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  • eric ritter

What is lead?

Lead is a chemical element with the symbol Pb (from the Latin word "plumbum") and atomic number 82. It is a heavy metal found in nature and is part of the periodic table of elements. Lead is known for its bluish-gray appearance when in metallic form but it takes on all kind of shapes and looks when found naturally.

By Ivar Leidus - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Lead may take on other forms if it is exposed to certain conditions naturally, for example cessurite, a mineral form of lead can take on beautiful crystal structures.

By Ivar Leidus - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

In the end lead is a natural element that has over time become part of our lives through unregulated distribution into commerce.

Ironically the lead found in paint was refined by humans and turned back into a form of lead found in nature hydro-cessurite, or Basic-Lead Carbonate, in an of unfortunate turn of events Lead was mined, refined into metal, dissolved with acetic acid, and treated with carbon dioxide to yield the white pigment known as White Lead. This is known as the Old Dutch Process, and its where the namesake Dutch Boy paint came from.

More on that later

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