Lead

A secretly dangerous element

Dangers

Do you own a house built before 1980? Well, the paint coating your home may contain lead. Lead has been eliminated from most household objects but some old toys made in the United States or other imported items could have been painted with a lead-based paint.

Composition

Lead is an element with 82 protons, 125 neutrons and 82 electrons. It is a metal; Therefore it is a good conductor of heat and electricity. It has a high melting point, it’s quite shiny and malleable as well. It is not very reactive but it forms a small ball when exposed to extreme heat.

Location

It is located in the fourth group and the sixth period which means that it has six energy levels, four valence electrons and six rings. It is on the left side of the stair-step line which classifies it as a metal. The average mass of this element is 127 amu.

Group

Lead is part of a column called the Carbon group. It has the second highest density in its group. Other elements that similar to lead include: Carbon, Silicon, Germanium, Tin and Flerovium. These elements are organized my mass going from the top of the column, to the bottom.

Chemical Formulas

Here are some examples of chemical formulas that include lead:

  • Lead Dichromate- Pb(Cr207)2
  • Lead Hydrogen Carbonate- Pb(HCO3)2