Lead is a dense metallic element that is extracted from the earth. This element has many common uses like plumbing, batteries, radiation shielding and solder. Lead is soft and is bluish-white in color. Lead is also added to paints and is used to make certain bullets. It has been used in plumbing pipes for corrosives. Lead is known to cause lead poisoning in humans. Today, paints, pipes and other things once made from this element are being created lead-free.
Lead has a very long history, and it was discovered in ancient times. It was used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese. The occurrence of lead in the atmosphere leads to it being extracted from the element galena. This element is represented by the symbol Pb. The atomic number that represents lead is 82. Lead contains 125 neutrons. Lead also contains protons and electrons, and it contains 82. Lead has an atomic mass of 207.2.
Lead pipes have been made for thousands of years, and Civil War rifle bullets were also made from lead. Lead is classified in the element group as a basic metal. This element is also mentioned in the Bible in the Book of Exodus. When lead is introduced to air it will turn a dull gray color. Lead can be used as a sound absorber and a vibration absorber. Some candle wicks contain lead. Lead is known to be the oldest metal studied by alchemists. The planet Saturn contains lead. Lead has poor electrical conductor properties. Lead compounds are used in insecticides. The native form of lead is quite rare.
If lead is inhaled or ingested by humans, then it becomes a health hazard by interfering with the red blood cells. In the United States, the use of lead is carefully controlled. In the United States, lead is used in building bridges to help resist climate and weather conditions. The top producer of lead is Australia, which has modern lead mines. These mines produce about 3 million metric tons of lead per year. Ores that are dug from underground mines, and lead is extracted from these ores. A variety of some 60 minerals contains some form of lead. When lead is being processed it can create air pollution. This creates problems with lead particles reaching the atmosphere, and that is why the production of lead is strictly controlled in the United States. Lead is also recycled and sold to the auto industry for making batteries.