Element of the week: lead – video | @GrrlScientist

What do California condors, Beethoven and crime rates share in common?This week’s element is lead, which has the atomic number 82 and the symbol Pb. Its symbol comes from the Latin word, plumbum, for lead. Lead rarely occurs in its elemental form in the wild. It is typically found in ores along with copper, and in smaller quantities with zinc and silver. Pure lead is a dense, soft and malleable metal with a lustrous bluish-white colour, although its surface quickly tarnishes to a dull grayish color in air. Lead is widespread and easy to work with, making it a popular material throughout the history of human tool-making. Lead has been used in all sorts of items ranging from a variety of pigments to car batteries and bullets. It was also commonly used in pipes for many hundreds of years, giv…