|Name, symbol||lead, Pb|
|Lead in the periodic table|
|Standard atomic weight||207.2(1)|
|Element category||post-transition metal|
|Group, block||group 14 (carbon group), p-block|
|Electron configuration||[Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s2 6p2|
|per shell||2, 8, 18, 32, 18, 4|
|Melting point||600.61 K (327.46 °C, 621.43 °F)|
|Boiling point||2022 K (1749 °C, 3180 °F)|
|Density near r.t.||11.34 g·cm−3|
|liquid, at m.p.||10.66 g·cm−3|
|Heat of fusion||4.77 kJ·mol−1|
|Heat of vaporization||179.5 kJ·mol−1|
|Molar heat capacity||26.650 J·mol−1·K−1|
|Oxidation states||4, 3, 2, 1 (an Amphoteric oxide)|
|Electronegativity||Pauling scale: 1.87|
1st: 715.6 kJ·mol−1
2nd: 1450.5 kJ·mol−1
3rd: 3081.5 kJ·mol−1
|Atomic radius||empirical: 175 pm|
|Covalent radius||146±5 pm|
|Van der Waals radius||202 pm|
|Crystal structure||face-centered cubic (fcc)|
|Speed of sound thin rod, at r.t.||1190 m·s−1 (annealed)|
|Thermal expansion||28.9 µm·m−1·K−1 (at 25 °C)|
|Thermal conductivity||35.3 W·m−1·K−1|
|Electrical resistivity||at 20 °C: 208 nΩ·m|
|Young's modulus||16 GPa|
|Shear modulus||5.6 GPa|
|Bulk modulus||46 GPa|
|Brinell hardness||5.0 MPa (HB=38.3)|
|Discovery||Middle Easterns (7000 BCE)|
|Most stable isotopes|
|Decay modes in parentheses are predicted, but have not yet been observed|
Lead () is a chemical element in the carbon group with symbol Pb (from Latin: plumbum) and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable and heavy post-transition metal. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed to air. Lead has a shiny chrome-silver luster when it is melted into a liquid. It is also the heaviest non-radioactive element.
Lead is used in building construction, lead-acid batteries, bullets and shot, weights, as part of solders, pewters, fusible alloys, and as a radiation shield. Lead has the highest atomic number of all of the stable elements, although the next higher element, bismuth, has one isotope with a half-life that is so long (over one billion times the estimated age of the universe) that it can be considered stable. Lead's four stable isotopes have 82 protons, a magic number in the nuclear shell model of atomic nuclei. The isotope lead-208 also has 126 neutrons, another magic number, and is hence double magic, a property that grants it enhanced stability: lead-208 is the heaviest known stable isotope.
If ingested, lead is poisonous to animals and humans, damaging the nervous system and causing brain disorders. Excessive lead also causes blood disorders in mammals. Like the element mercury, another heavy metal, lead is a neurotoxin that accumulates both in soft tissues and the bones. Lead poisoning has been documented from ancient Rome, ancient Greece, and ancient China.
- Isotopes 1.1
- Chemical reactivity 1.2
- Oxides and sulfides 2.1
- Halides and other salts 2.2
- Organolead 2.3
- History 3
- Ore processing 4.1
- Production and recycling 4.2
- Ancient lead special use 4.3
- Elemental form 5.1
- Compounds 5.2
- Former applications 5.3
- Bioremediation 6
Health effects 7
- Biochemistry of poisoning 7.1
- See also 8
- References 9
- Bibliography 10
- Further reading 11
- External links 12
Lead is a bright and silvery metal with a very slight shade of blue in a dry atmosphere. Upon contact with air, it begins to tarnish by forming a complex mixture of compounds depending on the conditions. The color of the compounds can vary. The tarnish layer can contain significant amounts of carbonates and hydroxycarbonates. Lead's characteristic properties include high
|Periodic table (Large cells)|
- Lead at DMOZ
- Chemistry in its element podcast (MP3) from the Royal Society of Chemistry's Chemistry World: Lead
- Lead at The Periodic Table of Videos (University of Nottingham)
- Lead-Free Wheels
- National Lead Free Wheel Weight Initiative| Waste Minimization|Wastes|US EPA
- CDC - NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Lead
- Keisch, B.; Feller, R. L.; Levine, A. S.; Edwards, R. R. (1967). "Dating and Authenticating Works of Art by Measurement of Natural Alpha Emitters". Science 155 (3767): 1238–1242.
- Keisch, B (1968). "Dating Works of Art Through their Natural Radioactivity: Improvements and Applications". Science 160 (3826): 413–415.
- Keisch, B (1968). "Discriminating Radioactivity Measurements of Lead: New Tool for Authentication". Curator 11 (1): 41–52.
- Casas, Jose S.; Sordo, Jose, eds. (2006). Lead Chemistry, Analytical Aspects. Environmental Impacts and Health Effects. Elsevier.
- Lide, D. R., ed. (2004). CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (84th ed.). Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press.
