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Properties of Matter Element Card 10, Lesson 21



Melting point

328° C

Boiling point

1740° C


11.4 g/cm³


Lead is a dull gray when exposed to air for only a short time. However, when it is scratched, a shiney blue-white color is revealed.

Other physical properties

Lead is very soft and can easily be bent with a person's hands.

Chemical properties

Lead reacts very slowly with air, forming a layer of gray oxide.


Compounds of lead have a variety of colors, including red, white, and yellow.


Lead is used in car batteries, in solders, and as a shield from X-rays and other radiation.


Some lead occurs naturally as lead metal; however, most is mined as lead sulfide (also called galena). Many lead compounds are poisonous.

Lead fishing weights

Lead is a very dense element. This makes it an ideal material for the manufacture of weights, such as those used for fishing. However, lead is toxic, so care must be exercised in its use. For this reason, many modern fishing weights are no longer made with this metal.













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