Lead Facts

Lead Facts
Lead (Pb) has an atomic number of eighty-two. It is a highly malleable member of the metal elements and is highly resistant to corrosion.
Interesting Lead Facts:
Lead has been in use by ancient civilizations for thousands of years, and is mentioned in the second book of the Old Testament.
Lead pipes on the baths have the official insignia of the Roman emperor and are still in use today.
Lead has a long history in alchemy, since many alchemists believed lead could be turned into gold.
Lead is one of the toxic elements whose poisonous properties were discovered even by early civilizations, and lead poisoning has been documented in writings from ancient Greek, Roman, and Chinese.
Lead acts as a neurotoxin, damaging the central nervous system.
It accumulates in the body, being stored in the skeletal system and soft tissues.
Lead is a fairly weak electrical conductor compared to other metals.
It is very dense and resistant to corrosion, which made it ideal for pipe making.
Lead has a propensity to form a layer of insoluble lead salts in the presence of carbonates or sulfates, which leads to its anti-corrosive property.
Adding trace amounts of other elements can have significant impact on lead's properties.
Alloying lead with copper or antimony makes lead both harder and more resistant to acid.
Small amounts of zinc or bismuth actually have a tremendous impact on lead's corrosive property, weakening it significantly.
There are only four naturally occurring isotopes of lead, and all lead is found exclusively in one of those forms.
All four of the isotopes can be considered to be radioactive isotopes, but the lowest half-life of any of the four is over one hundred quintillion years.
An additional thirty-four synthetic radioactive isotopes of lead are known.
Lead is most commonly found on Earth in ores of zinc, silver, or copper.
The mineral with the highest concentration of lead is galena, which contains 86% lead.
Global production of lead each year is around eight million tons, and demand is increasing.
More than half of the lead produced each year in the US is used by the automotive industry, primarily for the production of car batteries.
It also has uses in the construction industry, small firearms manufacturing, the production of sailboat ballasts, and other artistic purposes.

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