- Polyanskiy, N. G. (1986). Fillipova, N. A, ed. Аналитическая химия элементов: Свинец [Analytical Chemistry of the Elements: Lead] (in Russian).
- Polyanskiy 1986, p. 18.
- Thurmer, K.; Williams, E; Reutt-Robey, J. (2002). "Autocatalytic Oxidation of Lead Crystallite Surfaces". Science 297 (5589): 2033–5.
- Tétreault, Jean; Sirois, Jane; Stamatopoulou, Eugénie (1998). "Studies of Lead Corrosion in Acetic Acid Environments". Studies in Conservation 43 (1): 17–32.
- Polyanskiy 1986, p. 14.
- Lide 2004, p. 12-220.
- Lide 2004, p. 4-13.
- Lide 2004, p. 12-219.
- Lide 2004, p. 12-35.
- Lide 2004, p. 12-37.
- Polyanskiy 1986, pp. 14–15.
- Polyanskiy 1986, p. 20.
- Charles, J.; Kopf, P. W.; Toby, S. (1966). "The Reaction of Pyrophoric Lead with Oxygen". Journal of Physical Chemistry 70 (5): 1478.
- Polyanskiy 1986, p. 16.
- G. Audi, A. H. Wapstra, C. Thibault, J. Blachot and O. Bersillon (2003). "The NUBASE evaluation of nuclear and decay properties".
- Polyanskiy 1986, p. 19.
- Polyanskiy 1986, p. 21.
- Polyanskiy 1986, p. 22.
- Polyanskiy 1986, p. 28.
- Lewis, Alison E. (2010). "Review of metal sulphide precipitation". Hydrometallurgy (http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hydromet.2010.06.010) 104 (2): 222–234.
- Silverman, M. S. (1966). "High-pressure (70-kilobar) Synthesis of New Crystalline Lead Dichalcogenides".
- Cava, R.J.; Hor, Y.S.; Cava, R.J. (2011). "Pressure Stabilized Se-Se Dimer Formation in PbSe2". Solid State Sciences 13: 38–41.
- Pauling, Linus (1947). General Chemistry. W.H. Freeman.
- Polyanskiy 1986, p. 32.
- Polyanskiy 1986, p. 33.
- Polyanskiy 1986, p. 34.
- Zuckerman, J. J.; Hagen, A. P. (1989). Inorganic Reactions and Methods, the Formation of Bonds to Halogens.
- Brady, James E.; Holum, John R. (1996). Descriptive Chemistry of the Elements. John Wiley and Sons.
- Polyanskiy 1986, p. 43.
- Windholz, Martha (1976). Merck Index of Chemicals and Drugs, 9th ed., monograph 8393. Merck.
- Polyanskiy 1986, p. 44.
- Hong, Sungmin; Candelone, Jean-Pierre; Patterson, Clair Cameron; Boutron, Claude F. (1994). "Greenland Ice Evidence of Hemispheric Lead Pollution Two Millennia Ago by Greek and Roman Civilizations". Science 265 (5180): 1841–1843.
- Heskel, Dennis L. (1983). "A Model for the Adoption of Metallurgy in the Ancient Middle East". Current Anthropology 24 (3): 362–366.
- A Sample Analsis of British Middle and Late Bronze Age Material, using Optical Spectrometry. pp. 193–197.
- Callataÿ, François de (2005). "The Graeco-Roman Economy in the Super Long-Run: Lead, Copper, and Shipwrecks". Journal of Roman Archaeology 18: 361–372 (361–365).
- Settle, Dorothy M.; Patterson, Clair C. (1980). "Lead in Albacore: Guide to Lead Pollution in Americans". Science 207 (4436): 1167–1176. see 1170f.
- Squatriti, Paolo, ed. (2000). Working with water in medieval Europe : technology and resource use. Leiden: Brill. pp. 134 ff.
- Adam, Jean Pierre; Mathews, Anthony (2003-12-02). Roman Building: Materials and Techniques. p. 100.
- Polyanskiy 1986, p. 8.
- Peter van der Krogt (2000–2010). "Elements Multidict". Elementymology & Elements Multidict. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
- "lead". vanderkrogt.net. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
- Anil Ananthaswamy (Aug 2, 2013). "Giant clouds of lead glimpsed on distant dwarf stars". New Scientist.
- Holleman, Arnold F.; Wiberg, Egon; Wiberg, Nils; (1985). "Blei". Lehrbuch der Anorganischen Chemie (in German) (91–100 ed.). Walter de Gruyter. pp. 801–810.
- Charles A. Sutherland, Edward F. Milner, Robert C. Kerby, Herbert Teindl, Albert Melin Hermann M. Bolt "Lead" in Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry, 2005, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim. doi:10.1002/14356007.a15_193.pub2
- "Primary Extraction of Lead Technical Notes". LDA International. Archived from the original on 22 March 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
- "Primary Lead Refining Technical Notes". LDA International. Archived from the original on 22 March 2007. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
- "Global InfoMine – Lead Mining". GlobalInfoMine. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
- "Lead Information". LDA International. Archived from the original on 2007-08-27. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
- "Mine Production: 4,117,000 tonnes; Metal Production: 9,604,000 tonnes; Metal Usage: 9,569,000 tonnes" from "Lead and Zinc Statistics". International Lead and Zinc Study Group. Retrieved 2011-09-26. (See also their definitions of terms.)
