Lead is a densely packed metal that was once widely used in a variety of applications. This is partly because it does not react well with other chemicals, but it is malleable and easy to work with. It is also the last element on the periodic table and is completely stable (in terms of radioactivity). Is it, however, flammable, and if so, will it burn?
Let’s talk about lead more and how its reactivity affects flammability and fire. Will also explore some of the other lead-related issues.
Is Lead Flammable?
Lead is not flammable, but can melt when it reaches a particular melting point or when used in welding two Lead metals together.
If Lead is stored in a room with super hot or high temperatures, it wouldn’t result in an explosion. Lead doesn’t react with oxygen and this makes it impossible to catch fire wherever it is stored. Lead is one of the most common solid chemical substances in the world.
Lead is used in different areas and is highly recognized as an inflammable chemical substance. However, you need to know what Lead is, why it is not flammable, and the toxicity of Lead in both children and adults.
What is Lead?
Lead is a solid metallic chemical but exceedingly soft. Unlike other strong metals, Lead is naturally soft, and it is possible to scratch it with sharp objects like knives or blades. Lead is symbolised as Pb and it is the last chemical substance on the periodic table.
Lead is a dense and malleable solid substance with a remarkably low melting point. If Lead is freshly cut or deeply peeled, it has a silvery appearance, but it fades into a dull grey color when exposed to air. Lead has 621.43 degrees Fahrenheit melting point and 3180 degrees Fahrenheit boiling point.
Lead is often referred to as a weak metal because it lacks the extra hardness found in other tough metals. Lead has three basic physical properties. One, it is atomic. One Lead atom contains 82 electrons. Two, Lead is bulk, and it has a bright silvery color. Lastly, Lead contains isotopes which sum up to four in total.
Why is Lead Inflammable?
If you place Lead in a fire or close to a heat source, it will never catch fire because it lacks the properties of flammable materials.
In all ramifications, if Lead is made to react with other chemical substances and air, it still won’t turn out to be a flammable chemical, and this is because it lacks reactivity with oxygen.
In most cases, oxygen is the source of chemicals catching fire and since Lead cannot react with oxygen, it can’t be flammable. However, Lead is meltable. It can be melted multiple times for different uses. Lead melts at 621.43 degrees Fahrenheit during the melting cycle.
If it is less than the above melting point, it will only give it a super-hot temperature. It must reach the above melting point before it can be melted successfully. Thus, Lead cannot be considered flammable since it will not catch fire or melt at low temperatures.
- READ MORE: Is water flammable?
What Is the Toxicity of Lead in Children and Adults?
Most children are vulnerable to the toxicity of Lead. Thus, it should be properly handled and used when close to children. The following are the effects of Lead in children that should be tactically circumvented.
- Damage to Physical and Mental Growth.
In most cases, Lead is highly hazardous to children under the age of six. Excessive exposure to Lead results in physical and mental growth delay. Kids have retarded growth mentally and physically.
Seizure is a common sickness in children. However, it is not only the toxicity of Lead that induces seizures. It also encompasses various origins, but if Lead poisons a child, it leads to seizures in children and it should be avoided.
- Loss of Appetite and Weight Loss.
In most cases, not eating well or losing an appetite leads to weight loss. If a child is poisoned by Lead, such a child loses interest in food. As a result, the child loses basic food nutrients that aid proper growth for weight, height, and so on.
Apart from being toxic to children, Lead can also be injurious to adults and the following are the ways it manifests.
- High Blood Pressure.
If an adult is poisoned with Lead, it results in high blood pressure which can escalate into bigger health issues. Thus, it is better to avert being poisoned by Lead since it poses mammoth toxicity to human health.
- Fatigue or Extreme Tiredness.
Exposure to Lead causes tiredness and fatigue in both adults and children. Sometimes, you attribute your tiredness to daily stress at work or school. However, it can result from Lead poisoning.
- Headaches, muscle, and stomach pain.
In adults, Lead poisoning causes headaches and stomach pain. It can also result in joint and muscle pain. For instance, after hitting the gym for a week, you experience muscle pain and; you are exposed to Lead. The Lead is likely to have caused the pain.
If you work in a mining factory, a Lead production company or you possess materials made with Lead or Lead itself, you might not need to bother about the substance catching fire because it is not flammable. However, avoid its toxicity because it can cause severe health issues. Since it is not flammable, it may not require credible flammable precautions, but credible health precautions.
What intrigues you the most about Lead? Have you used it for anything? Have you tried burning it? If affirmative, how did it go? Have you experienced any of its toxic effects? You can comment below to share your opinions.