Health

Toxic lead removed from Paris schools after Notre Dame fire

Workers in full protective gear began Thursday to decontaminate some Paris schools tested with unsafe levels of lead following the blaze at the Notre Dame Cathedral, as part of efforts to protect children from risks of lead ...

Oncology & Cancer

Obese people outnumber smokers two to one

New figures from Cancer Research UK show that people who are obese now outnumber people who smoke two to one in the UK, and excess weight causes more cases of certain cancers than smoking, as the charity urges Government ...

Health

Why lead is dangerous, and the damage it does

Everything is a toxin, or has the potential to be, in the field of toxicology. In the 1500s, Swiss physician Paracelsus, the father of toxicology, coined his famous dictum: "What is there that is not poison? All things are ...

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Lead

Lead (pronounced /ˈlɛd/) is a main-group element with symbol Pb (Latin: plumbum) and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal, also considered to be one of the heavy metals. Lead has a bluish-white color when freshly cut, but tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed to air. It has a shiny chrome-silver luster when melted into a liquid.

Lead is used in building construction, lead-acid batteries, bullets and shot, weights, and is part of solder, pewter, fusible alloys and radiation shields. Lead has the highest atomic number of all stable elements, although the next element, bismuth, has a half-life so long (longer than the estimated age of the universe) it can be considered stable. Like mercury, another heavy metal, lead is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in soft tissues and bone over time. Lead poisoning was documented in ancient Rome, Greece, and China.

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