- Reilly, Michael (May 26, 2007). "How Long Will it Last?". New Scientist 194 (2605): 38–39.
- Brown, Lester (2006). Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble. New York: W.W. Norton. p. 109.
- "Metal stocks in Society – Scientific Synthesis". International Resource Panel. Retrieved 2012-07-02.
- "A history of pencils". www.pencils.com. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
- Evans, John W. (1908). "V.— the Meanings and Synonyms of Plumbago". Transactions of the Philological Society 26 (2): 133.
- Rooney, Corinne. "Contamination at Shooting Ranges" (PDF). The Lead Group, incorporated. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
- "Lead Ballast". Lead Ballast. Lead Ballast. 2007. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- "Lead Shot Ballast". Lead Shot Ballast. Lead Shot Ballast. 2007. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
- Getting the Lead Out: Impacts of and Alternatives For Automotive Lead Uses, A report by Environmental Defense, Ecology Center, Clean Car Campaign (July 2003)
- Crompton., T.R. (2000). Battery reference book. Oxford, England: Newnes. pp. 18/2–18/4.
- Stellman, Jeanne Mager (1998). Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety. International Labour Organization. pp. 81.2–81.4.
- Structural shielding design for medical X-ray imaging facilities.. Bethesda, MD: National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement. 2004. pp. 16–17.
- Tuček, Kamil; Carlsson, Johan; Wider, Hartmut (2006). "Comparison of sodium and lead-cooled fast reactors regarding reactor physics aspects, severe safety and economical issues". Nuclear Engineering and Design 236 (14–16): 1589.
- Hong, Youlian and Bartlett, Roger, ed. (2008). Routledge Handbook of Biomechanics and Human Movement Science. London: Routledge. p. 250.
- Guruswamy, Sivaraman (2000). Engineering properties and applications of lead alloys. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker. p. 31.
- Lansdown, Richard and Yule, William, ed. (1986). The Lead debate : the environment, toxicology, and child health. London: Croom Helm. p. 240.
- Audsley, George Ashdown (1988-04-01). The Art of Organ Building 2. pp. 250–251.
- Palmieri, Robert, ed. (2006). The Organ. New York u.a.: Garland. pp. 412–413.
- http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/f83-069 Evans, R. Douglas; Rigler, Frank H. (1983). "A Test of Lead-210 Dating for the Measurement of Whole Lake Soft Sediment Accumulation". Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 40 (4): 506–515.
- "Dating of Sediments using Lead-210". dhigroup.com. DHI. Retrieved 2012-07-03.
- Noller, Jay Stratton (2000). "Lead-210 Geochronology". Quaternary Geochronology: Methods and Applications. pp. 115–120.
- Zweifel, Hans (2009). Plastics Additives Handbook. Hanser Verlag. p. 438.
- Wilkes, C. E.; Summers, J. W.; Daniels, C. A.; Berard, M. T. (2005). PVC handbook. München: Hanser. p. 106.
- Randerson, James (June 2002). "Candle pollution". NewScientist.com (2348). Retrieved 2007-04-07.
- Nriagu, J; Kim, MJ (2000). "Emissions of lead and zinc from candles with metal-core wicks". The Science of the Total Environment 250 (1–3): 37–41.
- Amstock, Joseph S. (1997). Handbook of glass in construction. McGraw-Hill Professional. pp. 116–119.
- "Applications for Lead". Retrieved 7 April 2007.
- Nakashima, T; Matsuno, K; Matsushita, T (2007). "Lifestyle-determined gender and hierarchical differences in the lead contamination of bones from a feudal town of the Edo period". Journal of occupational health 49 (2): 134–9.
- Nakashima, Tamiji; Hayashi, Haruki; Tashiro, Hiraku; Matsushita, Takayuki (1998). "Gender and Hierarchical Differences in Lead-Contaminated Japanese Bone from the Edo Period". Journal of Occupational Health 40: 55.
- Ashikari, Mikiko (2003). "The memory of the women's white faces: Japaneseness and the ideal image of women". Japan Forum 15: 55.
- Hernberg, S (2000). "Lead poisoning in a historical perspective". American journal of industrial medicine 38 (3): 244–54.
- "Lead replacement petrol phase-out – Information to motorists". Department for Transport (gov.uk). Archived from the original on 2009-05-20.
- "National phase out of leaded petrol: Some questions and answers". Department of the Environment and Heritage, Australian Government. 2001.
- "Oregon Stations Phase Out Use of Leaded Gasoline.(Originated from The Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore.)". Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. 4 October 1995. Retrieved 23 September 2008.
- Seyferth, Dietmar (2003). "The Rise and Fall of Tetraethyllead. 2". Organometallics 22 (25): 5154. doi:10.1021/om030621b.
