Lead is a heavy metal used in manufacturing various batteries, alloys, plastics and protective coatings. It is not required for human health, and can be toxic when ingested or inhaled. Once in the body, lead circulates in the blood; while most is excreted, some can remain in the tissues, organs and bones. This public statement from the NHMRC discusses the evidence and makes recommendations regarding blood lead levels in Australia. It also gives some practical advice on minimising exposure to lead.