Lead is poisonous becuase it damages your red blood cells and may also damage other parts of your body.
For more information, you can look in your school library in the World Book Encyclopedia under LEAD in volume 12.
History. Though people refer to "lead" pencils, a pencil actually contains no lead. Lead was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans for marking or for drawing lines. It is in this sense that the word is still used. The writing substance in a pencil is a combination of graphite and a special puttylike clay. Graphite is a compound that was given the name black lead when it was discovered in the 1400s. In 1779 graphite was shown to be a form of carbon (see Graphite).
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Excerpted from Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia. Copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996 SoftKey Multimedia Inc. All Rights Reserved
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