea on the surface. However, before you put your pen to paper and sign a petition that asks your political representatives to ban lead, you should know more about useful lead products and why politicians should not ban lead entirely.
Lead X-ray Vests
You know those vests that X-ray technicians wear to protect themselves? Or the ones that are used to cover a pregnant woman's belly and shield the baby when she has X-rays of her teeth taken? Those vests are lined with a thick core of lead, the only substance that radiology waves cannot fully penetrate. If all lead and lead products were banned, then X-rays could not be taken because the technicians would have no means to protect themselves and pregnant women could not protect their unborn children either.
Lead-lined barrels are designed to keep highly corrosive liquids from dripping and spilling everywhere. These corrosive materials either cannot eat through the lead or are slowed by the lead, thereby preventing the many environmental and health code violations that could occur otherwise. Without lead-lined barrels, those toxins would eat their way through the ground and the water supply and make everything quite toxic (if not lethal) to humans. This is one of the biggest reasons why so many environmental groups actually side with the lead product industry--the threat of lead is quite small in contrast to what the corrosive chemicals in these barrels can do if they were unleashed on the environment.
American soldiers depend on lead for bullets, shot and several other types of ammunition. A full ban on lead and lead products means that the U.S. military would have to find alternative substances to create ammunition in order to defend the country, which would be a very expensive venture indeed. (Lead is a common element and therefore quite cheap, which is why it is used to make ammunition in the first place.) Additionally, if you personally enjoy hunting or shooting a gun for fun/target practice, you may find that you would have to cut back significantly on your hobby because the price of ammunition not made with lead would increase significantly.
Talk to a company like Nuclear Lead Co., Inc. for more information.