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Facts About Lead

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Lead is an interesting element that we use everyday. Lead is used to refer to the black core of pencils, even though it does not content the element lead. So where did lead come from and how do we use it? Lead is an interesting element in the periodic table. In fact, the use of lead dates all the way back to Roman times. The actual date of discovery is unknown but it has been used for over 6,000 years. Want to know more about lead? Take a look at these facts about lead.

Lead’s electron shell diagramLead’s electron shell diagram. © Greg Robson/Pumbaa.

Compounds containing lead

Lead compounds come in various forms. Two of the most well known are lead nitrate which is found in explosives and lead chloride is used in the making of white paint. If you consume these for any reason, you could be heading for nervous system damage, kidney damage, brain damage and death.

Application of lead

Lead can come in many different forms such as batteries, bullets pipes and protection equipment. Each one, except for the lead protection for X-rays, can be dangerous. Lead poisoning is a common occurrence in small children due to the habit of putting things in their mouths. Lead does serve many functions such as piping and bullets and is very versatile.

Pure leadPure lead. © Alchemist-hp.

Common uses of lead

This can come in a variety of forms such as solder, a shield against radiation, batteries and plumbing. As stated before, they can also be used in batteries and bullets. Each one can have protective and helpful properties. Lead in these materials is often heavy as referenced in the plumbing lead pipe.

Where do you get lead from?

Lead typically comes from a type of mineral and that is galena and is considered a metallic element. The word “lead” comes from the Greek word protos and the symbol Pb from plumbum.

Discovery of lead: Who discovered lead as an element?