Chemical Elements History and Information Lead

About the chemical element Lead, its symbol, atomic number and weight, who discovered it and when.

The Atomic Elements and Their Uses

(Element) (Symbol) (Atomic number) (Atomic weight)

Lead Pb 82 207.2

Known since prehistoric times. The oldest piece of leadwork known is in the British Museum and dates to 3800 B.C. The fall of ancient Rome has been attributed to the Romans' use of lead cooking pots and tankards, which, over a period of years, poisoned the general population. Lead metal itself is not poisonous, but soluble lead compounds are. Recent legislation has tried to curb the use of lead in pigments, after children were poisoned from chewing peeling paint off neglected tenements. Lead is used extensively in the manufacture of batteries, matches, bullets, bearings, and solders. All gasoline (except lead-free) emits soluble lead compounds when burned. This lead emission carried in the air contaminates our ecosystem when it settles into the ground and water and is absorbed by plants and eaten by animals.

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