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  • Lead is a main group element with a symbol Pb . Lead has the atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal, also considered to be one of  the heavy metals.
  • Lead has a bluish white color when freshly cut, but tarnishes to a dull grayish color when it is exposed to air and is a shiny chrome silver when melted into a liquid.
  • Lead is used in building construction, lead-acid batteries, bullets and shot, weights, and is part of solder, pewter, and fusible alloys. This true metal is highly resistant to corrosion, and because of this property, it is used to contain corrosive liquids.
  • Lead has the highest atomic number of all stable elements, although the next element, bismuth, has a half-life so long it can be considered stable.
  • Like mercury, another heavy metal, lead is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time.
    Lead salts used in pottery glazes have on occasion caused poisoning, when acid drinks, such as fruit juices, have leached lead ions out of the glaze.
  • Lead is a poisonous metal that can damage nervous connections and cause blood and brain disorders. Long term exposure to lead or its salts can cause nephropathy, and colic-like abdominal pains.
  • Lead is a major constituent of the lead-acid battery used extensively in car batteries. It is used as a coloring element in ceramic glazes, notably in the colors red and yellow.
  • Lead is used to form glazing bars for stained glass or other multi-lit windows. The practice has become less common, not for danger but for stylistic reasons.
  • Lead is used as projectiles for firearms and fishing sinkers because of its density, low cost compared to alternative products and ease of use due to relatively low melting point.
  • Metallic lead does occur in nature, but it is rare. Lead is usually found in ore with zinc, silver and copper, and is extracted together with these metals. The main lead mineral is galena , which contains 86.6% lead. Other common varieties are cerussite and anglesite.
  • Worldwide production and consumption of lead is increasing. Total annual production is about 8 million tonnes; about half is produced from recycled scrap.
  • Top lead producing countries, as of 2008, are Australia, China, USA, Peru, Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Morocco, South Africa and North Korea.Australia, China and the United States account for more than half of primary production.

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