Rizescu, Cristiana; Cirstea, Elena
April 2008
Metalurgia International;2008, Vol. 13 Issue 4, p56
Academic Journal
Lead is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Pb (Latin: plumbum) and atomic number 82. A soft, heavy, toxic and malleable poor metal, lead is bluish white when freshly cut but tarnishes to dull gray when exposed to air. Lead is used in building construction, lead-acid batteries, bullets and shot, and is part of solder, pewter, and fusible alloys. 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 which accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time. Lead is a poisonous metal that can damage nervous connections (especially in young children) and cause blood and brain disorders. Long term exposure to lead or its salts (especially soluble salts or the strong oxidant PbO2) can cause nephropathy, and colic-like abdominal pains.


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