- "Lood en zinkemissies door jacht" (PDF) (in Dutch). April 2010.
- Henkels, W. H.; Geppert, L. M.; Kadlec, J.; Epperlein, P. W.; Beha, H.; Chang, W. H.; Jaeckel, H. (September 1985). "Josephson 4 K-bit cache memory design for a prototype signal processor". Journal of Applied Physics (ISSN 0021-8979) (Harvard University) 58 (6): 2371.
- Tollestrup, Kristine; Daling, Janet R.; Allard, Jack (1995). "Mortality in a Cohort of Orchard Workers Exposed to Lead Arsenate Pesticide Spray". Archives of Environmental Health: an International Journal 50 (3): 221.
- Burney, William (1830). A New Universal Dictionary of the Marine: Being, a Copious Explanation of the Technical Terms and Phrases ... With Such Parts of Astronomy, and Navigation, as Will be Found Useful to Practical Navigators. ... Together with Separate Views of the Masts, Yards, Sails, and Rigging. To which is Annexed a Vocabulary of French Sea-phrases and Terms of Art. p. 490.
- Kris S. Freeman (January 2012). "Remediating Soil Lead with Fishbones". Environmental Health Perspectives 120 (1): a20–a21.
- Bairagi, HImadri; Motiar Khan; Lalitagauri Ray; Arun Guha (February 2011). "Adsorption proﬁle of lead on Aspergillus versicolor: A mechanistic probing". Journal of Hazardous Materials 186 (1).
- Jin Hee Park; Nanthi Bolan; Mallavarapu Meghara; Ravi Naidu; Jae Woo Chung (2011). "Bacterial-Assisted Immobilization of Lead in Soils: Implications for Remediation". Pedologist: 162–174.
- "Lead in Air".
- Golub, Mari S., ed. (2005). "Summary". Metals, fertility, and reproductive toxicity. Boca Raton, Fla.: Taylor and Francis. p. 153.
- "ToxFAQs: CABS/Chemical Agent Briefing Sheet: Lead". Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry/Division of Toxicology and Environmental Medicine. 2006. Archived from the original on 2010-03-04.
- Bergeson, Lynn L. (2008). "The proposed lead NAAQS: Is consideration of cost in the clean air act's future?". Environmental Quality Management 18: 79.
- Heavy Metals Testing By Usp. Caspharma.com. Retrieved on 2012-01-23.
- pharmaceutical – Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Britannica.com. Retrieved on 2012-01-23.
- Jagadish Prasad, P. (2010). Conceptual Pharmacology. Universities Press. p. 652.
- Hu, Howard (1991). "Knowledge of diagnosis and reproductive history among survivors of childhood plumbism".
- "NIOSH Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance". United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Retrieved 2007-10-04.
- "Download: Lead paint: Cautionary note". Queensland Government. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
- "Lead Paint Information". Master Painters, Australia. Archived from the original on 2008-02-12. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
- Smith, Donald R.; Flegal, A. Russell. "Lead in the Biosphere: Recent Trends".
- Grandjean, P. (1978). "Widening perspectives of lead toxicity". Environmental Research 17 (2): 303–321.
- Levin, R.; Brown, M. J.; Kashtock, M. E. et al. (2008). "Lead Exposures in U.S. Children, 2008: Implications for Prevention". Environmental Health Perspectives 116 (10): 1285–1293.
- Marino, P. E.; Landrigan, P. J.; Graef, J.; Nussbaum, A.; Bayan, G.; Boch, K.; Boch, S. (1990). "A case report of lead paint poisoning during renovation of a Victorian farmhouse". American Journal of Public Health 80 (10): 1183–1185.
- "CPG Sec. 545.450 Pottery (Ceramics); Import and Domestic – Lead Contamination". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
- Angier, Natalie (August 21, 2007). "The Pernicious Allure of Lead". New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
- Cohen, Alan R.; Trotzky, Margret S.; Pincus, Diane (1981). "Reassessment of the Microcytic Anemia of Lead Poisoning". Pediatrics 67 (6): 904–906.
- Laurence, D. R. (1966). Clinical Pharmacology(Third Edition).
- "Toxic Substances Portal – Lead". Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry.
- "Case Studies in Environmental Medicine Lead (Pb) Toxicity: How are People Exposed to Lead?". Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06.
- "Information for the Community Lead Toxicity". Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
- Moore, Michael R. (1977). "Lead in drinking water in soft water areas—health hazards". Science of the Total Environment 7 (2): 109–15.
