What is lead? Lead is probably one of the most common types of elements in the periodic table. Aside from being common, lead is also very essential in a lot of things. Nevertheless, we could not really expect every one of us to know the details about this very useful element. This is the reason why it is necessary for us to know more about lead in order for us to utilize well its benefits. Here are some of the interesting facts about lead.
First of all, lead is defined as a soft, malleable, dense and ductile metallic element. Its original color is bluish white and is commonly extracted from galena and is mostly found in ore along with other elements such as zinc, copper and silver. Other forms of lead minerals include anglesite, minim and cerussite. Lead is also classified under the “other metals” category in the periodic table, which is located in the 13th, 14th and 15th groups of the Periodic Table. Lead was first discovered during the ancient times and was already used by many ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Romans and even Chinese. Scientists were even considering the fact that lead is the oldest element and is also associated with the planet Saturn. Its name originated from the Greek word protos, which means first. Its chemical symbol, Pb came from the Latin word plumbum, which also means lead in English. This is where the term Plumbism is derived, which is a medical term for an overdose or poisoning of lead. However, up to now, lead is still widely used by many people most especially in plumbing, soldering, batteries, and radiation shields. Other uses of lead include uses for fishing weights and for electrodes. In addition to these, lead compounds are also seen in paints and insecticides.
The atomic number of lead is 82. Its atomic mass is 207.2 amu and its melting point is 327.5 degrees Celsius, while its boiling point is 1,740 degrees Celsius. Aside from these, the element lead is also added to gasoline or petrol in the form of tetraethyl lead. This is used because it does have a smooth combustion, which enables the car to run better. However, some countries are already banning the use of lead for this purpose since it can cause toxic effects to the environment as soon as it is being emitted.
These are just some of the facts and details about the element, lead. It is pretty obvious that lead can be used in a lot of ways, however, it is also very important that we all know how to use this kind of element wisely in order to have lesser bad effects to our health and environment.