Cambridge Encyclopedia » Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 45


Pb (from Lat plumbum) element 82, a soft, dense (11·5 g/cm3) metal, melting point 328°C. Its main natural source is the sulphide (PbS). Its good corrosion resistance and easy workability led to its early use in plumbing and for containers for corrosive liquids. These uses had considerable toxic effects, as lead is slowly oxidized in the presence of air and water. It is used in quantity for the production of accumulators (storage batteries).

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