- Adult Blood Lead Epidemiology and Surveillance
- Lead-Free Toys Act
- Medical geology
- RoHS directive
- Banning of leaded petrol
Exposure to lead and lead chemicals can occur through inhalation, ingestion and dermal contact. Most exposure occurs through ingestion or inhalation; in the U.S. the skin exposure is unlikely as leaded gasoline additives are no longer used. Lead exposure is a global issue as lead mining and lead smelting are common in many countries. Most countries had stopped using lead-containing gasoline by 2007. Lead exposure mostly occurs through ingestion. Lead paint is the major source of lead exposure for children. As lead paint deteriorates, it peels, is pulverized into dust and then enters the body through hand-to-mouth contact or through contaminated food, water or alcohol. Ingesting certain home remedy medicines may also expose people to lead or lead compounds. Lead can be ingested through fruits and vegetables contaminated by high levels of lead in the soils they were grown in. Soil is contaminated through particulate accumulation from lead in pipes, lead paint and residual emissions from leaded gasoline that was used before the Environment Protection Agency issued the regulation around 1980. The use of lead for water pipes is problematic in areas with soft or (and) acidic water. Hard water forms insoluble layers in the pipes while soft and acidic water dissolves the lead pipes. Inhalation is the second major pathway of exposure, especially for workers in lead-related occupations. Almost all inhaled lead is absorbed into the body, the rate is 20–70% for ingested lead; children absorb more than adults. Dermal exposure may be significant for a narrow category of people working with organic lead compounds, but is of little concern for general population. The rate of skin absorption is also low for inorganic lead.
In the human body, lead inhibits porphobilinogen synthase and ferrochelatase, preventing both porphobilinogen formation and the incorporation of iron into protoporphyrin IX, the final step in heme synthesis. This causes ineffective heme synthesis and subsequent microcytic anemia. At lower levels, it acts as a calcium analog, interfering with ion channels during nerve conduction. This is one of the mechanisms by which it interferes with cognition. Acute lead poisoning is treated using disodium calcium edetate: the calcium chelate of the disodium salt of ethylene-diamine-tetracetic acid (EDTA). This chelating agent has a greater affinity for lead than for calcium and so the lead chelate is formed by exchange. This is then excreted in the urine leaving behind harmless calcium. According to the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, a small amount of ingested lead (1%) will store itself in bones, and the rest will be excreted by an adult through urine and feces within a few weeks of exposure. However, only about 32% of lead will be excreted by a child.
Biochemistry of poisoning
Lead salts used in pottery glazes have on occasion caused poisoning, when acidic drinks, such as fruit juices, have leached lead ions out of the glaze. It has been suggested that what was known as "Devon colic" arose from the use of lead-lined presses to extract apple juice in the manufacture of cider. Lead is considered to be particularly harmful for women's ability to reproduce. Lead(II) acetate (also known as sugar of lead) was used in the Roman Empire as a sweetener for wine, and some consider this a plausible explanation for the dementia of many Roman emperors, and that chronic lead poisoning contributed to the empire's gradual decline. (see Decline of the Roman Empire#Lead poisoning)
During the 20th century, the use of lead in paint pigments was sharply reduced because of the danger of lead poisoning, especially to children. By the mid-1980s, a significant shift in lead end-use patterns had taken place. Much of this shift was a result of the U.S. lead consumers' compliance with environmental regulations that significantly reduced or eliminated the use of lead in non-battery products, including gasoline, paints, solders, and water systems. Lead use is being further curtailed by the European Union's RoHS directive. Lead may still be found in harmful quantities in stoneware, vinyl (such as that used for tubing and the insulation of electrical cords), and Chinese brass. Old houses may still contain substantial amounts of lead paint. White lead paint has been withdrawn from sale in industrialized countries, but the yellow lead chromate is still in use. Old paint should not be stripped by sanding, as this produces inhalable dust.
The concern about lead's role in cognitive deficits in children has brought about widespread reduction in its use (lead exposure has been linked to learning disabilities). Most cases of adult elevated blood lead levels are workplace-related. High blood levels are associated with delayed puberty in girls. Lead has been shown many times to permanently reduce the cognitive capacity of children at extremely low levels of exposure.
|Fire diamond for lead granules|
Fish bones are being researched for their ability to bioremediate lead in contaminated soil. The fungus Aspergillus versicolor is both greatly effective and fast, at removing lead ions. Several bacteria have been researched for their ability to reduce lead; including the sulfate reducing bacteria Desulfovibrio and Desulfotomaculum; which are highly effective in aqueous solutions.
Lead was also used in pesticides before the 1950s, when fruit orchards were treated especially against the codling moth. A lead cylinder attached to a long line was used by sailors for the vital navigational task of determining water depth by heaving the lead at regular intervals. A soft tallow insert at its base allowed the nature of the sea bed to be determined, further aiding position finding.
Lead was a component of the paint used on children's toys – now restricted in the United States and across Europe (ROHS Directive). Lead solder was used as a car body filler, which was used in many custom cars in the 1940s–60s; hence the term Leadsled. Lead is a superconductor with a transition temperature of 7.2 K, and therefore IBM tried to make a Josephson effect computer out of a lead alloy.
Lead was used to make bullets for slings. Lead is used for shotgun pellets (shot). Waterfowl hunting in the US with lead shot is illegal and it has been replaced with steel and other non-toxic shot for that purpose. In the Netherlands, the use of lead shot for hunting and sport shooting was banned in 1993, which caused a large drop in lead emission, from 230 tonnes in 1990 to 47.5 tonnes in 1995, two years after the ban.
