What is Lead? – Definition, Characteristics, and More
Lead is a well-known bluish-gray metal that exists naturally in small quantities in the Earth’s crust. It widely distributes in the environment.
Most of it comes from activities like mining, industrial manufacturing, and burning fossil fuels.
Lead has many different uses.
It is in the manufacture of batteries, ammunition, metal products (solders and pipes), and in X-ray protection sheets.
Due to public health concerns, the amount of it in paints and ceramics and soldering materials has decreased considerably in recent years.
The use of it as an additive for gasoline banned since 1996 it is a chemical element on the periodic table, whose symbol is Pb (from the Latin Plumbum) and its atomic number is 82 according to the current table
What are the Characteristics?
- It is a soft and heavy bluish-gray metal, and it quickly cut with a knife.
- It is laminated and stretched by extrusion, but small amounts of arsenic, antimony, copper, and alkaline earth metals increase its hardness.
- Its resistance to atmospheric corrosion and acid attack makes it very useful.
- The whose atomic weight 207.21 is in group four of the periodic table and the subgroup containing germanium and tin.
- It form alloy with many metals, and is generally used in this form in most of its applications. It is toxic, and poisoning is called lead poisoning or plumbous.
What are the Uses of Lead?
Its use as a cover for cables, be it for telephone, television, internet or electricity, is still a suitable form of employment.
It’s unique flexibility makes it particularly suitable for this application because it can stretch to form a continuous liner around the internal conductors.
The use of it in synthetic or artificial pigments has been essential, but it is decreasing in volume.
The pigments that used most frequently and in which this element is involved are:
- Lead white (also known as albayalde)
- Lead chromates
- Basic lead sulfate
- Lead Tetroxide (also known as minium)
- Lead silicatene (best known in the soft steel industry)
A wide variety of its compounds, such as silicates, carbonates, and organic acid salts, are used as stabilizers against heat and light for polyvinyl chloride plastics.
It silicates are used in the manufacture of glass and ceramic fritters (enamels), which are useful for introducing it into a glass and ceramic finishes.
What are the effects ?
Lead ingested in any of its forms is highly toxic.
- Its effects usually felt after accumulating in the body over some time. The symptoms of poisoning are anemia, weakness, constipation, and paralysis in the wrists and ankles.
- It can enter the fetus through the mother’s placenta. Because of this, it can cause severe damage to the nervous system and the brain of unborn children.
- Lead can enter drinking water through the corrosion of pipes.
- Flakes of lead-based paint and toys made of its compounds considered to be very dangerous for children, for whom it is especially harmful, even at levels previously considered harmless.
- Decreased intelligence, delayed motor development, memory impairment, and hearing and balance problems can occur. In adults, it can increase blood pressure.
- In men, it decreases fertility through damage to sperm.
What are the Tips?
- Avoid exposure to sources of Lead.
- If your home has lead paint or you live in a lead-contaminated area, wash children’s hands.
- Often face to remove its dust and dirt, and clean your house regularly to remove dust and dirt that have entered.
- Do not allow children to suck or mouth on surfaces that may have painted with paint.
- If you think you have Lead in your water, run the water that has been standing in the pipes overnight before drinking or cooking with it.
- Today lead poisonings treated by administering a sodium or calcium salt of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid.
- And also, it removed from the body by displacing calcium or sodium
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