RUSS LAPPA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RUSS LAPPA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lead, a heavy, dull grey, soft, ductile metal belonging to group IV of the periodic table. The main ore is galena (lead II sulphide), but other minor sources include anglesite (Lead II sulphate), cerussite (Lead II carbonate) and litharge (Lead II oxide). Lead has a variety of uses, including building construction, lead plate storage batteries, bullets and shot, and is a constituent of such alloys as solder, pewter, bearing metals, type metals and fusible alloys. Lead forms several compounds poisonous to humans and the metal itself is a cumulative toxin. Long- term exposure causes a gradual build-up of lead in the bones. Lead has the chemical symbol Pb.
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