Tetraethyllead was used in leaded fuels to reduce engine knocking, but this practice has been phased out across many countries of the world in efforts to reduce toxic pollution that affected humans and the environment.
Lead was the principal component of the alloy used in hot metal typesetting. It was used for plumbing (hence the name) as well as a preservative for food and drink in Ancient Rome. Until the early 1970s, lead was used for joining cast iron water pipes and used as a material for small diameter water pipes.
Lead pigments were used in lead paint for white as well as yellow, orange, and red. Most uses have been discontinued due to the dangers of lead poisoning. Beginning April 22, 2010, US federal law requires that contractors performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb more than six square feet of paint in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 must be certified and trained to follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Lead chromate is still in industrial use. Lead carbonate (white) is the traditional pigment for the priming medium for oil painting, but it has been largely displaced by the zinc and titanium oxide pigments. It was also quickly replaced in water-based painting mediums. Lead carbonate white was used by the Japanese geisha and in the West for face-whitening make-up, which was detrimental to health.
Some artists using oil-based paints continue to use lead carbonate white, citing its properties in comparison with the alternatives. Tetra-ethyl lead is used as an anti-knock additive for aviation fuel in piston-driven aircraft. Lead-based semiconductors, such as lead telluride, lead selenide and lead antimonide are finding applications in photovoltaic (solar energy) cells and infrared detectors.
Lead is used in some candles to treat the wick to ensure a longer, more even burn. Because of the dangers, European and North American manufacturers use more expensive alternatives such as zinc. Lead glass is composed of 12–28% lead oxide. It changes the optical characteristics of the glass and reduces the transmission of radiation.
Lead compounds are used as a coloring element in ceramic glazes, notably in the colors red and yellow. Lead is frequently used in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, which coats electrical cords.
Lead has many uses in the construction industry (e.g., lead sheets are used as architectural metals in roofing material, cladding, flashing, gutters and gutter joints, and on roof parapets). Detailed lead moldings are used as decorative motifs used to fix lead sheet. Lead is still widely used in statues and sculptures. Lead is often used to balance the wheels of a car; this use is being phased out in favor of other materials for environmental reasons. Owing to its half-life of 22.20 years, the radioactive isotope 210Pb is used for dating material from marine sediment cores by radiometric methods.
Lead is added to tin to control the tone of the pipe.
Pb + SO2−
4 → PbSO4 + 2e–
PbO2 + 4 H+ + SO2−
4 + 2e– → PbSO4 + 2 H2O
Because of its high density and corrosion resistance, lead is used for the ballast keel of sailboats. Its high density allows it to counterbalance the heeling effect of wind on the sails while at the same time occupying a small volume and thus offering the least underwater resistance. For the same reason it is used in scuba diving weight belts to counteract the diver's natural buoyancy and that of his equipment. It does not have the weight-to-volume ratio of many heavy metals, but its low cost increases its use in these and other applications.
Lead is used in applications where its low melting point, ductility and high density are advantageous. The low melting point makes casting of lead easy, and therefore small arms ammunition and shotgun pellets can be cast with minimal technical equipment. It is also inexpensive and denser than other common metals.
Contrary to popular belief, pencil leads in wooden pencils have never been made from lead. The term comes from the Roman stylus, called the penicillus, a small brush used for painting. When the pencil originated as a wrapped graphite writing tool, the particular type of graphite being used was named plumbago (lit. act for lead, or lead mockup).
Lead when mined contains an unstable isotope, lead-210, which has a half life of 22 years. This makes lead slightly radioactive. As such ancient lead which has almost no radioactivity is sometimes desired for scientific experimentation.
Ancient lead special use
At current use rates, the supply of lead is estimated to run out in 42 years. Environmental analyst Lester Brown has suggested lead could run out within 18 years based on an extrapolation of 2% growth per year. This may need to be reviewed to take account of renewed interest in recycling, and rapid progress in fuel cell technology. According to the International Resource Panel's Metal Stocks in Society report, the global per capita stock of lead in use in society is 8 kg. Much of this is in more-developed countries (20–150 kg per capita) rather than less-developed countries (1–4 kg per capita).
Production and consumption of lead is increasing worldwide. Total annual production is about 8 million tonnes; about half is produced from recycled scrap. The 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. In 2010, 9.6 million tonnes of lead were produced, of which 4.1 million tonnes came from mining.
Production and recycling
Metallic lead that results from the roasting and blast furnace processes still contains significant contaminants of arsenic, antimony, bismuth, zinc, copper, silver, and gold. The melt is treated in a 
Most ores contain less than 10% lead, and ores containing as little as 3% lead can be economically exploited. Ores are crushed and concentrated by  Additional layers separate in the process and float to the top of the metallic lead. These are slag (silicates containing 1.5% lead), matte (sulfides containing 15% lead), and speiss (arsenides of iron and copper). These wastes contain concentrations of copper, zinc, cadmium, and bismuth that can be recovered economically, as can their content of unreduced lead.
