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Lead

Where It Comes From

Lead is thought to be the thirty-sixth most abundant element in Earth's crust, with a concentration of about 13 parts per million. This makes the element more common than other heavy metals such as thallium or uranium, but much less abundant than less well known elements such as niobium, neodymium, lanthanum, and gallium.

The most important ore of lead is galena, lead sulfide (PbS). Anglesite (lead sulfate; PbSO4) and cerussite (PbCO3) are also economically important. Both are formed by the weathering of galena.

Over half of the lead produced in the world comes from just four regions and nations: the United States, Russia, other members of the former Soviet Union, Australia, and Canada. In the United States, about 90% of all lead comes from seven mines in Missouri, with the rest originating from mines in Colorado, Idaho, and Utah.


Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Laser - Background And History to Linear equationLead - General Properties, Where It Comes From, How The Metal Is Obtained, How We Use It