Q:

Is the lead in pencils dangerous if it gets stuck in the skin?

A:

Quick Answer

The "lead" contained in most pencils is not actually lead, but rather nontoxic graphite and is, therefore, not poisonous or dangerous to humans, according to Pencils.com. However, any puncture wound in the skin should be treated to avoid infection and other health issues.

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Full Answer

Puncture wounds are often difficult to clean properly and can be a warm, moist breeding ground for bacteria, leading to the increased risk of infection at the site, as stated by WebMD. Fortunately, most puncture wounds can be treated at home with a simple procedure.

To treat a puncture wound, first determine if any of the object, such as fragments of pencil wood or lead, that originally caused the puncture wound is still lodged in the skin. If so, remove it carefully. If the puncture wound contains bits of pencil lead, there is no need to worry about lead poisoning in the body. If the wound proves to only be affecting the layers of skin and not internal organs or other body parts, gently clean the wound to kill any bacteria and remove any dirt that may have entered the wound after the pencil broke the skin. Keep the area clean and covered until it is healed.

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