Metallic lead does occur in nature, but it is rare. Lead is usually found in ore with zinc, silver and (most abundantly) copper, and is extracted together with these metals. The main lead mineral is galena (PbS), which contains 86.6% lead by weight. Other common varieties are cerussite (PbCO3) and anglesite (PbSO4).
Lead production in the US commenced as early as the late 1600s by Indians in The Southeast Missouri Lead District, commonly called the Lead Belt, is a lead mining district in the southeastern part of Missouri. Significant among Missouri's lead mining concerns in the district was the Desloge Family and Desloge Consolidated Lead Company in Desloge, Missouri and Bonne Terre – having been active in lead trading, mining and lead smelting from 1823 in Potosi to 1929.
Up to the 17th century, tin was often not distinguished from lead: lead was called plumbum nigrum (literally, "black lead"), while tin was called plumbum candidum (literally, "bright lead"). Their inherence through history can also be seen in other languages: the word "ołów" in Polish and "olovo" in Czech mean lead, but in Russian the cognate "олово" (olovo) means tin. Lead's symbol Pb is an abbreviation of its Latin name plumbum for soft metals; the English words "plumbing", "plumber", "plumb", and "plumb-bob" also derive from this Latin root.
Roman lead pipes often bore the insignia of Roman emperors (see Roman lead pipe inscriptions). Lead plumbing in the Latin West may have been continued beyond the age of Theoderic the Great into the medieval period. Many Roman "pigs" (ingots) of lead figure in Derbyshire lead mining history and in the history of the industry in other English centers. The Romans also used lead in molten form to secure iron pins that held together large limestone blocks in certain monumental buildings. In alchemy, lead was thought to be the oldest metal and was associated with the planet Saturn. Alchemists accordingly used Saturn's symbol (the scythe, ♄) to refer to lead.
The largest preindustrial producer of lead was the Roman economy, with an estimated annual output of 80,000 tonnes, which was typically won as a by-product of extensive silver smelting. Roman mining activities occurred in Central Europe, Roman Britain, the Balkans, Greece, Asia Minor and Hispania which alone accounted for 40% of world production.
Lead has been commonly used for thousands of years because it is widespread, easy to extract and easy to work with. It is highly malleable as well as easy to smelt. Metallic lead beads dating back to 6400 BCE have been found in Çatalhöyük in modern-day Turkey. In the early Bronze Age, lead was used with antimony and arsenic.
Lead readily forms an tetraethyllead. The Pb–C bond energies in TML and TEL are only 167 and 145 kJ/mol; the compounds thus decompose upon heating, with first signs of TEL composition seen at 100 °C (210 °F). The pyrolysis yields elemental lead and alkyl radicals; their interreaction causes the synthesis of HEDL. TML and TEL also decompose upon exposure to sunlight or UV light. In the presence of chlorine, the alkyls begin to be replaced with chlorides; the R2PbCl2 in the presence of HCl (a by-product of the previous reaction) leads to the complete mineralization to give PbCl2. Reaction with bromine follows the same principle.
 The best-known compounds are the two simplest
The metal is not attacked by sulfuric or hydrochloric acids. It dissolves in nitric acid with the evolution of nitric oxide gas to form dissolved Pb(NO3)2. It is a well-soluble solid in water; it is thus a key to receive the precipitates of halides, sulfate, chromate, carbonate, and basic carbonate Pb3(OH)2(CO3)2 salts of lead.
Other dihalides are obtained upon heating lead(II) salts with the halides of other metals; lead dihalides precipitate to give white orthorhombic crystals (diiodide forms yellow hexagonal crystals). They can also be obtained by direct reaction of their constituent elements at temperature exceeding melting points of dihalides. Their solubility increases with temperature; adding more halides first decreases the solubility, but then increases due to complexation, with the maximum coordination number being 6. The complexation depends on halide ion numbers, atomic number of the alkali metal, the halide of which is added, temperature and solution ionic strength. The tetrachloride is obtained upon dissolving the dioxide in hydrochloric acid; to prevent the exothermic decomposition, it is kept under concentrated sulfuric acid. The tetrabromide may not, and the tetraiodide definitely does not exist. The diastatide has also been prepared.
Heating lead carbonate with hydrogen fluoride yields the hydrofluoride, which decomposes to the difluoride when it melts. This white crystalline powder is more soluble than the diiodide, but less than the dibromide and the dichloride. The tetrafluoride, a yellow crystalline powder, is unstable.
Halides and other salts
- 2 PbO + PbS → 3 Pb + SO2
Reaction of lead salts with hydrogen sulfide yields lead monosulfide. The solid has the rocksalt-like simple cubic structure, which it keeps up to the melting point, 1114 °C (2037 °F). When heated in air, it oxidizes to the sulfate and then the monoxide. Lead monosulfide is almost insoluble in water and weak acids; however, it dissolves in nitric and hydrochloric acids, to give elemental sulfur and hydrogen sulfide, respectively. Upon heating under high pressures with sulfur, it gives the disulfide. In the compound, the lead atoms are linked octahedrally with the sulfur atoms. It is also a semiconductor. A mixture of the monoxide and the monosulfide when heated forms the metal.
