Lead - (Pb)
Melting Point: 621 Fahrenheit \ 327 Celsius
Boiling  Point: 3180 Fahrenheit \  1749 Celsius

Properties: Lead is a very soft, dense, ductile, highly malleable, bluish-white metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead is bright and silvery when freshly cut but the surface rapidly tarnishes in air to produce the commonly observed dull luster normally associated with lead. When melted into a liquid it has a shiny chrome-silver luster.

Lead is used in building construction, lead-acid batteries, bullets and shots, weights, as part of solders, pewter's, fusible alloys and as a radiation shield and as a metallic lubricant like when added to brass to reduce machine tool wear. Lead has the highest atomic number of all of the stable elements. It is used in applications where its low melting point, ductility and high density is an advantage. The low melting point makes casting of lead easy, and therefore small arms ammunition and shotgun pellets can be cast with minimal technical equipment. It is also inexpensive and denser than other common metals

Even with hundreds of common uses, Lead, at certain exposure levels, is a poisonous substance to animals as well as for human beings. It damages the nervous system and causes brain disorders. Excessive lead also causes blood disorders in mammals. Like the element mercury, another heavy metal, lead is a neurotoxin that accumulates both in soft tissues and the bones. Most exposure occurs through ingestion or inhalation. Lead can be ingested through fruits and vegetables contaminated by high levels of lead in the soils they were grown in. Soil is contaminated through particulate accumulation from lead in pipes, lead paint. Inhalation is the second major pathway of exposure, especially for workers in lead-related occupations. Almost all inhaled lead is absorbed into the body, the rate is 20–70% for ingested lead; children absorb more than adults so precautionary care for proper ventilation must be taken when lead smelting. According to Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry, a small amount of lead (1%) will store itself in bones and the rest will be excreted through urine and feces within a few weeks of exposure. Children have a harder time excreting lead. Only about 32% of lead will be excreted by a child
Also See> Health Effects

Lead has poor electrical conductivity when compared to most other metals. But this metal is highly resistant to corrosion, and because of this property, it is used to contain corrosive liquids (for example, sulfuric acid) and electrical terminals around corrosives. Because lead is very malleable and resistant to corrosion it is extensively used in building construction – for example in the external coverings of roofing joints.

Lead has been commonly used for thousands of years because it is widespread, easy to extract and easy to work with. It is highly malleable and ductile as well as easy to smelt.

Metallic lead does occur in nature, but it is rare. Lead is usually found in ore with zinc, silver and (most abundantly) copper, and is extracted together with these metals. The main lead mineral is galena (PbS), which contains 86.6 % lead by weight.

Production and consumption of lead is increasing worldwide. Total annual production is about 8 million tonnes; about half is produced from recycled scrap. More than half of the worldwide lead production (at least 1.15 million metric tons) is used for automobiles, mostly as electrodes in the lead–acid battery, used extensively as a car battery. At current use rates, the supply of lead is estimated to run out in 42 years. Some analyst have suggested lead could run out within 18 years based on an extrapolation of 2% growth per year

About Metal Spot Prices: The spot price of metals is based on paper contracts for delivery of tons of pure metal ingots. When you're not prepared to pay for and take delivery of tons of metal ingots, that spot price will quickly become a huge understatement of the real price of that metal. When you want to buy just a few pounds of Lead for example, you're looking at substantially higher prices. Moreover, once you own physical Lead ingots, make absolutely sure you never sell for the spot price of Lead. Because it's hard to get ingot grade Lead in physical form, you've got something special on your hands and make sure to extract the full value when you're selling and understand the reverse when buying.

Lead ingots are currently selling in the 4.00 - 6.00 dollar range per pound.



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