My research examines the political life of the heavy metal lead in Peru. The politics of lead distill fundamental disagreements over the governance of human life at the height of Peru's "neoextractivist era," marked by the rapid expansion and transnationalization of extractive industries. I conducted 20 months of fieldwork in Peru between 2011-2015 at two emblematic sites of lead contamination: the port of el Callao near Lima and the Metallurgic Center of La Oroya located in the Mantaro Valley of the Central Andes. I did my research alongside impacted workers, residents, and community leaders, Catholic scientists in the Andes, environmental NGOs in Lima, and state and corporate representatives. My current written work ethnographically traces the lead controversy from its scientific emergence in the late 1990s through diverse political and ethical practices of the present to examine the possibilities for lead politics to redistribute knowledge, rights, and wellbeing within states of corruption, impunity, and radical material inequality.