Chemistry - Lead


  • Lead is a heavy chemical element (metal) i.e. it has high density.

  • The symbol of lead is ‘Pb’ and atomic number is ‘82.’

  • Lead has tendency to bond itself; likewise, it can form chains, bonds, rings, and polyhedral structures.

Salient Features of Lead

  • Lead is soft and malleable metal; it has relatively low melting point.

  • Lead is relatively unreactive element and it has tendency to form covenant bond.

  • When lead is cut, it appears bluish-white tint.

  • While burning, lead gives a bluish-white flame (see the image given below).

Lead Component
  • Compounds of lead are typically found in the +2 oxidation state.

Occurrence of Lead

  • Lead is known to the prehistoric people of Western Asia.

  • Lead is found in the earth’s crust; it is rarely found deep of the earth.

  • Lead is usually found in combination with sulfur.

  • Galena is the main lead-bearing mineral, mostly found with zinc ores.

Alloys of Lead

  • Following are the major alloys of lead −

    • Molybdochalkos (copper)

    • Solder (tin)

    • Terne (tin)

Compounds of Lead

  • Following are the major compounds of lead −

    • Lead monoxide - PbO

    • Lead dioxide - PbO2

Uses of Lead

  • Lead has been used in making bullets for hundreds of years.

  • Lead is commonly used as a protective sheath for the underwater cables (only because it has the property of corrosion resistance).

  • Lead sheets are also used as architectural metals especially in roofing material.

  • Lead is also used in acid batteries.

  • Lead compounds are commonly as coloring agents and semiconductors.

  • Lead compounds are also used in plastic, candles, glass, etc.

  • Lead is commonly used in the polyvinyl chloride (i.e. used in coating of electrical cords).


  • Presence of lead (in excessive quality) in the body may cause severe damage to the brain and kidneys; it may even cause death lastly.