Lead (Pb)

Lead (Pb)

Known as one of the oldest metals, native lead rarely occurs naturally. The most common lead-containing minerals are galena, anglesite, cerussite, and minim.

Lead is shiny, bluish-white, and very soft. It's highly malleable, ductile, and conducts electricity poorly. Natural lead is a mixture of four stable isotopes, all from the decay of naturally occurring radioactive elements.

The metal is used in solder, cable covering, plumbing, and ammunition, and as a radiation shield for X-ray equipment and nuclear reactors. Lead compounds are used in batteries, paints, crystal, and flint glass. It's also a cumulative poison and must be handled with care.

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