Lead is Poison

[SKULLS] The Lead compounds that are used to make Lead Dioxide anodes are poisonous and have a cumulative effect on your nervous system. They make you go mad!
Ever heard of the saying "As mad as a Hatter"?
The Hatter was a trade in bygone days that involved making (would you believe) hats.
The hats required felt. Part of the processing of felt required Lead compounds. The Hatter handled Lead compounds.............they were inclined to go mad.

The Romans were very fond of Lead. They used it everywhere. To hold drinking water, baths... When wine goes sour it contains Acetic acid. Some bright Roman spark had the idea to add Litharge to sour wine so that Lead Acetate would form and this sweetened the wine.(this is why Lead Acetate is called Sugar of Lead) It did not do the Romans any good though.
Some people have speculated that Lead poisoning caused the fall of the Roman empire.
So be careful, take all sensible precautions and don't pollute with your waste solution. Soluble Lead compounds can be converted to insoluble Lead Sulphate by adding cheap Ammonium Sulphate to a solution of the Lead Salt and this will be a better substance for disposing off.

The soluble Lead compounds are by far the worst and Lead Nitrate is very soluble so be warned. The plating tank is inclined to throw spray up into the air because of the small bubbles coming from the cathodes, so it is advisable to have a cover on it. Don't breath in the mist.

There is no known Lead level in the body that is considered good. You should always use gloves when working with the compounds. It is quite difficult to kill yourself with Lead, for this reason it is often not regarded as something to be avoided at all costs.


Lead is especially damaging to children. Keep all compounds locked away where they cannot be accessed by children.

See Oxford MSDS for more information on Lead (and other) compounds.