The dioxide may be prepared by, for example, halogenization of lead(II) salts. Regardless the polymorph, it has a black-brown color. The alpha allotrope is rhombohedral, and the beta allotrope is tetragonal. Both allotropes are black-brown in color and always contain some water, which cannot be removed, as heating also causes decomposition (to PbO and Pb3O4). The dioxide is a powerful oxidizer: it can oxidize hydrochloric and sulfuric acids. It does not react with alkaline solution, but reacts with solid alkalis to give hydroxyplumbates, or with basic oxides to give plumbates.
Three oxides are known: lead(II) oxide or lead monoxide (PbO), lead tetroxide (Pb3O4) (sometimes called "minium"), and lead dioxide (PbO2). The monoxide exists as two allotropes: α-PbO and β-PbO, both with layer structure and tetracoordinated lead. The alpha polymorph is red-colored and has the Pb–O distance of 230 pm; the beta polymorph is yellow-colored and has the Pb–O distance of 221 and 249 pm (due to asymmetry). Both polymorphs can exist under standard conditions (beta with small (10−5 relative) impurities, such as Si, Ge, Mo, etc.). PbO reacts with acids to form salts, and with alkalis to give plumbites, [Pb(OH)3]− or [Pb(OH)4]2−. The monoxide oxidizes in air to trilead tetroxide, which at 550 °C (1020 °F) degrades back into PbO.
Oxides and sulfides
Lead compounds exist mainly in two main oxidation states, +2 and +4. The former is more common. Inorganic lead(IV) compounds are typically strong oxidants or exist only in highly acidic solutions.
Fluorine does not oxidize cold lead. Hot lead can be oxidized, but the formation of a protective halide layer lowers the intensity of the reaction above 100 °C (210 °F). The reaction with chlorine is similar: thanks to the chloride layer, lead persistence against chlorine surpasses that of copper or steel up to 300 °C (570 °F).
Lead is classified as a post-transition metal and is also a member of the carbon group. Massive lead forms a protective oxide layer, but finely powdered highly purified lead can ignite in air. Melted lead is oxidized in air to lead monoxide. All chalcogens oxidize lead upon heating.
Aside from the stable ones, thirty-four radioisotopes have been synthesized: they have mass numbers of 178–215. Lead-205 is the most stable radioisotope of lead, with a half-life of over 107 years. 47 nuclear isomers (long-lived excited nuclear states), corresponding to 24 lead isotopes, have been characterized. The most long-lived isomer is lead-204m2 (half-life of about 1.1 hours).
Lead occurs naturally on Earth exclusively in the form of four observationally stable isotopes: lead-204, -206, -207, and -208. All four could theoretically undergo alpha decay with release of energy, but this has not been observed for any of them. Three of these isotopes also found in three of the four major decay chains: lead-206, -207 and -208 are final decay products of uranium-238, uranium-235, and thorium-232, respectively. Since the amounts of them in nature depend also on other elements' presence, the isotopic composition of natural lead varies by sample: in particular, the relative amount of lead-206 varies between 20.84% and 27.78%.
The figures for electrode potential show that lead is only slightly easier to oxidize than hydrogen. Lead thus can dissolve in acids, but this is often impossible due to specific problems (such as the formation of insoluble salts). Powdered lead burns with a bluish-white flame. As with many metals, finely divided powdered lead exhibits pyrophoricity. Toxic fumes are released when lead is burned.
A lead atom has 82 electrons, having an electronic configuration of [Xe]4f145d106s26p2. In its compounds, lead (unlike the other group 14 elements) most commonly loses its two and not four outermost electrons, becoming lead(II) ions, Pb2+. Such unusual behavior is rationalized by considering the inert pair effect, which occurs because of the stabilization of the 6s-orbital due to relativistic effects, which are stronger closer to the bottom of the periodic table. Tin shows a weaker such effect: tin(II) is still a reducer.
Lead has only one common allotrope, which is face-centered cubic, with the lead–lead distance being 349 pm. At 327.5 °C (621.5 °F), lead melts; the melting point is above that of tin (232 °C, 449.5 °F), but significantly below that of germanium (938 °C, 1721 °F). The boiling point of lead is 1749 °C (3180 °F), which is below those of both tin (2602 °C, 4716 °F) and germanium (2833 °C, 5131 °F). Densities increase down the group: the Ge and Sn values (5.23 and 7.29 g·cm−3, respectively) are significantly below that of lead: 11.32 g·cm−3.
Various traces of other metals change its properties significantly: the addition of small amounts of antimony or copper to lead increases the alloy's hardness and improves corrosion resistance to sulfuric acid. Some other metals, such as cadmium, tin, and tellurium, also improve hardness and fight metal fatigue. Sodium and calcium also have this ability, but they reduce the alloy's chemical stability. Finally, zinc and bismuth simply impair the corrosion resistance (0.1% bismuth content is the industrial usage threshold). Conversely, lead impurities mostly worsen the quality of industrial materials, although there are exceptions: for example, small amounts of lead improve the ductility of steel.