Why Does Lead Have The Symbol Pb?


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Arun Raj answered
Lead is a soft, corrosion resistant greyish metal that is found commonly in air, water, food and paint. Lead is chemically symbolized as Pb which is an abbreviation of the Latin name plumbum. Incidentally, the English word "plumbing" is also originated from the same Latin root.

The relationship between lead and plumbing pipes has become a permanent fixture of the English language. Apart from plumbing, lead has been used to manufacture items like leaded paint, leaded gasoline, lead batteries, cosmetics and ceramics. Derived from mined sulphide ores, lead has been used to make tools and statues since 6500 BC. Seventy five per cent of the world's lead production is consumed in making batteries. It is estimated that more than one million workers in as many as hundred occupations are exposed to hazards of lead poisoning from overexposure to lead compounds or inhalation of dust or vapour with lead present in them.

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