Lead, with the chemical symbol Pb and atomic number 82, has a long history and diverse applications. It has been utilized since ancient times by various cultures, playing a significant role in human development. The Romans used lead in water pipes, a practice later questioned due to its toxicity.
Lead is found on Earth in small quantities, constituting approximately 0.0013% of the Earth's crust. Despite its low abundance, lead holds notable industrial importance. It was traditionally mined from lead ore, primarily in the USA, China, and Australia. Today, lead is mainly obtained as a byproduct of other mining activities.
Lead's uses range from batteries and cable insulation to leaded glass. Despite technological advancements, lead remains crucial in the construction industry due to its density and corrosion resistance. The production of lead involves the smelting of lead ore, followed by refining processes to obtain pure lead.